Saturday, May 21, 2011

The sun appears, full-on summer has arrived

This post would enormously benefit from photos, alas, I have not taken any. It's been a bittersweet few days, on the one hand recovering emotionally from Sam's departure and on the other hand wallowing in the pleasure of sunshine after a month of rain. Please excuse the rambling nature of this post.


Within minutes of Sam's flight taking off to return him to the west coast, the sun broke through. The rest of the day and all of the next was sunny and blue-skied. Just about every lawn in the entire province got mowed in those two days. It was the background hum everywhere you went. Fields of yellow dandelions, orchards full of dandelions, all were mowed from brilliant yellow back to vibrant green. Actually I kind of miss the dandelions.

Well no I don't. I didn't mow my lawn and it is full of dandelions so I still have lots of yellow. I spent the last three days weeding, pruning and seeding but not mowing as my lawn is still soaking wet. Today was supposed to be rainy---stormy even---but I think someone must have slapped the Weatherman around a bit because all we got was one very light shower.

Two of my four garden frames are now planted. The other two have no soil in them yet so instead I have piled them high with all the weeds I pulled; I am hoping to kill them and use them in my compost. Or maybe as mulch. Anyway, a couple more sunny days should do them in and dry them out nicely.

I pruned several bushes and the lowest branches on a blue spruce so the lawn mower can get around them easier. Two shrubs are in flower right now, a forsythia and something I don't know the name of, I will wait until they have finished flowering before I prune them. Three lilacs got pruned and a bush that has no leaves yet so I have no idea what it is. I pulled up a tonne of very tall grass that has invaded the large garden area on the north side of the back yard, and deadheaded all the tulips that are finished blooming.

I wanted to prune the grape vine, but I am unsure what I can do with it. I look at the vineyards around here (this is great wine country) and it looks like they prune the vines back to almost nothing, but I just can't tell what is dead and what is alive on mine. So I will wait and see, maybe next year I'll get it right.

My neighbour has chives and lily-of-the-valley to give away, I'd like to ask her for a cutting or two of her periwinkle too. I've got some lawn patches I'd like to convert to periwinkle so I don't have to mow it (slopes, and the area under the pines). She told me that the previous owner of my place went a little nuts buying plants and sticking them in the ground.

He'd plant them and forget about them. So the place is full of stuff that has never really been taken care of, and some stuff is planted in odd places. Like the line of tulips in the grassy strip between our two driveways. It makes mowing difficult. And the plum tree on the north side of the house between two big pines, it gets hardly any sun.

There are hosta, solomon's seal, forget-me-nots, lilies and irises coming up. There's one, possibly two, peonies. Some strange flowers by the deck that I have never seen before. When they first came up I thought they were grasses, I almost pulled them out but there was something just a little odd about them.

I am watching the cedar out front closely, it does not look healthy. It was just a little bush when I lived here before, now it is tree-sized but not particularly healthy. Maybe it needs fertilizer? I don't know what its problem is. It'd be a shame to lose it, the birds like it. On stormy winter days it gives them shelter from the wind.

The horse chestnut in the back is about to flower and I believe there's a dogwood in the front. In the field beyond my yard are two trees that might be maples, but they have not leafed out yet. Which is good, I still have a view of the Minas Basin and Cape Blomidon which will disappear when the two trees are fully greened up.

While I was away kayaking last week a friend picked up a lawn mower for me that was on sale. It is still in the box so I have to assemble it before I can mow. I am planning to do that Sunday or Monday. Also get more horse manure for the two empty garden frames. And supposedly I can take possession of my own plot on the Acadia Community Farm this Sunday, although I am not holding my breath on that. Everything has been delayed by all the rain.

I haven't decided yet what I will plant at the Farm plot, but I have a lot of seed packets to try. Squash for sure, probably beans, maybe brussels sprouts. Potatoes? I want to start a herb garden but not sure yet where. I also have some asparagus and strawberries to plant, I think they will go into the big garden on the north side but first I have to take out all the grass and weeds there. I am about one-third done with that.

Thursday was such a gorgeous day! Everybody around here was in such a good mood, the first full day without any rain. It was even hot! I think we all could hardly believe our good luck, it was starting to look like the rain had moved in for good. In between weeding and seeding and pruning I also got two loads of laundry out on the line, I believe this is the first time in a month I've been able to get even one load out there.

Today I put up screens on the windows to keep the black fly out, and I am grateful that the maple in front of my west window has leafed out because it blocks the sun there. It is now hot enough to actually prefer not to get sun coming in the windows. I don't remember there being black fly in town when I lived here before, but they are certainly here now.

Can't work in the garden without a bugshirt and bugpants, but I have to take frequent breaks because it is so hot. I also have to wear rain boots because the lawn is so wet. When I was planting one of my garden frames I could hear the water running under the grass!

There is so much birdsong now too. I never used to like starlings but they are quite musical here. And of course the robins. Yesterday I heard a red winged blackbird in the field behind my back yard, that was great to hear. I love them. I don't see much of the cardinals these days but I do hear them a lot.

I watched a pair of blue jays getting it on in my maple a few days ago. They are cute together. One of them goes into the birdfeeder and gets seeds which he (she?) puts in the other one's beak. Ah, spring.

The Weatherman is still forecasting rain for the next week or so, this may only be a brief respite, we shall see. It sure has been nice though.

1 comment:

Barbara Anne said...

What an enjoyable ramble with you!

Hope you plan to put your herbs in a convenient place near the house or even on a sunny porch or deck so you can pop outside to cut some while you're cooking. We have our herbs on the deck and it's delightful to have them so handy.