I realized today it’s almost been two months since I’ve blogged anything about the yard! There is a really good reason for this, namely that I’ve spent the last few weeks tinkering, not working as intensively, but sitting back and just soaking it all in. I wrote in my journal a few weeks ago about how when I am there and just listening, sitting, sipping iced tea, reading, the world just disappears and time seems to slow down around me (the problem being it seems to speed up around everyone else!).
I’ve yanked a lot of the vegetables out already. The peas didn’t perform very well and about five days ago I realized that they’d all but dried up, so I pulled them up at took out the cedar stakes. The house plants on the “writing desk” now “expensive but functional plant stand” are all doing what they should: waxy green leaves and lush new growth. The few plants I inherited are slowly starting to come back to life. Took out more carrots, the last of the beets (which didn’t perform well either), three new radishes (which are going to end up as compost I fear), and am watching the onions that may not make it to the frost. Then again, I did plant them about a month ago so they might over winter.
I had about an hour and a half today and was wanting to mow the grass after collecting veg and some seed from the amaranth (btw, if anyone wants some seed for this incredible Hopi food dye, let me know. I suspect I’m going to have oodles of seed once I’m done collecting.) except that I was once again swarmed.
Swarmed. By mosquitos that don’t care that I’m wearing one of the highest most toxic content repellants along side one of those con fangled insect repellant pagers. I don’t ever remember them being this small, this aggressive, or this much of a pain in the ass! I have a routine where I show up at the house, enter the garage, spray on some repellant, go back out, and start watering. As soon as the water hits the ground the start to swarm up, hungry, angry. I’m a meal! I mean, I’ve heard about payback and sharing with the natural world, but these guys are painful! And I should know pain! The end of July a wasp came and landed on the back of my neck and took a chunk of skin out of my neck. That hurt, but it didn’t hurt enough for me to moan. These mosquitos just make it more pleasurable to stay indoors.
A friend from Facebook posted something to do with fall that made me shudder and swear, until I read through it. It said something about the beautiful fall colours in the leaves, the pumpkins, the warm autumn nights, being able to wear sweaters again, and the mosquitos all die and go back to hell where they belong.
The other thing that happens when you sit and read and contemplate is you realize that as you begin to dig, things change and morph around you. I’ve spoken about how the garden takes on a life, a spirit of it’s own, and the gardener becomes a part of that spirit–a co-creator–rather than a distinct and separate part. I’m realizing that where I dug flower beds is only the beginning, that to capitalize on the full sun and the pond I need to surround it with flower beds. Which means that September will bring two big jobs: digging a lot more grass out, and mowing out the compost pile so I have something to cover the perennials that already went in. Along with that, the vegitable garden either has to shrink because of the spruce trees in the west part of the yard, or move forward either closer towards the pond or right into the front yard. But there’s got to be a driveway put in first, and winter, and lots of time to think and plan and plot about ways I can reduce the amount of mosquitos in my yard.
I will say this: sitting in the cool of the evening, watching as the dragonflies in mid and late July came out to feast, then later and now the bats (which I’m very fond of), there are some upsides to having so many of the little pests around. I’m just not liking the not being able to be there without having to swat.
Next blog post: the hash pipes and beer cans that keep appearing in my yard from next door.