Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bathing beauty

I've been almost too busy to bother with the camera, but I did manage to catch a few of my backyard denizens doing their thing in my backyard.

Maybe once things calm down, I will be able to capture some better up-close-and-personal shots, but these will have to do for now.

This is the third year for my tulip tree, and it is looking better - leafier and maybe taller.

And it is a decent year for the climbing rose as well.

More bloomers coming on:  Keys of Heaven, yarrow, viburnum, Jethro Tull.

I have started to enjoy the strawberries (Oh. My. God.  Nothing beats a fresh strawberry still warm from the sun) and soon we will have snap peas.  The first planting of green beans are up and the pototoes are starting to blossom. 

Re the latter, a few days ago I mulched the potatoes with straw.  The next day Betsy Beagle acted as though there were something in that there straw.  I poked around but could not scare up anything.  I hope-hope-hope it is not field mice, poised to ruin the crop.

All transplants are in the ground except for the calendula.  The pumpkins and squash and cukes have been planted as well.  For hills, I dug a hole for each, filled the holes with composted manure and blood meal, then covered with the dug up soil.  I have not had very good results with cukes and zukes the past few years, so maybe this will help.

While I was at Lowe's buying composted manure and straw, it occurred to me that urban gardening is a lot more expensive than rural gardening.  When I lived in the country, I kept chickens and we mowed a couple of acres around the house, so I never needed to buy fertilizer or mulch.  I bought seeds at the local Ace Hardware, where they were available in bulk, which is an odd way of saying you could get a teeny tiny scoop of whatever instead of having to guess whether a packet was enough/too much.  We had outdoor cats, so no need to protect the garden from rodents; the dog discouraged the deer.  The chickens helped with insect pests, too.  I miss that feeling of interdependence.

One more bird observation before I go:  finches and/or sparrows have been dining on thyme seeds from the herb pot on the patio.  I've never seen that before.

1 comment:

ErinFromIowa said...

Speaking of urban I live in downtown Des Moines. Saturday afternoon a large bird flew past my third floor apt window. It landed on the roof of a two story house across the street. It sat there and preened and looked around for a good ten minutes. It was a turkey vulture!