Saturday, June 15, 2019

Falling Down on the Job, Catching Up

I want to apologize for not posting for a very long time. I'm sure you were all on pins and needles waiting for this post! Ha! But anyway, it has been a very busy Spring, and the days fly by. I want you to know I really enjoy following your posts, even if I don't keep up with mine. The long winter was really a beautiful season for me, but for some reason, really slowed me up. I'm gradually catching up, but it is already June 15 and I am still planting the garden! There were still moments to appreciate though and the Spring, although quite cool and wet, has been beautiful.

The flowering crab trees were over two weeks late this Spring and didn't fully bloom until Memorial Day. But the timing was at least appropriate for the day.

I had good luck, for a change with these tulips on the north side of the house. They are called "Apeldoorn." You might notice I don't clear the leaves and debris off my flowerbeds. Eventually they look better and it seems to help build up the topsoil.

The lilacs were also pretty late but didn't disappoint at all. They are just the old "prairie" lilacs that my parents planted here in rows as a wind-block. There are also a few white ones.

For the past 12 years or so, I've taken care of the flower beds at the wayside rest in Eagle Bend, MN. I've enjoyed doing it, but think it's now time for someone else to take it over. I'm only (!) 64, but I don't want to become one of those people who can't let go and are unwilling to hand things over to others with different ideas and newer hands. I think that is what kills small towns, when younger people aren't brought into the discussions and planning, and encouraged to use their skills. Here are the little beds in front of the eagle statue. It's really a beautiful park, and we have a couple others in town also.

A lot of bird life has been a feature of these days. Sand-hill cranes are keeping busy. They were scouting out the straw pile by the garden here.

Indigo buntings and rose-breasted grosbeaks were new to the farm this year. I think they've left, and hope the red squirrels didn't chase them off. 

Of course, you have to have wild turkeys. I'm glad they feel at home here.

This spirea, I think it's called "bridal wreath" is really looking good, but I've had some winter-kill on the others.

The best smelling blooms now are from the wild plum. It has really multiplied all over the edge of the woods here.

This week I put these herbs, dill, chives, flat-leaf parsley, and 2 kinds of sage into this old galvanized feeder bucket. It is sitting by the back door, in hopes I'll use them more. I've also planted more dill, fennel and basil in the garden. Tomorrow is the day to get the beets, Armenian cucumbers, and onions in. I have to pull the plug and finish the garden. There are more clean-up and maintenance issues inside and out, and you just have to quit while you're ahead.

Do you remember reading and memorizing this poem in grade-school? It has always left an impression on me, an incurable sentimentalist:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below..." -John McCrae

One of my problems is I am overly sentimental about this place, the farm, my parents and grandparents, and these daisies represent that sentimentalism. Normal people would have probably mowed this long ago, but I've let them bloom. Unfortunately that makes more work later in the week when this has to be all mowed down. But, really, aren't they worth waiting for?

The girls committed a health and safety violation last night by relaxing at the kitchen table, but I chose not to impose any penalty. If you have animals, I hope you give them an extra measure of kindness. Have a good week, and I hope to post more often. Good night. Phil