Monday, April 27, 2009

From spring to summer in 1 week!

What a glorious gardening weekend!  My serviceberry has begun to bloom, and it is so pretty!  

Mostly, though, I can't wait for the delicious sweet-tart berries! Mine taste like sour apple & watermelon jolly ranchers - I love them so much! I'll have to put a net over one of the branches so that I can fend off the birds and have some for myself.

You can see my birdfeeders in the background, kind of. I got a birdfeeder inside of a cage so I could keep the stupid squirrels and grackles and pigeons away. So far I've seen the black-capped chickadees, wrens, sparrows, and the downy woodpecker get inside of it. And I have a safflower feeder for the cardinals. I hope it works! My upstairs neighbor started out asking me to get rid of all the birdfeeders, but I think if this makes the pigeons go away she will be satisfied. They were pooping on her car.

The apple trees have started to bloom!  Oh happy day!  All my mason bees are out - all six tubes opened up!  I was worried some of them had been subjected to the Deep Freeze (our winter) for too long.  But no, they are awake, and peacefully buzzing away.  

I have also seen tons of bumble bees.  I hope one of them finds my Humble Bumble Home! 

What I need to know now is how long before I give up on my apple grafts?  I don't think any of them took.  All of the rest of the branches have leaves, but the grafts have none.  :-(  I have read up on techniques, and found one that was easier than whip-and-tongue, and I am going to try it next.  Fortunately, I ordered double the scion wood so that I could try again!   I would so much like for this to work!  I really want to expand my Frankentree to true monster-hood!!!

My bokashi been looks.... okay.  Actually, it looks utterly revolting.  But I think that's how its supposed to look.  It smells kind of sweet, which is odd.  Aren't rotting things supposed to stink?  But this smells like a super-sweet apple cider vinegar.  So odd.  I am told that is how it's supposed to smell when it's working properly.

It has a little white fuzz growing on it, which is apparently desirable.  And there is "bokashi juice" coming out the bottom, which smells just like apple juice.  I have used it to clean my drains, and also (diluted) to water my plants.  They seem happy.  I can only assume it's working.  I got the "food grade" bokashi liquid.  I am seriously considering trying some in juice.  It's supposed to aid your digestion.  I'm also considering giving it to my cat, because her poop STINKS!!!!  It's also supposed to help with that.  Although I do wonder if it's unethical.  Technically it isn't experimenting, because tons of people have done this, but I worry.  

I let my cat (Aiko) out into my garden this weekend, so she could enjoy the sun with me.  First thing she does?  Pee on my hay.  Bad cat!!!!  *sigh*  Why do we love these ridiculous beasts so much?  Then she proceeded to get her leash totally wound up in the patio chairs, such that it took about 10 minutes to detangle her.  But letting her run loose is about as good as throwing her in front of a car myself, at least in my neighborhood.

Also this weekend, I met Daphne for coffee this weekend, and to show her my community garden plot. She was very nice! It was almost like meeting a doppleganger - she does jewelry work, she likes scifi, likes board games, and enjoys talking about gardens. Very funny. Oh, and she saved me from the ticks! Thank you so much! Did I mention I had a phobia of ticks?

As far as the community garden goes - I found out this weekend it's full of ticks!  Tom (my husband) bought some industrial strength tick repellent, and so far I think it's worked.   We spent about 5 hours down at the community garden this weekend, unloading and working on raised beds.  I SERIOUSLY underestimated the amount of work this would take!  We got about 1/3 of the way done.  I would show you a picture, but my camera broke!  I'm getting a new one, so I'll take some good pictures then.  Anyways, we got almost done with the first huge raised bed (4' x 15').  And Daphne - you were right!  There wasn't enough room to walk with both those 4x4s end to end!  I ended up sawing about 1' off the end of one of them.   Next time it will go much quicker, since everything is unloaded.  We're heading out there Tuesday to try and finish up the raised beds, since I get out of work early for the doctor.

I have decided my husband and I are the tortise and the hare.  He pushes himself as hard as he can - he even lapped me unloading wood from the car (and taunted me as he passed, no less), but before we were done with the work he was panting and resting in the car with the a/c on.  Meanwhile, slow and steady, I was plugging away.   It's definitely hard work, especially with the 85 degree weather we had this weekend!  I only lasted about 45 minutes longer than he did.  

We met one of the other community gardeners, an active older lady named Merita (or maybe Merica), and she asked if Tom was my son!!!  Doh!  He does look rather young.  But I hope I don't look that old!  It was funny.  She seemed nice, rather embarrassed about it.  Tom and I had a good laugh over it - it's not the first time.  She also showed me her asparagus, which reminds me that I need to by for the new garden!

Also this weekend I dug up tons of seedlings and divisions for the Arlington Garden Club plant sale.  I think I must have about 60 little plantlings for the sale!  And it costs me nothing!

The AGC plant sale is May 9th, from 9am - noon, at the Jason Russell house on Mass Ave.  Proceeds go to civic plantings in the town of Arlington.  I will have the following plants for sale.  Garden club members will have many more!
-Old-fashioned Lilac (lavendar and very scented)
-Black-eyed Susan
-Bee Balm (red panorama shades)
-Purple coneflower
-Marigold seedlings
-Zinnia seedlings
-possibly hierloom tomato seedlings, if they grow fast enough

Hooray for spring!


Daphne said...

I could guess you had a phobia of ticks from the reaction. I react to spiders like that. I freak out when they get on me.

That must have been really hard working in the garden on Sunday. I worked in my garden until noon and then gave up. It was just too hot. At least it cooled down at night. I hate to tell you but Tuesday will be even hotter. Ick. 90s.

Pam said...

Hey Daphne! Is it even remotely normal to have 90 degree weather in April around here? It's crazy! I suppose we'll have to pace ourselves and just do what we can tolerate - fortunately we'll be there late in the afternoon - 5pm or so.

Daphne said...

Not it is not in the least bit normal. Some years we get a warm spell in the high 80s towards the end of May, but in April? We broke records this weekend with the temps in the mid 80s. One of those records was about a century old.