Tag Archives: gardening

Cake, pies, and dirt

The chocolate cake turned out “stodgy,” as they would say on The Great British Baking Show. Dense, chewy and close to inedible, in other words. When Paul Hollywood calls a dessert stodgy, he doesn’t spit it out (the ultimate condemnation), but close. Picture a wrinkled nose and a look of pity.

We will consume it. If you pretend it’s a tort, it kind of works. Ice cream makes it tastier.

I hope my annual currant pie turns out better.

Meanwhile, the heat makes moving dirt a brutal chore. I asked the patio guys to leave us two large piles because I just couldn’t bear to see them haul it away. It keeps K up at night, but I plan to go at it, bucket by bucket.

An old pin cherry root will be installed out back. It’s been tipped over and neglected in the lilies of the valley. Now it will get pride of place. Guardian of the shade!

A nasturtium blooms. My hydrangea are reluctant to grow and half the tomatoes I bought as seedlings haven’t changed at all in four weeks. It reminds me of being twelve when I fervently wished (and wished harder) that I would keep growing. Hallelujah little orange flower!

And speaking of growth, that Rose of Sharon was nearly destroyed by rabbits last year and just look at it!

Lastly, I’m feeling that blogging is both a life line and something that could fall away nearly without notice. How can it be both things?

It occurs to me that a normal summer would have included weeks of travel, weeks when blogging did fall away, in other words. There would have been a coming back. Maybe there was something in that formula?

Just wondering.

Tidying, recomposing: inside and out

studio-dolls-deemallonVacuumed the studio today, mostly because it is soooooooooo cool in the basement now and it is so hot and muggy everywhere else. Also, about two weeks ago I garbage-picked a sweet little chest of drawers and I have to make space for it (“bye bye” to two more milk crates! well, not bye bye, they’ll be re-purposed in the garage…)
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applique-deemallonWhile cleaning up, I couldn’t resist pawing through one of my scrap boxes and composing a little foreground. I want to try an elephant a la Jude’s cats. Not the Nine Patch cats, but the free-form pieced/applique cats. This composition might be too busy for an elephant (or for anything you say!). We’ll see. It’s meant to be the cloth equivalent of doodling. Not to capture the line of a drawing as both Jude and Grace are talking about, but rather to stitch with the somewhat vacant, relaxed air that can accompany doodling: tacking down, turning edges under, or not. No big deal.
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The side yard is getting some attention this summer — in a lazy kind of way. The loss of corner lot hemlocks to disease will expose that side of our house radically in the near term. So I am trying to build up some screening (without spending any money). The Rose of Sharon was an off shoot of an existing tree. I used to think of them as ‘junk trees’ but now love how prolific and fast-growing they are (funny how plants go in and out of our favor, isn’t it?) The sedum were split last summer. Hosta, astilbe, mini-iris came from crowded places elsewhere in the yard. The whole thing is a bit of a challenge for two reasons — one is that my neighbor’s plow guys shove snow here — I’ve lost two shrubs in the last two years on account of that (another reason not to spend money).
currants-deemallonThe other is the black walnut (the big trunk on the right) — some plants don’t take kindly to a toxin produced by its roots. I’ve learned that the hard way and now keep a list on my phone for easy access while at the garden center (oh what did we do before smartphones?!!)

One of these years (not this one) I will make good on the promise of those walnuts and dye fabric with them. Or eat them.

continuing, growing, editing, waiting and one finished thing

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gluing

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hanging, waiting

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one finished thing, using clay beads I made in high school in my mother’s art room

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considering – hat, hair okay, but new body needed

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resurrecting and basting BEECHES phototransfer, printed years ago

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dangling, blooming

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offering green, green, and more green

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resembling a monster

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neatening, editing

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getting slippers dirty

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gazing up at dead branch overhead

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smiling, waiting for prompts

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texting, waiting for prompts

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surviving unseasonably cold temps

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organizing

 

How does your garden grow?

How lovely to fight solar glare at drop-off today!  It’s a real circus, drop-off is.  Students coming and going, lugging backpacks, strutting their uggs (girls), nearly losing their pants (boys), drivers pausing, then not pausing, inserting themselves, waiting, then not waiting, the U driveway, the crosswalks, the parking lots, left and right — it’s a big ole mess, and not the least bit so because many behind the wheel are brand new drivers (and teenagers, to boot).  So, when you add blinding sun, it is always a cause for caution and concern.

But, today I said, “Yippee”, because who can’t use a little sun at this point?!

Raking recently, I made an interesting find.  Not a soccer ball or hockey puck — though I find plenty of those.  In fact, I have long maintained that the thing I grow best are balls (GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER).  I refer, here, not to my male progeny, or my own lizard brain’s tendency toward aggression, but to the propensity for all manner of recreational balls to land in my perennial beds.  Baseballs and whiffle balls from my baseball-crazy neighbor, soccer balls from my boys and two kitty-corner neighbors, kick balls that crossed two fences from the schoolyard behind us, tennis balls from god-knows-where, and lacrosse balls, which can be blue, yellow, or white.


And, as trees have ‘drip zones’, I have long been aware that D.’s second-story window has a ‘launch zone’, in which I am STILL uncovering various objects like Playmobil pirates, Legos, and things so wrapped in duct tape I have no idea what they are.


But, imagine my surprise when I unearthed C.’s missing RETAINER in the beds by the driveway!!!  It has since been replaced (at a cost I won’t reveal because I don’t want to lose my breakfast), but nevertheless, it truly felt like the boys’-toy-garden-turned-treasure-trove and surely will go down in family lore, along with the story of K.’s father going through reams of garbage to find HIS lost retainer some 40 years ago.

Off to work we go

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The jack hammering I was soooo grateful was over, is not (four doors down, audible even with all the windows closed)  So, off to work I go — to this site, where I will try not to slip as I dig and try not to send too many pots tumbling down to the road as I go.

I have filled several empty perennial pots with rocks already — confirming that old saying that the best thing we grow in New England is rock!  (well, alright, maybe it’s a saying that I made up — but it OUGHT to be an old saying).

In the back of this property, the garden I installed last year grew so well and so fast, that I am adding extra inches between these pots!