Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a flat of snow peas

Beloved and Risa pose for a family photo in the orchard.

Orchard is likely from Wort-Yard, "an enclosure for plants or herbs." Ours includes filberts, six kinds of apples, four of cherries, two of plums, and one of pears, as well as the unkempt grapevine shown behind us and the elephant garlic-bordered garden area beyond, to the right. I would like to add kiwis, more pears, and peaches. She would like to try blueberries again (they went sickly before) and raspberries (more work to maintain than we were up for). And we have lots of blackberries, but, around here, who doesn't?

During a warm, sunny hole in the wacky weather, I tore down the half-collapsed creek bridge and finally rebuilt it on pier blocks I'd bought for this so long ago that moss had grown over the blocks. Several of the antique 2X10 treads had to be retired, but most were recycled back into the bridge. The pressure treated 4X4 timbers are holding up well, though they curved over time, so I rotated them and used the curvature as camber for the new bridge

I celebrated the new bridge by dragging a mower across it, and now the whole place has been mowed, with the clippings piled on the garden, the garden tilled, and the fruit trees pruned.

We'd prefer not to mow at all, but we still don't have quite enough money for a sheep fence. So we keep and use all the clippings, as well as the prunings, wherever we can, and are thus able to avoid the neighborhood ritual of backyard burning.

I also cleaned up the potting shed a bit, and planted a flat of snow peas and a flat of mixed lettuces. The garden will need to be tilled again before these can be planted out. Already the beheaded dandelions have returned, each one sporting a jaunty yellow blossom at ground level. Cheeky!

Beloved says she is this year's primary veggie gardener, so I may be heading into trouble by putzing about the potting bench, but I couldn't resist. Our winters are long and dark. When we come away from our firesides hereabouts in March, we enter the unaccustomed sunlight squinting and blinking like so many moles ...

risa b