Monday, 1 May 2017

Spring Garden and Life In General Update

Oh look! It's a sign of life! Here, I mean. The garden is full of them and has been for a while. Above is our spinach, which spent the winter under plastic and is at its peak right now.

Well when the lights go out here, it's usually a sign that things have taken a turn towards the soap opera-ish, and that is indeed the case. Two weekends ago, we took my mother-in-law and her housemate down to Windsor where they will be moving in June. They've been thinking about this for a while, but were not planning to move until the fall or next spring. However, exactly the unit they want came available, and they have been struggling more and more with the fact that this house and its location are much less than ideal for them as their health deteriorates, and they are both having to face the fact that it really is. That's a lot of work suddenly dumped into spring planting season, but okay.

However, we came home to a message that my father's partner Trevor fell on Saturday night and broke his hip, and spent the night on the garage floor. By the time I called he was in surgery, and he seems to be about as okay as you can expect, but this is certainly a spanner in the works.

Add in a long trip to Toronto with MIL (for a medical appointment that gave her bad but not unexpected news), that involved passing the worst car crash I have ever seen in my life and a forgotten vital item that had to be shipped down by taxi at great expense, along with the failure of my back-up hard drive which took with it only one file, but the one most vital for me to keep this blog organized and happening, and things have been exasperating all around, and what's more I don't see it clearing up for at least a month. So, while I have a few posts in the works, things will continue to be pretty quiet on the blogfront.

 Earliest peas are planted and mostly coming up nicely. There are a few gaps, because we planted some older peas that we are going to leave to go to seed and they were not particularly new, most of them. This is the year we are going to do lots of seed growing, plant breeding and so forth, because we won't need our usual amount of saved vegetables next winter. We hope.

That's because we have decided that we want to go to Spain for 3 months and walk the Camino de Santiago again, on the route from Seville this time. We are a little nervous that family crises will prevent it, but we figure we are not getting any younger or fitter, so now is the time to do it. In addition to everything else on the agenda this summer we want to start doing a lot more walking in order to get ready. I'm not sure how this will affect the blog, but it's fair to say it definitely will.

The other items on the agenda this summer include finishing gravelling the garden paths. Mr. Ferdzy has made a good start on them already. Also I'm making good progress on getting a weedy, disastrous bed re-dug and cleaned out. In between, we are both working on ripping out our big bed of strawberries. They are supposed to be moved every 3 years and that one has been there more like 6 years. Oops! The old strawberry bed will then have the asparagus moved in, and the old asparagus bed will be grassed over.

That's part of our intention to downsize the garden a fair bit. We have to concede that as we have gotten better at growing vegetables, it produces (in most cases) more than we need, and even more importantly we just can't keep up with maintaining it. Especially if parents are going to persist in getting older and it sure looks like that's the plan.

We've been moving a lot of things around in the garden generally; that's the new gooseberry and currant bed above. The old one was old when we moved in, 8 or 9 years ago or whatever it has been, and it too will be removed and grassed over at some point.

A side view of the garden. The dandelions have just bloomed in the last few days so it is time to plant potatoes. Our spinach and earliest peas are the greenest things in the garden at the moment.

In spite of the fact that it was a mild winter the leeks look pretty ratty; worse than usual. That's because the deer broke into the garden late winter and ate all greenery standing: the Swiss chard, the Brussels sprouts, the cabbage and cauliflower greens, and the leeks. They have never eaten the leeks before! Either they were particularly hungry or we have an adventurous gourmet deer in the herd. Annoying either way. However, they are recovering and carrying on. As are we all; what else is there to do?

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