Above: The lilacs are just weeks away from blooming.
With apologies to California, it has been raining here for many days and our mountain has finally turned green. I am chomping at the bit for the ten day weather forecast to reach out as far as May 5, the magic “last day of frost” line in the sand for our unpredictable mountain climate. As soon as I have a handle on that I’ll know when the bulk of the summer garden can be planted.
Last year we had a hard frost in late April. The result was we had NO kiwi fruit as the blossoms did not survive, nor were there any lilacs. So far this spring things are looking up. Even the new lilac bushes that I propagated last year have buds waiting to delight. I’ve given a number of rousing pep talks to the kiwi trees and the team is ready to go for a prolific growing season.
We are busy with various projects now that the weather has warmed a bit. Cog has finished reinforcing the old wind fence that lines the north side of our garden fortress. Up here on the mountain, there is often a steady breeze, delightfully similar to the beach. But we also have 20 to 40mph sustained winds howling with weather fronts and storms that move through. It is a godsend the builder of this home thought to put the fence there to help protect the apple orchard.
Although the wind fence is getting old and leaning quite a bit here and there, we assessed it could last 2-5 more years with a little help. Cog reinforced the posts and added support to each on both sides. We filled in any holes where the bunnies had burrowed, which were our only known security breaches. It seems we are good to grow. :-)
Cog and I have added two new kiwi trees and more blueberries to the orchard inside the garden fence. Unfortunately it appears we have lost one of our veteran apple trees.
It’s turkey season for the hunters in our neck of the woods. I’m beginning to suspect there was a memo that went around alerting all those who communicate by gobbling that there are no hunters on the Cog property. The turkeys show up quite often these days and what a racket they make! I try to get in close with my camera, but usually I am left snapping images of their backsides. They are incredibly fast for two legged birds that don’t fly far.
Since posting the TIF article on Mustard last week I see mustard everywhere. While spring turned our world green this week, since nothing has yet been mowed or cut, our backyard, as well as the neighboring properties, have turned bright yellow with flowers. Containing four petals with a small florette in the middle that looks like broccoli, it is clearly mustard. Indeed, gazing around at the wild onions, rampant dandelions and prolific mustard, I realized I was walking through a fresh salad. How many times in my life have I done this without ever knowing?
Over the past weeks I have been hard at work building a small rock wall to edge the beds around the house. Our mountain has abundant beautiful white stones so supply was not an issue, only my strength and stacking skills. After weeding and mulching the beds, the landscaping portion needs only flowers added and the majority of efforts can then turn towards the main garden area.
Speaking of the garden, the strawberry patch transplant from the area where they had previously multiplied has been a rousing success. Not a single plant failed to take and I’m getting a very happy vibe from that corner of the garden.
I think there is no better way to escape from both the programming of the mainstream messages and the stream of fear projected in much of the alternative media than to find inner peace and quiet in the garden. In there I can feel the magic I think all humans were meant to tap. Perhaps each of us have a magical muscle of balance and happiness lurking just under the surface, only needing to stretch from its atrophied state to help us be complete. Who would have thought I could find that among the bugs and dirt on a mountain out here in the middle of no where. :-)