Monday, May 14, 2012

A Garden is Born

We had to go into town on errands, so we made it worth our while and did a bit of fun wandering. First a stop at a self serve frozen yogurt shop. I'm rather addicted to self serve frozen yogurt. I'm considering trying to figure out how to make it at home as the cost of driving in to appease my cravings cost more than the actual yogurt purchase itself. But today we had to go in anyways, so pretty guilt free yogurt indulgence. Then we browsed at Barnes & Noble for an hour or two. Now that we live outside a metro area, we have our "own" Barnes & Noble. Before I sort of split my allegiance to all the nearby (meaning, in a 100 mile radius) B&N's, but now we have one nearby enough to be our primary store. Not that I buy a lot of books there any more, but I do buy magazines there a lot. Today I got out of their without any reading material, except for a small clearance decoration.
When we first arrived a month ago I was certain we were late on putting in our garden - I had the mistaken impression that planting started much earlier here. We ran around looking for seedlings and were frustrated at the limited plants available. Turns out that it was just too early for most of them to be in the nurseries yet. We went back to a couple of them today and found eggplant and a pepper. I still want to find a few more varieties, but at least we have a bit of everything. In fact, when we got home and laid out all the plants, I discovered I'd bought a considerable number of tomatoes. Oh well, never enough tomatoes, right!?

Oh, at a lovely little shop downtown Eugene - I think it was called The Backyard Farmer?  Anyway, he had this little faery cage hanging from the ceiling.  He was using it as a chicken cage, but it's clearly a faery cage, don't you think? 

Whether it's meant to cage a faery, or for a faery to cage something else in it, that's unclear, but I'm loving the idea of creating a few of these for my own garden. 

And then, after a quick supper of potato leek soup and fresh bagels, it was time to finally plant our first garden here.  Here it is with the plants all laid out where I want them.  Since we aren't using the dog fencing for the dogs anymore, we thought we'd put it around the garden to deter the cats from using it as a giant litter box.  They're all old and they're all rather large in the poundage departments, so we hope they won't try to hard to jump over it.  This is the main garden.

And here is the second garden for larger sprawling plants like pumpkins and winter squashes.

I planted spaghetti squash and some blue potatoes.  The straw is for mulching and hopefully, knock on wood, to deter the cats.  (I've gardened in containers for so long that I haven't had to deal with animals in my garden.  Although I did noticed at the end of last summer that the oak barrels didn't stop the chihuahuas from hopping up into them.  Sheesh!)

Ginny (aka Fat Kitty) did try to check out the spread straw and I yelled at her.  Although the chihuahuas think they're free to go in the garden, they were quick to back me up and chase Ginny off.  Maggie is looking back to make sure I see what a good job she did - "See Mom, no cat!"

And here's the main garden planted with what we have so far - about a dozen tomato plants, a pepper, three eggplant, a whole lotta multi-colored chard (the six pack had about forty plants in it!) and three zuchinni.

Since it's a new garden and the soil, although we added loam and topsoil to help deter grass from coming up through the dug out area, isn't really seed ready.   So I started our seeds in the emptied out containers.

Oh, here's the main garden from another angle.  Green Mary had to leave her beautiful grape grotto at the old house, but she seems happy here for the time being, watching over the vegetables.

Fortunately I was able to find my older seeds in the mountains of boxes in the garage and I planted a few more things, until I ran out of containers.  Uhm..... probably can't remember them all, let's see.... butternut squash, sugar pod peas, pole beans, dragon tongue bush beans, mesclun both mild and spicy, a lettuce mix, canteloupe, a lone sunflower seed, patty pan squash, armenian cucumbers..... that's all can remember.  And it's too dark to go out and see if I missed anything.  I put them all in this cage to keep out marauding birds and cats.  Clever of me, yes?

I'd put it off planting this last week as the idea of working a garden from scratch, although exciting, was surprisingly intimidating.  Hubby had turned over the plot, I'd had some loam and topsoil delivered, but actually putting plants in the ground was, I know, this sounds silly, but scary! It felt so good to finally jump in get it started. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Totally Toadstools? Mostly Mushrooms?

Today was all about fungi, toadstools, mushrooms.... whatever these earthy little habitats are called. We went out intending to attend some of the Wine and Wings Festival events - hiking, talks, wine tasting. But apparently we arrived too late for most of the activities.

Here's where the wine tasting was - some of you might recognize this site.  Yep, the ol' Secret House Winery.  It's now under new owners and called the Domaine Meriwether Winery.  We arrived in the heat of the day and, because we weren't really set up to do any wine tasting, we didn't stay.

But not before I took a few photos of this wee fae condo.

Or perhaps it was a mansion for just one fae family.

In any case, it was quite grand.

We didn't end up doing any of the things we planned on doing today, instead we went into town and ran errands, where we picked up some groceries, a curtain rod for the bedroom window, and our own little fae village!

Aren't they cute?  Hard to see the size in this pic, but they're about a foot tall, plenty of room for an entire family in the two larger toadstools, the green one is slightly smaller, for a new family or perhaps a retired faery or two.    Now I just need to landscape the little neighborhood with plenty of shrubberies and flowers.