05 May 2007

saturday, 5 may 2007

Today we cleared, chipped, and planted. B and I started out early chipping up piles of branches that B has cleared from the old orchard. Here's a photo of the pile of chips we made. The orchard is looking loads better now.

Three weeks ago I found two ticks on my back after I'd been working outside all day. I'm somewhat paranoid about Lyme disease (I know a few people who've had it; even a mild case can be alarming), so now we are making sure we spray our legs and pants with Off and then reapplying throughout the day. This evening: Not a single tick. Wear your insect repellent!

At around two o'clock, after we'd been chipping for about four hours, B and I took a lunch break and drove to the Burger Den. And what an expensive lunch it was: Two cheeseburgers through the garden, two orders of onion rings, and two milkshakes: $26.85!? Of course, I'm the guy who still thinks that a pair of sneakers should cost no more than $20.00. Still and all . . .

After lunch, we stopped at a nursery nearby and bought two Nepeta "Walker's Low," which I will plant tomorrow. "Walker's Low" is the 2007 Perennial Plant of the Year, according to the Perennial Plant Association.

Starting at around 3:30, I worked on the thicket. The first picture here is the thicket before I got to work. The second is of a garden cart full of branches to be chipped (I filled the garden cart twice with old branches that had been piled in the orchard and eventually overrun with grapevines and raspberries; hence the thicket). The third is the used-to-be thicket. We've been meaning to get this cleaned up since 2004; what a relief to have finally gotten to it! Branches that can be chipped have been chipped, and the raspberry and grapevine branches are in a big bag to be taken to the dump. I realize I could just chip them up, too, but they seem so scarily prolific to me; I feel like a chip of a raspberry vine could turn into a whole new plant if left alone for a moment. Paranoid? Me? Surely you jest. I am a little irrational when it comes to these twiny things, I guess.

So tonight I'm tired, B's tired, and so is Dale, who we think has a cold. He's been sneezing and wheezing all day. If he doesn't seem better in the next few days, we'll take him to the vet. While B and I worked outside all day, Dale slept inside. However, when it was time to plant the Allium moly, I took him with me down near the road. Here he is watching cars while I plant the bulbs (don't worry, he's on a leash):

And finally, the Allium moly going into the ground. The instructions from McC&Z said to plant each bulb four inches deep. I poked holes into the earth and dropped a few bulbs into each. The whole area is about three feet square. I'm hoping these will spread.

Newsflash from B's vegetable garden: Peas are up, mesclun is up, turnips are up, onions are coming up, arugula is up. The potatoes, cilantro, and sweet peas are taking their time. In addition, the daffodils are out, the tamarack is needling (photos later). Spring is here!

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