Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Garden Coming Along

Fashionable garden wear...bright blue sneakers, green sweatpants, brown winter jacket topped off with an orange knit cap.  I think the crew foreman (lower right in the picture) approves!
Chapter Two of "Let's Build a New Raised Bed Garden on the Property, Just Because..."  went smoothly this past weekend here at Blooming Hill, thanks in part, to sunny, cooperative weather that left no excuse for staying in bed.  It was time to get up and  dig, dig, DIG!  Even though we could use some of that rain that keeps passing us by for any and all points north, south, east and west, the ground is nice and soft thanks to the mild temperatures this month.  Of course, the sun is beating down and the ground can only hold on to moisture for only so long, even during these wonderful spring days.   Nevertheless, the prodigal son was up and working on his last spring break day, alongside Peter, making for quick, but not so easy garden work.

As you can see, the raised forms were assembled from pretreated wood and the center diamond was cut out while the back bordering bed along the garage wall was taking shape throughout the morning. After lunch, pea gravel was being shoveled into place.  Lovely wide spaces between the six foot by six foot raised beds will provide room for plenty of "garden gawkers" to lollygag and enjoy the rows of lavender to the left as well as the fountain garden to the right.  I think this will be an especially nice place to sit a spell in the morning and evening before and after the heat from midday.  This garden is reminiscent of the herb garden on the other side of the house that is attached to the greenhouse and parterre making a nice balance all the way around the house perimeter.

Meanwhile, I was inside baking (Pennsylvania Dutch) crumb pie for the prodigal son to take back to school with him.  Just a little bribery to help move this college student along when it comes to garden work before hitting the road.  Some of you may know a variation of this recipe as "Shoo-fly Pie." It's a mixture of sugar, butter, flour and molasses and then a little more sugar, flour, butter and molasses thrown in for good measure and is just one more of those ethereal Rinek recipes you have to marry into the family in order to acquire it's true, culinary secrets  (see Nana Mitchell's Christmas Cakes).  And, if you have any concerns about your elevated cholesterol, you may want to steer clear of this but it is certainly tasty and most certainly sticks to your ribs and way easier to make than Nana Mitchell's Christmas Cakes!

Of course, there is always time for a little break, even if the foreman of the crew is watching every move one makes.  It has been said "in order to be a gardener, one must have a cast iron back with built in hinges."  However, it is spring break, for heaven's sake...cut him a break!

All in all, the new raised bed garden now is in place. Next week, the six-foot by six-foot squares will be dug out and composted manure and fresh, rich soil will be put in for planting.  Even though it looks as if it will be a sun-dappled garden under the nearby trees stretching their branches in this early spring sun, by May, this garden becomes a full sun garden through the summer.  In any case it will be lovely.

What?!...It's break time again?!  Just because there are three crumb pies doesn't mean there are three breaks so it was back to trimming and pruning the lavender bushes.  No rest for the weary around here and even the crew foreman had to be reminded of that.  We will miss you, Kevin, but when you come home again, the garden will be planted and the lavender blooming and you can enjoy, along with us, the fruits of your labor.

1 comment:

  1. Cyndie, I think we need you to come for a visit and plan our garden! (I might also need your recipe for the pies...) My husband just informed me that he plans to build a raised garden bed this spring, and I have no idea how much soil (and manure?!?) we will have to buy to add to our humble compost.
    And did I mention that Spokane is called "the lilac city" and has a lilac festival in late April/early May every year?