September 14, 2018

Our Worst One.

We elected our worst human to the most important position we have. Every day feels like slogging, grinding, tremulous balancing act between being informed and going crazy. The more informed I am, the crazier I feel. I'm madly searching for comfort, like a kitty clawing at a slipping table cloth, clinging to the thing that will keep me from falling onto the ground. But in that metaphor, being informed IS THE TABLE CLOTH. You see.

It's so depressing. Because there's so much work to do. (here are some things we can do.)

But the thing that's killing me a little is: life has always been this precious and things worth fighting for have always been worth fighting for. I just didn't realize it because we didn't have our worst human in the White House. So I've wasted a lot of time.
I'm a home body from way back. Early in our relationship, my husband asked if I thought our 11-year age difference would be a problem because I'd want to go out more than him. You know. Because he was older. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

"Nope." He looked at me incredulously.

"You'll see." I said.
I'm madly searching for comfort and home is a little bit of that comfort. Friends in my home. Pictures of travel and life experiences that I can see up on my walls. Soft sqhishy landing spots in my home. Thriving plants around my home. Even though it's not even CLOSE to the most important thing, it helps a little. What's helping you?

September 12, 2018

Garden Design Secret

Fall. It's a dangerous time of year for gardeners in New England. No, we're not afraid of the frost date. We're afraid of what we're going to spend on plants.
Wait, WHAT?

Yep (oh. I'm in New England. Maybe I should say 'yawp?)
In the fall, greenhouses are dying to get rid of their remaining perennials and they are generally always available at a sizable discount. The selection is not great, but the hunt is fun and the financial reward is worth it when you find groups of 3, 5, or 7 babies (always buy an odd number of plants. Don't buy singles, unless it's a large specimen). Everything in this post's images was 50% off.
Speaking of large specimens, in addition to perennials, dwarf evergreens and bush/shrubs are on sale too. Though early-blooming large plants, like lilacs or forsythias, are likely long gone, late-blooming beauties-like a hydrangea or evergreens-are happy to go in the ground in the fall if you can time it right.
Specific Tips for Successful Fall Planting
1. Find the largest pots for sale that you can afford (gallon size or larger is best) because they are less likely to be root bound. These poor babies have been siting in a pot since March or April. If they are root bound (roots go round and round the bottom of the pot) be sure to unwind the roots and separate them a little by hand or with a trowel. Otherwise the roots can choke the plant).
2. Get a slow release fertilizer (I love Osmocote) and a bag of composted cow manure (Moo Doo is my favorite brand) or other organic material and add a little to the base of every hole before you put your new plant in. Your new roots will be happier.
3. Timing is everything. Ever planted something and forgot to water it? It probably died, didn't it?  Keep an eye on the weather and try to plant when much rain is expected.

4. Timing is still everything. You need to plant far enough away from fall frost date that the roots have time to get happy before winter comes. But you have to plant far enough away from an hot summer so you don't have to water the shit out of your new plants. I like the last 2 weeks in September and the first week in October and I live in hardiness zone 6.

June 30, 2017

Garden: Season 2017

My garden is in full flush and I feel prideful. I'm good at gardening. It's about as 'science-y' as I get, my control over this little environment. I understand the sun, and the movement of the planet and moisture and shade. I've thought about what makes a place visually interesting across months. I've considered height and color and themes. 

There are some things that are not happy here: day lilies. hyssop. But most everything else hums along.

The trees are VERY happy here. I have no idea why. They grow at least a foot each year when they are only supposed to eke out something less. Django and I miss the patch of grass on the lower terrace but I remain pleased with my decision to remove it, as I was the only person taking care of it and grass is fussy. Too fussy. I can't abide fussy from a garden. Either thrive (with a little support) or get out. I don't have time. 

Another garden pattern? Some things THRIVE one year and lay low the next. Except the rhubarb, which is enormous and aggressively flouncy every year. This year, the cherry tree is resplendent with fruit. You can almost hear the birds gossiping about it. And the trillium under the maple tree is sad and brown around the edges and has no children when she had three proud babies in 2016. I'm concerned.

I've not seen any praying mantis yet this year but am very hopeful one will come back and lay another egg sack, and this one I won't destroy. I am so so sorry about ruining that egg sack. I won't be scared of it this time and chop it up into bits with a trowel. I promise.

The bumblebees are copious, and act like angry drunks, but only toward each other, not me.

A red-wing black bird couple shows up and sings. I tell them, there is no lake here! There is no field! No meadow! You are confused! Fly away from the cats on Clinton Ave!