Archive for July, 2011

Who am I?

Me, a good gardener?  Ha, ha, ha! LOL in text speak.  Who do I think I am? Shall I list my recent mistakes?  Let’s start with the raspberries.  I was out picking them tonight.  I moved our raspberry bed this year.  I had one, yes one, plant-an Amity-by my blueberries.  Of course, given the nature of raspberries, it spread.  It was all okay and manageable until I discovered it had spread into the neighbor’s yard.  He sprayed it and we got a little residual damage from that.  The raspberry then crept beyond it’s borders in our yard and appeared next to the house in an area I could not easily weed.  so I decided it was time to have a dedicated, contained raspberry bed.  Mitch created a lovely raised area surrounded by rock and I transplanted 3 plants.  Two were the original ones that I translocated and I added a Heritage.  Then the transplanted ones displayed herbicide damage and I brought in a Caroline, which I had wanted to plant instead of the Heritage in the first  place.  Now is the appropriate time to tell you that the bed is bordered on one side by a fence and on another by a landscape bed.  I am still able to crawl through the landscape bed.  Not so with the fence. The raspberry bed is only 2 1/3 feet wide.  Picking, however. is an issue!  Whereas the original Amity plant produced a few canes (albeit enough to satisfy my raspberry cravings), the Heritage produces so many canes it is mind-numbing. The bed is chock-a-block full of canes.  Picking through all of that to harvest is insane.  Add to that the fact that I forgot you had to look underneath to find the berries.  It was not easy.  I like easy.  And I got clawed in the process.  Obviously, I did not think this through.  I definitely should not be an authority on raspberries.  On the other hand, I am always surprised to learn that most people do not know that raspberries spread!  When I share with them that mine travelled to my neighbors yard, they truly are surprised.  Add to that that you need to support them….well.  Okay, maybe I do know a little more than the average joe, but really-would you trust my advice?

Next topic-the weather.  What is with the rain?  Everything in my yard is bowing down, and noting above, it is not in worship of me.  Perhaps, the plants are worshipping God.  Maybe they are just as tired of the weather as I am.  On the plus side, I was able to be totally lazy and watch movies all weekend and not feel guilty.  However, Sunday night I had to pick strawberries and blueberries that were ripe.  The birds got some and the slugs got others.  There were still plenty to enjoy.  I realized that I missed that harvesting, messing around.  I should have been out, just enjoying.  There were enough gaps in the rain, right?  Oh yeah, I have no idea because I was watching movies all weekend.  I did enjoy myself.  My husband and I connected and relaxed.  Nothing in the garden is dying or in ill health.  It was a nice weekend.  We finished with a nice pasta dinner, utilizing everything I had to use in the fridge plus the zucchini I had harvested from the garden.  Dessert was the berries I picked!  Yeah for local dining.  The weather has even seemed to put the pests at bay.  No spider mites!  Aphids are not a big problem.  Even the little green worms seem to not be that big a problem.  But the mildew!   Okay, maybe next week we get the warm weather that puts the mildew at bay and brings on the mites.  Here’s hoping

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A sigh of relief escaped my lips on June 19th!  On the 18th 190-230 people toured our garden.  It was a rewarding and humbling experience to talk to so many people that paid good money to see my garden as well as 5 others.  I’m glad that the Linn County Master Gardener’s had another successful garden tour.  The weather was cool and drizzly, not the best for touring gardens.  At least, we didn’t have to feel guilty about not working.  Gardeners are such wonderful people.  It is always a pleasure to mingle with them.  Very rarely will you find a cranky one and even rarer still, an obnoxious one.  Perhaps gardeners are more in tune with nature and therefore more centered.  Or perhaps, all of them like me have had our best laid designs ruined by frost, rain, deer, snails or Willamette Valley clay.  Gardening is always a challenge!  The rewards are breath-taking.  Just to be able to say, “I grew that from a seed” is uplifting and yet humble at the same time.  It’s like I’m saying to myself, “I can’t believe I actually grew this beautiful, flowering plant from a dried up, hard seed.  I just can’t believe it.  It’s a miracle.”

Back to the present, I enjoyed it but I am really glad it is over!  I actually had a day last week, when I didn’t have anything that I absolutely had to do.  Oh I had laundry that needed to be done (and I did 2 loads).  There were 1 or 2 plants I had brought home after the event that I planted.  But it was my day off and I didn’t have a list a mile long or anything that had a timeline.  It was wonderful!  I sat outside and read an e-book on my I-pad until the neighbor’s contractors and the heat forced my inside.  Tipper, my dog, and I had a most glorious day.  Mitch and I finished it off with a simple supper and a bike ride to the Pix theatre to watch “Larry Crowne”, followed by a glass of wine at Vault 244.  It was wonderful.

I worked the weekend and then came the 4th of July.  Somehow I managed to avoid any work on the 4th.  No watering at the nursery!  Mitch and I stayed home and relaxed.  We worked when we felt like it and relaxed the rest of the time.  It was an amazingly mellow holiday.  Only Tipper was agitated, by the fireworks of course.  She seems to be back to normal today.  We followed the whole day up with a productive snail/slug hunt.

Tonight I worked again at the computer.  I admit to feeling lazy.  It is hard for me to keep up my intensity at this time of year.  The beginning of summer always seems to call for embracing and celebrating freedom and partying.  I feel such a primal urge to …I’m not even sure I know what I want to do, just that I feel like I can do it! I’m free.  I want to simply loll around and breathe in everything.  This coincides with a lazy spell for me.  I fight it every year.  If I do not keep up my fortitude? my commitment? my intensity (yes that is it) I fall behind.  You don’t believe me?  If I lose more than a day or two of intensity, I fall behind a week.  It is horrible.  This year I have fallen so far behind, I fear I will not ever make it up.  I will have to (and I already have) concede many tasks that I simply cannot complete.  That is at work.  I easily concede tasks at home that I cannot complete.  I either hire them done or live with the consequences.  At least I think I have a slightly tidier house than a prostitute but perhaps only slightly cleaner.

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