I did not have a single massage appointment today. There are lots written in the book, and then crossed out. There was one that just stood me up. This does not mean I didn’t do any work, though.
Jim had some stuff on his agenda already. He had to go plane a board for rockers and help Jay load a chair in his truck. So, while he was gone I got busy out in the vegetable garden. We decided that today was the day we were going to add our soil amendments and mulch everything. We have been waiting and waiting for our customized fertilizer mix to come, and finally we gave up on them and went and bought the components for what we need, which wasn’t very much really, and distributed it over the vegetable garden beds.
We enjoyed a perfect day, partly cloudy with almost no breeze at all, temperatures warm but moderate. Since it was a perfect drying day, I did a load of laundry and hung it out.
We both saw the thrasher family bustling about the place. The parents have two chicks following them around. They really haven’t “got it” yet, and still receive all their food from the beaks of their harried parents. But there’s lot to eat out there, and it won’t be long before they are hunting for themselves.
I have to say the vegetable garden is looking splendid. Jim finally finished the rest of the flagstone paths, and they are a joy to walk on. Not only do I have a fairly weed free substrate between the beds, I also have my very own reflexology walk at the same time.
You need to take note of the asparagus, which is in the upper left corner of the above picture. This year it has gotten well over six and a half feet tall. Jim built a fence on the north to keep it from falling all over the paths. It works great.
Look at that broccoli! I peeled back the row cover in order to weed, add the soil amendments, and harvest the heads that have formed in the last week. I am including a close-up of one of the heads I picked today. The following photo is of a secondary head that formed after I harvested the main head last week. Notice how the leaves are succulent and not full of holes. That is because the row cover makes a physical barrier between the brassica and the cabbage looper butterflies. No eggs fall on the plants, so no little worms eat them to lace.
So, in addition to the soil amendments getting added, I weeded all eight garden beds, including the asparagus. That situation had gotten way out of hand. I used some mulch last winter for that bed that was not ready at all, and I got every kind of weed there is on the place coming up in the asparagus bed. It was quite a meditation to weed it, as I ended up crawling down the middle of the four foot wide bed between the two rows that are on each side. I was able to reach through the asparagus to weed out all the little infant grasses much more easily from the center. Above my head I could hear the hum of many busy bees and wasps, who were thoroughly enjoying the asparagus blossoms.
That one is a honeybee. Notice the bright orange pollen all over his pollen sacs. There were bumble bees and paper wasps and tachnid wasps and mason bees too.
After we got the soil amendments spread, we spread nice (hopefully clean) straw mulch all around the tomatoes, corn, melons, cucumbers, squash, chard, and beans. I’m too beat to go back out there and take a picture of it the way it looks now.
I also cleaned out the garden beds in front of the house, getting rid of all the spent foliage from the daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, irises, colchicums and any unfortunate weeds that crossed my path. The yucca is putting on quite a display today.
You may notice the vineyard in the background of that picture. Also, to the left of the yucca are a couple of my day lilies, which will start blooming any week now.
I was absolutely stunned by the lilies out front. They are really going to town. The next picture is a perfect comparison shot of the difference between an oriental lily, a day lily, and an asiatic lily. That is what is in the following shot, in that order. The oriental lily is the tall gangly thing on the left. It will be blooming in a few weeks. The day lily is in the middle, and it already has begun blooming. This particular day lily is a lovely pale yellow, and you cannot discern its blossoms in this picture, they are hiding behind the oriental lily. The blooming show offs on the right are some asiatic lilies that came to me in a naturalizing mix. They have done splendidly, and propagated themselves lavishly. In front of them all is my patch of costmary.
I picked another bouquet that you can only have if you are a gardener.
Last, but not least, I must post this photo I took at our dinner table this evening. We enjoyed a sumptuous repast of garden greens in a salad with marinated sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and bleu cheese dressing served next to home made spicy indian meatballs in tomato puree. Jim got one of the bottles of the Marechal foch wine from 2008 out of the cellar. As I was enjoying the last bit of it after dinner, the sun came pouring through the north window and illuminated the wine. I got this picture, and I think it just about has it all: the color of the wine, the sun refracted through the glass, the reflection of the pergola outside on the surface of the wine.
Now, if you don’t mind, I believe I shall go take a nice bath with lavender and rosemary and peru balsam oils in it.