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April 2008

One Year Blogiversary!

High 59 F
Low 31 F

Today is the one year anniversary of Ledge and Gardens!  How can it be a year already?  My Mom always told me that time would go by faster as I got older and she was right.  So many of us are new bloggers this year sharing our gardens and the happiness it brings to each of us.  It is hard for most of us not to garden.  It took several posts to receive a comment from a fellow blogger.  Hank, from A Lake Country Point of View, made the first comment on this blog.  I treasure that first comment. As all of you know, comments are the treats of blogging.  It does take giving to receive and if there were more time there would be no garden blog left unread !

After a very disappointing day of travel on Friday  I managed to get out of the fetal position and work in the garden a bit. Dsc_0039 The EM put compost in the veggie garden and then harrowed it in.  Last year we skipped the compost for some foolish reason (time constraints) and the garden suffered because of that.  High hopes this year as the blank canvas Dsc_0010_2 unfolds.  I am embarrassed to admit that I did not get the garlic planted when it arrived in the fall.  It  got cold very suddenly and snowed early and it just did not happen.  Since it was here I have planted it to see what happens.Dsc_0015   I hear that the cloves will be smaller than if planted in the fall.  The garden doesn't wait!  I find that using a planting board is a great aid for strait rows and spacing.  This board is 36" long with notches cut every six inches on one side and the other edge is beveled for making a trench for seeds.  Dsc_0012 This one actually has writing on the side which tells you how far apart to space different plants.  It would be an easy thing to make out of a 1" x 6" piece of lumber.  I also picked up this little hoop house which should warm the soil.  The only disadvantage is that I will need to remove it to water the garlic.  Dsc_0008

Also purchased this spring was this cold frame from Gardener's Supply.  I have to say it went together pretty easily and only one tube was bent which required a bit of strong arming to straighten.  It has zip up sides for ventilation and time will tell how it will work.  I put it in the gardenDsc_0019 but I want to use it primarily for hardening off the seedlings which are now under the grow lights so I will probably move it closer to the house.  It looks cozy doesn't it?  In addition, lots of raking to do.  I am determined to take progressive shots of the same spots a couple of times a month.  I need to make a list and stick to it!  Perennial gardens change so quickly which is one of their great advantages.  The rhubarb has broken through the compost I put on it a week or so ago Dsc_0016 and the intricacies of the unfurling foliage always intrigues me! Dsc_0017 What do you see in theseDsc_0018 strange shapes? 


Never count your chickens....Tales from the road

High  45F so far
Low  43 F

This is NOT a Texas wildflower!
My itinerary says that right now I will be on a docent led tour of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  The reality is that I am sitting at the computer posting yet another blog.  Has anyone ever traveled a whole day to get nowhere?  I guess many have.  One reads about them and I actually spoke to ALL of them yesterday at the Dulles (we weary travelers decided that Dulles rhymes with fools) airport where, despite all efforts to get to Austin, Texas, two of us failed(weekend travelers) and returned to our starting destination, two left with the hopes of reaching Austin by four o'clock on Saturday via Dallas and three other standby planes(wedding Saturday night) and two others spent the night and are leaving to go to Chicago and then reach Austin by late this afternoon (visiting family for a whole month). The six of us were left stranded due to our flight delay out of Providence and subsequent missed connection to Austin. That missed connection was the only on-time flight out of Dulles yesterday! Customer Service at United should be renamed 'Customer Dis-Service'  as one has to stand in line for over an hour to hear that the next, overbooked flight leaves at 5:55 p.m.  and the one after that is Saturday at 5:45 p.m.  In addition, the overworked customer service representative told me that there would be no refund as I did fly to Dulles and then had to get back to Providence.  It is my privilege to take a whole day to fly United and get nowhere! Oh, but my luggage is visiting Austin right now so all is not lost.  I hope it can talk if it ever gets home.
Eye candy to get you through this post!
  It could be worse!  I have an uncanny ability to hear life-stories.  Sitting waiting for the one final flight to Austin, which was over-booked by four ticketed customers, and six stand by, stranded customers, the gentleman on my right said 'Oh, they have delayed my flight again'.  Of course I commiserated with him which generated a bit more conversation.  What would you like to know about him?  Well, he was from Ethiopia and had been traveling for 48 hours trying to get home to New York.  He was drinking tea but owned a coffee plantation which was running smoothly.  I had noticed him earlier in the day having gone from Terminal A to Terminal D then back to Terminal A and then back to Terminal C and then on again to Terminal D.  He was elegantly dressed with suit and tie.  He had a fairly large scar on the left side of his face on the cheekbone.  An old scar but probably hand sutured as the line was large, an inch and a half long, and the dots were, well, dots!  He had neat, waist length dreadlocks.  That, to me, is a contradiction in terms (neat dreadlocks).  His day (48 hours of travel) had been worse than mine!  He was still sitting waiting for his flight when I left to return home on a day of traveling in circles. He was not the only stranger dishing details of his life.  Mark, in the left side seat, was coming home from Tehran where he had been managing family issues. That is a three page tale but suffice it to say, he was a very interesting, very educated individual who is now at home in Austin.  The cast of characters also included Ken, Elaine, Kevin, Louie, and my seatmate back to PVD whose name, believe it or not, I did not get but I do know that he ...well never mind!  Too many stories.  I have to remember that it is the journey and not the destination.  In this case, I am sure this is not true.  My Mom was right, don't count your chickens before they're hatched. 

Pam and Elizabeth have already posted details from the day and evening and I am looking forward to more pictures from the Spring Flingers in spite of the almost desperate disappointment of not meeting each and every one of them.  On a positive note, I did get to actually speak to Pam to apprise her of my plight.  A voice, an inflection, and a tone gives added life to her daily written posts and I now can hear the lilting Southerness of this still, unseen, but now heard voice of 'Digging'. 


Green overnight!

High 56 F
Low  22 F

Yes, it was very cold last night but two days ago, after the warm rain, the lawn was noticeably  greener!  Above is a worm's view! Dsc_0021 Tucker and I took a morning walk into the back field to check out the activity. Dsc_0025 I really didn't see too many birds but along with the greener grass comes the peepers.  The EM heard them just the other night so I had to check out the vernal poolDsc_0026 which is home to many of them this time of year.  This puddle/pool will be here until May or so and then the field takes back over and there is little reminder of the thriving ecosystem in the vernal pool.  While I enjoy looking at it, Tucker, water dog that he is, had to splash around and check it out from knee depth.  Dsc_0027 He really can't pass up water!   Spring light has its' own unique glow. Dsc_0022   Having grown up with four distinct seasons I know I would miss them if I moved to the tropics.  I can't help wishing that winter was shorter and spring, late spring that is, longer.  What about you?  How do you feel about the change in seasons and which would you shorten or lengthen?   


Garden cleanup in the East Border

High 56 F
Low  49 F

My second attempt at a post!  Don't you hate it when you have it all down and then lose it!  I think that is my April Fool's joke for the day! The above picture is of a portion of the east border as it appeared last June.  It has been cold and rainy here with the temperature finally creeping into the 50's for today.  We have had almost a half inch of rain today.  Last week I did a bit of raking in the above border.  It is southerly facing and starts to perk up before the others so I try to clean it first.  I see no signs of foxgloves or foxglove seedlings now and will have to replant them.  When I did rake, the lawn came up with the leaves which means that another spring chore will be re-seeding parts of this area.  It needs some soil amendments anyway but where will the time come from?Dsc_0004_2   Here is what it looked like before the raking.  It just shows how quickly the gardener's hand print disappears from the landscape.   The pine  boughs were covering the heuchera and they seem to have served their purpose of keeping the plants from heaving from the freeze/thaw cycle of spring.  I still have a way to go in this garden but this end of it does look a bit tidier and the hellebore is blooming.  Dsc_0042 That plant always looks good! This is a closer view of the raked area.Dsc_0041_2   Everything is so bare and brown. Just a few bits of green color.  I did spot this Scilla coming up with a spot of bright blue emerging.  Dsc_0046 These scilla were originally planting in the garden around this crabapple, just visible in the foreground of the bench,Dsc_0043 and every year I rake this area after the scilla flowers are done blooming and the seed heads have formed.  You can spot a trail of scilla across the lawn where the rake carried the seeds.  I will see if I can't get a shot of that in a couple of weeks.  Great spreaders!  I had the tools out and used my new dirt knife for the first time. Dsc_0040_2 I think I love it.  It makes quick work of weeds and roots and it does have a serrated edge for cutting.  It looks pretty sturdy and a bit lethal doesn't it?   I did spread some Chickity Doo Doo, a new line I am selling to garden centers.  It is just what it claims to be but I always like to test a product.  We shall see how it works.  It does have an OMRI label and should be a good soil amendment as well as fertilizer.  The other tool, the pruners are a brand called Wolf Gaarten from Germany.  I actually like them better than Felcos.  Do you have any new tools for the garden this spring season?