18 March 2009

a week later I am manic with spring weather

I might have gotten more done if I'd got an earlier start, but I played on the computer (and cleaned the house - washed a load of linens, cleaned the litter boxes, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, swept floors, cooked a pot of lentil soup) till about eleven, then went to work outside. First I cleaned off the back porch. In the winter we keep the glider along the fence and stack firewood against the wall of the house. That's the kitchen wall. In the summertime the glider sits against the wall, out of the sun. I swept a bunch of leaves off the porch, rearranged the "furniture" and hauled the leaves to the compost pile.

I think our house looked especially pretty today. The red front porch is a bit startling, isn't it? We think the hummingbirds like it, and that's why we have so many every summer.

The forsythia is getting ready to bloom. I think some of its flowers will be open tomorrow. In a week it'll be glorious.

Someone built a nest in it last year.

I spent most of the afternoon pulling weeds and roots from along one section of the fence. I guess I got about a third   a quarter between a fifth and a sixth of the front fence done.

These jonquils are getting ready to bloom - I hope my digging around them hasn't disrupted their cycle too badly! Bad timing on my part.

I pulled lots of weeds and roots up, then layered sheets of newspaper and covered those with three bags of "garden soil" I'd bought at Lowe's. Up tight against the fence I planted sunflower seeds left over from last year. Under the rose I planted radish seeds, also left over from last year. Radishes like cooler weather, so that'll be okay. I think I'll spread two more bags of soil to the left of the rose bush. Then I'll plant a wildflower mix. I could easily use a hundred dollars' worth of soil just along the outside of the front fence, but, hmmm, we'll see.

Lots of work still to do. I'd like to clean the entire fence line, but I say that every year. This year -so far- I'm not working, so maybe I'll have time???

After all that work out front I went out back and started tilling the vegetable garden. I knew I wouldn't do it all, but I did want to get started. We had thunder in February, and th'Mr says that means we'll have a frost in May, so he doesn't want to plant a garden till the middle of May. In the meanwhile I'll take the opportunity to till it real well.

Can you see, there are onions up! These we planted last year. I wonder if they'll be edible this year?

Here's our tiller, much nicer than the 1968-model 8HP front-tine beast I brought with me from Tennessee eight years ago.

The mint I dug up last summer from a sidewalk in downtown Charleston WV overwintered in a pot. Today it moved to its new home, between two pine trees in our driveway. My hope is the way mint spreads, this will battle the poison ivy (and win!).

The brush pile got bigger today; th'Mr picked up some of the branches still littering the driveway (left over from last month's ice storm). Today was his first time driving since the surgeries, also his first time doing anything real physical (picking up branches). It's worn him out and at 10PM he is fast asleep. I'd like to burn this pile soon, before birds build nests in it. If we haven't picked up everything we can always start a new pile.

Before I went inside I filled all the bird feeders. Everything was empty. Here on the old clothes line are two seed feeders, a suet feeder and one thistle seed sock. By the garage are two more suet feeders and another seed feeder; by the back porch are three suet feeders and one hummingbird bottle (just hung that one yesterday), in the front yard are two big seed feeders, and on the front porch one thistle sock and two more suet feeders.

Can't wait for summer; I have to start seeds indoors too. On the left, in the clay pot niece Callin made for me when she was ten, is dianthus (we called that phlox when I was little). The other two pots contain asclepsia (butterfly weed) and euphorbia (gopher purge).

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