Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Red Oak House Garden Notes no. 38

That Champion Red Oak tree drops a massive quantity of leaves and I've just spent much of the last week picking these up, schlepping each garbage can load to the compost pile. Phase two of spring gardening also included cutting back the few perennials I did not trim last fall and transplanting those I'd noted in need of a different location. I'm happy that I'm home from Texas before anything here has bloomed and just in the nick of time for the always-early blossoms on our meadowlark forsythia.


Jim has removed the straw mulch from the garlic and I've removed the leaf mulch from the strawberries. He's also trimmed back the raspberries and planted potatoes and lettuce and peas and more. I've removed the bittersweet vine that the rabbits severed last winter and found more serious rabbit damage to cuss at -- will have to do something about that next fall. Lizzie, the Springer Spaniel, has done a real number on the grass this past winter, something I will need to attend to soon.



The tulips have emerged and will bloom soon, and the aspens are heavy with catkins. I'm relieved their tiny lime green leaves did not unfurl before I returned. It is dry here and we had to bite the bullet and start the sprinkler system.


The seedlings we started in the furnace room are thriving and Jim has given away all of his surplus tomatoes. He was so eager to get these planted and did so -- 25 planted Monday. I'm the more cautious gardener and wait until late in May for my flower seedlings. Because these annuals are in an unfenced area, I have to wait until the seedlings are fairly large in the hopes that the rabbits won't munch 'em.



We've eaten the first of our asparagus and it was mighty tasty.



I squeezed in some birding Saturday morning with the Bis/Man Birding Club. Here at Red Oak House, the white-throated sparrows are passing through and I am listening to the buzz of the newly arrived clay-colored sparrows. Sunday brought the first chu-bek of the Least Flycatcher. We are eager for the house wrens to return.

I've made my first run at a nearby garden center and my list included grass seed for that hammered lawn. I've also done damage assessment and two irises have died in an exposed area where I failed to mulch last fall. I should know better. I also found more damage from the danged rabbits. Jim knows when he hears me cussing out loud that it is likely at rabbits.

These are the days when most of our time is spent in our garden. We eschew meetings in retirement, but particularly during this time of the year.

For my birthday this week, Jim granted my wish and bought me this sweet Buddda for the garden, along with a marvelous trip to Adams County on a blue-sky-puffy-cloud-meadowlark-day. We devoured twist cones at the Hettinger cafe and went down many memory lanes.




"Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them." David Hume

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