garden day

we got everything done today, and then everything.  it’s been an awesome weekend. i have been feeling underwater this last week or so, like we can’t possibly get all the projects done in the amount of time that we have to do them in.  the tomatoes, peppers & eggplant that we planted in the greenhouse three weeks ago are barely sprouting; of 50-some tomatoes, 15 are up.  eggplant is okay, but hardly any peppers are up, either.  we don’t know why they’re not sprouting, and that’s distressing.  the west end of the drip system needed finished before we can plant corn/beans/squash next month, and then yesterday Alan and I went to Plants of the Southwest and allowed ourselves to buy plants for the dye gardens out back, which meant that we needed to get them all into the ground, too.  there were four flats of veggies that needed to go from greenhouse to garden (chard, spinach, lettuce & onions). 

and now?  now we are all kinds of caught up.  we planned an ambitious day with too much on it, and then got MORE done than we had planned.  whoa.  enormous hugs of gratitude to & for coming over to play in the dirt all day and make it so!

yesterday, Alan and i made space in the morning to go up to Plants of the Southwest to find half of Alan’s dye plants for the back garden (around the edge of the ritual ground).  i splurged on a few well-grown tomatoes (a Yellow Taxi, which did so incredibly well last year and have not sprouted this year, and two Rio Grande Tomatoes, hitherto unbeknownst to me), dill & thyme, hyssop, soapwort, spearmint, and a big showy yarrow for the back garden, on the verge of blooming.  Then Alan bought me an early birthday gift–a lilac!  it, too, is on the verge of blooming.  because it is impossible not to impulse-spend at the greenhouse, and because i almost never regret such impusles later, we also bought a five-gallon black currant.  i looooooove black currants.  this is a nice big plant, too.  our other two currants (the golden & the red lake) both miraculously survived their winter of neglect, and are full of leaves, so today we planted this fellow in line with them, on the south edge of the garden. 

after helping a friend move this morning, we launched into garden day extraordinare.  set about modifying the chick brooder for a much-improved lid design, while and i started in planting out the lettuce & onions, and removing all the uncomposted manure from the far north bed.  while we were at it, & showed up, and went to work in the garden with us, and on the turkey coop roof, respectively.  Jenny finished the brooder and came out to play in the dirt, and ended up doing all of the drip line work on the west end of the garden, a project that has been waiting for a month and more, and involved a ton of fiddly little drip parts (the way all large drip projects do–drip irrigation is not difficult, it’s just fiddly, and has a bunch of little parts that go just so).  She threaded emitter line through all fifty or so corn mounds all day.  I started about twelve garden projects at once, and then got back to each of them in a long looping progression through the day.  Apple planted the chard & spinach, then came out back with Alan and I to plant the dye plants in the flowerbeds.  Bronze fennel, two varieties of yarrow, coreopsis, dyer’s iceplant, rudbeckia, red hollyhocks, and a couple of medicinals, mint and milk thistle.  Robert finished the turkey coop roof, made a bill of materials for plumbing the well into the house system, and then dug holes for our two five-gallon shrubs, the lilac by the front porch, and the black currant on the south edge of the garden.  We were still playing in the dirt when he finished, so he started trenching the plumbing trench from the well’s stub-out to the place where it will enter the pump house.  I got the lavendar, rosemary & rhubarb planted, all near the north apricot tree. planted two more sets of potatoes in buckets.   Designed the drip system for the dye beds and then installed it with Alan’s help.  Planted out a whole row of onions & lettuce.  at the end of the day, i planted the rest of the herbs we’d brought home yesterday–dill in a shady spot, & thyme in a sunny spot in the garden, hyssop and soapwort in pots out front between my blooming spirea and the new lilac.  and discovered, in among the cane, the maximillians are up!

grape hyacinths in the front greywater garden:

potatoes & kale

pleasingly tall kale:

which i’m so enamored of, i’ll show it again:

green oakleaf lettuce

onions (with an Apple in the background)

our shiny new black currant bush:

bronze fennel, in the new dye bed:

yarrow and mint, rudbeckia and coreopsis:

my birthday spirea, a present last year from  (thank you!)  isn’t this gorgeous?

a lovely lilac from lovely Alan.  our yard is full of gifts!

lilac flower buds:

the new soapwort:

and the hardy maximillians from Caer Aisling, already coming up along the front fenceline.

and later in the week, for the new moon, we’ll sow more tomatoes, peppers & squash seeds, in the greenhouse. and if we’re behind again, well, it’s not the first time.  and it’s not like we didn’t try last month.  next year i might start the tomatoes in the cold frames in March, or at least under cold frame lids, where we can keep them warmer than the tall greenhouse at night.

now my knees and elbows are made of mud and i have dust in my hair (and, i think, glitter from yesterday’s party, too).  shower and bed, and back to the office in the morning.  for some reason.