Where does time go? There has been a wedding in Montreal. Which was fantastic. The food was amazing.
Winter brought rain — glorious rain. Which produced a small crop of potatoes in the compost pile. which I turned into a lovely little potato salad. The figs look like they will produce a bumper crop of figs.I planted tomatoes and artichokes and the herb garden is quite healthy. Temperatures are heating up with Summer waining. July 4th was just here, now past and moving forward. The birds and the butterflies are returning. I even saw an orange dragon fly the other day.
As I was working in the yard yesterday I kept brushing the top of my head with the branches of the Pepper Tree. I loved when we had bird feeders and so many birds in the back yard. I thought I needed to add more feeders again to attract more birds. As I was trimming the low branches about 18″ I looked above my head. I was either looking at a small bee hive or a bird nest. It looked like a nest of my indoor Finch nests. So I stopped trimming and waited. Sure enough within a few minutes two tiny birds came to the branches with some red-orange food in their beaks. It made me happy that they were comfortable enough with me standing so close to go directly to their nest.
It made me happy to know that these little guys who are smaller than my house finch are making my yard their home.
I am placing my faith in the weather person’s prediction that we will have rain this weekend. This week I received 7 bare root roses I ordered in the mail. What was I thinking — roses — you have to plant them. I am so beyond wanting to dig holes is this clay and rock wasteland. I do love roses though and my hope springs eternal that El Nino will come through with more rain after all it is only March and this is when we have rain and winds.
I also bought a Fruit Salad tree this week —
I decided to take a picture before our rains. In the past my fruit trees have set buds and then it rains and the winds blow and at the end of it, the poor tree which looked so abundant would now be naked and fruitless. It is called a Fruit Salad tree because four different variety of fruits are grafter on to one base, in this case they are all oranges. It was my intention when I went to the nursery to look for a Cara Cara Orange which is native to New Zealand. The fruit is a dark red-orange and very sweet. I saw one last year at the end of the season but I didn’t buy it, happy I didn’t for lack of rain. This year I thought I would look again. When I walked up the nursery walkway a beautiful 30 gallon tree was right in front of me. I reached over to look at the tag and to my surprise it read Cara Cara, but wait, it had more tags on it. The other tags were Washington Navel, a Late Navel and a Blood Orange.
I have had multi-grafted fruit trees in the past and have been disappointed when only one of the grafts survives. In that particular case it was a Nectarine, Apricot, Plum tree. The Plum Tree survived. One thought was there were no other fruit trees in the neighborhood. I also have a Pomegranate Tree which looked like it was dead. It came back after the last rain. It has only had two pomegranates that were about the size of ping pong balls, I could have framed them. I took a picture of the little fruit buds on it now — there are five all together. This is a picture of one.
I removed all the obstacles in the garden vegetable patch this morning. I struggled for years with raised beds, trying to containerize them: strawberries in one, tomatoes in another, kale in still another. All I was managing to do was give myself obstacles to fall over or into. I decided to take all the wooded forms out and just build up the whole area which is already surrounded by Railway ties. I also removed all the Blackberry bushes. They need to be relocated elsewhere. I put those in container pots. I had bags of soil left over from planting a Lemon and a Tangerine tree last month. I mixed them with soil that was taken from the holes for the fruit trees. I was stressing myself with thoughts of going early to the nursery on a Saturday to find pots big enough to put the roses in, their base roots are easily 12″ across. That’s when it dawned on me — I have all that planting area in the back forty that as yet had no plants and I have all this soil.
So I did what they do at the nursery with bare roots, I put them into the soft soil from the bags of compost and soil I just dumped in. Wha-la!
I remember my father planting roses in our yard when I was little — he planted them — not my mother. I remember he and my uncles putting in the fences and pouring the concrete. My mother didn’t help. She did benefit from the roses though. Beside it making a beautiful yard with probably fifty rose bushes, when he came in from working in the yard he would always bring her roses.
Before the rain we had last week I hurried and put Fish Emulsion on the roses. I was rewarded with this one. What a bright spot in our late Fall weather. I looked at all the roses. Some had buds, I was so happy. Thanksgiving would normally be the time I would prune the roses. This year I was too busy, with our Thanks giving and then visiting Son and his wife who gifted me with a beautifully fully cooked Turkey to take home. Lots of turkey.
As I looked around at the other roses, hiding in a leaf cluster I found this beauty.It is Oklahoma. I bought it in memory of my father who was born in Tulsa. I bought it only based on the picture tagged to the rose. My father had a black-red rose, Taboo, that was his favorite. I was so happy to see this rose in the morning sun shown a deep red velvet. So sweet to see him come visit.
Stretch was laying upside down in his pen this morning. I was concerned. I righted him. And I went and got Cedar chips and put them around his pen I thought it might be too wet.
It rained so hard it woke me up.
I went out later to check on him again. He was on his shell again, this time with his neck and legs extended, I thought he might be sick. That’s when I remembered this is what turtles do to warm up. The sun is out so I moved him to the center of the yard. Then I moved his enclosure. He looked like he was going to make a hasty retreat, but I got him covered in time.
He is more active than I have seen him in a long while. He is walking around his pen — probably looking for an escape route or maybe just trying to dry out.