The two of my daughters who live close to me celebrate my birthday and mothers' day with me, generally on our Victoria Day weekend, which gives us an extra day to enjoy each other's company. We used to go to a resort, but more recently we prowl the local nurseries then go back to one of the girls' home and create our baskets, etc. This year I got lazy and simply bought baskets that had already been created and grown in the nursery. We had a lot of laughs, though, and treated ourselves to special treats in the form of food and beverages our spouses wouldn't appreciate.
It's been very hot and dry here. Some of my beds are beginning to look very stressed. I've resisted getting the hoses out just about as long as I dare. There's no rain in the forecast for almost a week.
Bonnie is feeling more than a little sorry for himself since I weened him off his pain meds. He tries not to put any weight on his broken leg. I was getting worried about him because he wasn't eating very well, either. This evening I fed him dry food for a change of pace and he gobbled it up, so I guess he was just being picky.
I managed to get a half row of chard planted yesterday before my daughter and granddaughter arrived at the farm. Daughter volunteered to help plant the beets. I made the furrows and told her to plant the seed about four inches apart. The one packet of seeds should have planted about one and a half 20-foot rows. We ended up with an extra row. I forget that my daughter's generation learned metric measurements and she had absolutely no idea of how far apart to plant them. Oh, well, they won't be crowded. Every year I like to experiment with something different. This year, I planted yellow beets for the first time. I'll put in some red ones as well, just to be on the safe side. We may really dislike the yellow ones or they may not grow as expected. I like to hedge my bets.
I didn't do any planting today. Had a dentist's appointment this morning. When I was leaving the premises, I noticed that some lovely raised stone beds had been established at the back of the Medical/Dental Building. I generally use the front doors, so I was unaware of the beds despite the fact that I've been a member of the Medical/Dental Board for the past year and a half. The perennial plant material in the beds is very appropriate: heuchera, ornamental grasses, dwarf Alberta spruce, black-eyed Susans, etc. But the beds were full of volunteer Manitoba maple seedlings, mostly only a couple of inches tall, but some as tall as two feet. The roots would eventually destroy the stone work if they were allowed to continue to grow, so I spent a couple of hours pulling the wretched things out. I'm going to propose that we ask the local Horticultural Society to maintain the beds in return for a generous donation.
Spring is a time of yummy treats for those of us who live in the north. C and I have been gobbling fresh asparagus for the past week or so. And yesterday I baked a rhubarb meringue pie. Our garden is a source of delight just now.
May 13, 2012 | 4:59 PM PST
, heirloom tomatoes
, Roma tomatoes
, plant onions
I'm a little achy this evening. C and I spent the morning in the veggie garden. I had planted eight Golden Goddess tomatoes yesterday. Today we put in six Romas and three Sweeties (cherry type) before we planted three rows of onions: multipliers, yellow sets and Spanish. Then we added five canteloupes, a row of peas and a short row of baby lettuce blend before I harvested asparagus and rhubarb. We shared the asparagus with family and friends and still had lots for dinner this evening and tomorrow's meal as well. I'm going to bake a rhubarb meringue pie tomorrow before I head back down to the farm to plant Swiss chard and beets. I must remember sunscreen and insect repellent tomorrow. The black flies took a few chunks out of me today.
May 7, 2012 | 6:57 PM PST
Bonnie is behaving like a very naughty child. He's bored of being caged and cries till I let him out. Generally, he goes back in willingly when he gets hungry. If he's still a little reluctant, I toss a few Temptations bits in. He's freaky for them. Last evening, however, he didn't reappear at feeding time, nor did he respond to me calling or shaking the Temptations bag. Both C and I were sick at heart. I thought he must have sneaked outside. He tends to park his little butt right beside the door and wait for an opportunity. We had been in and out several times, but we've both become accustomed to watching for the little monster. We each went outside several times to call him. No Bonnie!! I stayed up till midnight looking out for him and woke at 3:00. I couldn't get back to sleep. I kept checking both doors to see if he'd returned. I didn't want to risk waking my neighbours by calling. C came downstairs at 5:00 and went out for the newspaper. Still no Bonnie!! C had to leave for his annual pickerel (walleye) fishing trip by 6:00. I was enjoying a coffee with him when the gimpy little twerp sauntered casually into the breakfast area, yawning. I have no idea where he had hidden himself or why he wouldn't respond to either of us when we called. Needless to say, he hasn't been allowed out of the crate today.
Yesterday was pretty scary when wave after wave of violent storms passed through our area.
I had to take Bonnie to the vet's to have his stitches removed, Getting him into his travel crate was a bit of an ordeal. For the most part, he was very well behaved after we got there. He growled a bit when the vet was removing the stitches. I didn't count, but there were a lot - 20 or so. Then he had to have a couple more stitches put in because the pin is working its way through the skin. It will be removed eventually, but the vet wants it to remain in place for a while longer. She's very pleased with his progress. He objects very strongly, though, to having his temperature taken. I'm sure it's the ultimate indignity in his mind.
The third storm of the day began moving in while I was at the vet's, but I managed to get home before the skies opened up. I had spent a couple of hours earlier helping a friend who was having computer problems, so I didn't have anything prepared for dinner. When the weather began to clear a bit, I went to pick up some milk and some take-out. While I was at the grocery store, the rain came down so hard that it formed a stream about 4" deep flowing down the hill towards the river. Every shopper in the store was essentially stranded for about 20 minutes. After I got home, the thunder and lightning began in earnest. I had to feed Clyde his tranquilizers. He and the cat curled up on the couch close to C. The noise didn't bother Bonnie, but I thought poor old Clyde might have a heart attack before his meds kicked in.
This morning I learned that 30 people had to be evacuated from their homes in a town about 15 miles from here and a home close to our farm suffered considerable damage in a fire caused by a lightning strike. Thankfully, no one was injured.
REFERRENCE MATERIAL: I found a fascinating site that will likely be of interest to many of you and will post it in the Plant Identification forum as well. It's called The Plant Encyclopedia and can be found at http://www.theplantencycloped ia.org/wiki/Main_Page It's the most comprehensive referrence I've come across, either in print or online.