Sunday, June 14, 2009

Weekly update

What a week (or two...) it has been! My parents and my brother were in town for a visit. We don't all get to see each other very often, and when we do, we do a lot of our visiting while fixing house parts. This trip included replacing the old, rusting sewer pipes that were making our basement very damp and a little smelly. We also installed an attic ladder that enables us to easily get to the roof. Before it involved hauling the big ladder from the basement and percariously balancing it on the edge of the roof hatch, now I just pull on a little handle and a ladder appears! The only issue I have found so far is that I have to cover the opening once I am up there because one of the kitties like to try and come up to visit. And now on to the garden.

We are still getting a lot of rain, which apparently is making up for our winter precipitation shortfall, but at least now, the days get to be 75-80 degrees instead of staying in the 60s. This has helped alot of stuff finally take hold. The beans and squash planted along the left fence are finally looking like plants. The beans are climbing up their "dreamcatcher" and I'm dreaming of fresh green beans! The flowers are taking hold too. The nasturtiums are going NUTS! There are spots of yellow, orange, coral and red all over the yard. A few of them were crowding each other, and my mom transplanted them in between other plants so they all have more space to fill out. One thing I did not know about nasturtiums is that they will climb. They are currently sharing the trellis on the right with the peas! They don't seems to be hurting each other though, so I figure I'll let them go. And speaking of peas. I picked a dozen pods! I have to make rice so I can use them in a pilaf since there really aren't enough for dinner yet.

In the bottom right corner you will notice all the buckets. They have tomatoes and peppers lovingly transplanted by my mom, waiting to be moved to the roof deck. While my mom was helping my dad install bathroom pipes (the other project this trip) my brother was up on the roof screwing down deck boards. He doesn't get to build a whole lot in his tiny apartment in Paris, so he wanted to use some tools and see a project finished while he was here. It looks great! I can't wait to get the plants up there. I have to wait until I get bird netting though. We put a bucket up as a test for where the bottom rail needed to be, and when we went up the next morning, the birds had clipped all but two leaves off. I hadn't planned on the deck this year, but now that we have done it, I am really excited to see how many tomatoes we will get. I need to rig up a way to get water up there easily, and a few other details, but there will be updates about those later.

The tiered corner is really filling in. The lettuce, cucumbers, herbs and flowers have made a nice surround for the birdbath. I haven't had much time to sit and watch for feathered visitors this past week, I'll have to make some this week!And finally, the lettuce. I have planted it in years past, but somehow it never seemed to work out. This year however, we have been eating almost as much salad as we can stand, and the lettuce just keeps coming! In the back bed it is filling in around the squash plants. I need to start a new run so that when this bolts we will still have lettuce. You will also note that the bok choi is gone. It was yummy! We had it stirfried with garlic and a little oil. Replacing it is Swiss chard which had been thined from one of the window boxes in the tiered corner. I will need to put some more bok choi nearer to the end of the summer when the flowers are starting to fade.

ba dee ba dee... ba dee ba dee... that's all folks!

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