Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm tired a lot of the time, whether that's the comfortable physical exhaustion of "just raked up and hauled 15 gallons of camellia petals back to the fledgling compost pile" or the less comfortable emotional exhaustion of being lonely and wishing my stuck-in-another-time-zone roommate could come home. But the year keeps moving, and things keep growing, whether I have the energy to properly pay attention or not.

The asparagus is determined to live, and I am rooting for it.

Three of the four pear varieties on the tree are blooming by now; this picture was taken a few days ago when the very first buds were unfolding.

And the central trunk of my pie cherry is blossoming as determinedly as it knows how.

I'll be removing the spent blossoms from all the fruit trees this year, so the plants focus on getting established instead of trying to find the energy for fruit. It feels like there's a metaphor in there somewhere, maybe for coping with depression, maybe for the first year of homeownership, maybe both. Whatever, it's a metaphor with room for cherry blossoms. That makes it a good one.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

not the lawn you're looking for

You get a tremendous amount of spam in your physical mailbox as a new homeowner. Among the predatory attempts to get involved in my mortgage payments and the "no really this is economical" brochures from companies that want to sell me oil for the furnace I'm replacing, the one that has bemused me most was one from a lawn service company, which might be the most impressive piece of scare fluff I've seen outside of Faux News.

Your lawn isn't the only thing growing right now, it warns on the outside. (I should hope not, given the amount I've spent this year in both money and time to establish new species.) Inside the envelope, the contents get more explicit, but only slightly: Weeds are a serious threat to your lawn right now. That's in bold and set off like a headline, so obviously it's important. Right? The text beneath talks about weeds "such as dandelions" doing their best to "stake a claim" on my yard, and exhorting me to "fight back." It doesn't go into details about what the dandelions will do with their seized territory, but presumably it's something nefarious. Maybe they're in league with the terrorists.

But fear not! With the help of this noble-spirited lawn company and their Science, my lawn can be saved! And it'll only cost $29.95 for the lawn's "first application." No details on the application, either, but if it has an essay question I have doubts about my lawn's ability to get accepted.

In case I haven't been swayed yet, the flyer attempts peer pressure. Over 30 of your neighbors already have [our product]. What are you waiting for? Apart from the fact that if 30 of my neighbors jumped off a bridge that would not, in fact, be a good reason for me to jump.... Either these guys are very creative in their definition of "neighbor" or their SCIENCE isn't as effective at promoting monoculture as they insist it is: all the yards I can see from my own are playing host to The Fluff-Seeded Menace right now. Good gods, the whole street is in league with the forces of evil!

I think of the company every time I hack up another square foot of grass to make room for herbs or berries or something. Not only am I failing to properly secure my borders against the evils of WEEDS, I'm sabotaging the grass itself. Suddenly I'm not just planting things that I want to grow, I'm attacking the very foundation of Proper Lawns, vandalizing the great symbol of homeownership. Nothing like a little illicit activity to get the blood pumping and the energy up!

So thanks, lawn guys. You've added a lot to my yard-tending experience, without any applications at all.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

if you have any spare patience, please send it my way

So Minter's is still there! And likely to be in the Renton location through August, as of talking to them yesterday. After I walked around for a while wearing Earl-the-kitty as a scarf, I found some things that clearly I still needed. Since my existing plantings aren't doing things fast enough. er.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tiny as they are, these guys are thinking about blooming! Pear first, then peach. What pretty little things.

The fig might be joining them (I mean, I hope it is, given its maturity). It's such a pretty time of year.

Friday, April 11, 2014

springing all over the place

I might have gotten a bit carried away taking pictures yesterday afternoon. But it's so nice outside! And things are waking up and getting excited!

The pear starting to unfurl! Looking forward to seeing the actual leaves come forth. (The Ubileen branch is budding along with the others, though it remains slower.)

My phone for some reason thought the grass was the important part of this shot, rather than the plump little cherry leafbuds. Not as smart as you think you are, phone.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


No pictures today, because I didn't think to take any while I was working last night, but what a beautiful day yesterday! Mostly sunny and high around 70. I got home from work with enough light left to hoe the back bed, turn in a little compost, plant garbanzo beans and two kinds of potatoes, put together my new lawnmower, and get my goumi into the ground. The poor thing wanted to get out of that pot a year ago; I think there were more roots than dirt in there. Hopefully it will adjust well to its new spot (and the bees doofing around the garden will come investigate while it's still blooming).

Monday, April 7, 2014

I might have a problem

I don't think I'm patient enough for this plant-growing stuff. I keep going to grab more things and stick them in the dirt when the existing ones aren't doing things yet. (did you know garbanzo beans come in black? now you do.)

Have some photos from this past weekend:

Frankenpear! I am a little worried about this guy. Ok, not about this part exactly, but you see all those nice fat buds getting ready to open?

Here's a different angle where you can see the one branch (up front) that is lagging way behind. It's the variety that got grafted on right at the top, and I suspect that means it's getting the last share of nutrients coming up from the roots, so it's a little slow and sad. This winter I will have to read up on caring for combination trees and keeping varieties in balance. (The apple has the opposite problem; the Gravenstein branch wants to outperform all the others.)