Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The rural update

There's been so much going on here the last couple of weeks.  It feels great to be outside in the sunshine being productive again.  Taking it slowly but getting things done nonetheless.  What's new?

Part of the property. The right hand side of the garden (the "spring" side) is 90% planted and about 50% mulched.  This side contains garlic, potatoes, herbs, the strawberry bed, rhubarb and asparagus.  Plus some extra room where I planted canna, sunflowers and kale.  Really making an effort this season to use living mulches: nasturtiums in bare corners, dry beans between the tomato plants, that kind of thing.

Some herbs: oregano, thyme, lemongrass and sage.

Also new this year I collected praying mantis egg cases from around the property last month.  I've stuck about a dozen of them around the garden to hopefully hatch and help with organic pest control.  Plus, they're just neat to watch.  We planted two kinds of basil here.

The alpine strawberries I grew from seeds last year are huge and setting berries! So pleased with this.

Some volunteer squash.  Sure, they're probably cross-bred but I don't care.  There are lots of volunteer plants this year, for which I am beyond grateful.  Weeding is going to be impossible with a newborn and anything green and productive is more than welcomed. 

Except maybe this hot mess.  What you're looking at is mint gone wild in a corner of the garden.  So much mint.  I really need to deal with it.  It's taking over the snow pea trellis.  Also pictured are lots of volunteer sunflower plants which I'll weed around and encourage to grow.  They'll look beautiful in that corner.

My husband tilled up some rows on the summer side of the garden.  The little man got into the action with his excavator.  

This weekend we put in the rest of the greens, 16 pepper plants, 12 tomato plants, black beans and lots of flower seeds.  There are still many tomato plants to go in, along with the squash transplants.  My helper loves to water, mulch and plant.  There is no sweeter sound to my ears than a two year old saying "Mama. More plant, please!" after he tucks in each transplant. Oh, be still my heart.  Times like this make me miss my own mother even more.  She would have loved gardening with him.

We still need to construct the garden teepee.  That thing was awesome.  Also more bulbs and tubers to plant but what gets done gets done at this point.  The ornamental flower beds (all 2 of them) are planted already.  Thank God for perennials, I just had to fill in the gaps with dahlias.  I'm still well ahead of our last frost date and probably have another couple of good working weeks still ahead of me.  Honestly, mulching is probably the most pressing thing. 

Remember the incident with the clearance bantams at TSC?  They're all grown up now, sort of.  I'm afraid to let them range quite yet because they're literally the size of my quail.  These things are TINY.  They were moved into this pre-fab coop we bought a couple of months ago on sale.  Pre-fab coops get a bad rap but honestly, I am in love with this thing.  If you're planning on stuffing 8 full grown hens into it like the box claims you can it would be a nightmare.  But it's fantastic for what we needed.

That's our old Christmas tree in there for playing and cover.

Here they are!  Wow, did I luck out.  Not only are 5 of these the Millie Fleur chickens I was hoping for but there are 4 hens and a rooster! They're just starting to get their speckles, which I read can take a couple of months. They're so beautiful.  

I lost two of the Seabrights shortly after we got them (no idea why) and that game bantam is obviously a rooster that will have to be dealt with but I could not be more pleased with how this group turned out.  

The new goslings are nearly as big as my female goose.  The poultry yard always takes some time to fill back in in the spring but in another month will look like a green jungle. 

The planters on the porch look really sweet.

Sometimes we take breaks.  I have to swing in the hammock sideways or I can't get back out without help.  How embarrassing.  Here I'm on break from planting and Bee is on break from killing small critters.  The last couple of weeks have been full of sunshine, warm weather, naps and popsicles.  It's been wonderful.  


  1. Glad everything is going well, love your little man with his digger. It's important to stop and enjoy all your hard work.

    1. It's so much fun we don't consider it work :)