The last couple of weeks have been rather ‘surreal’ as I play out seeing delayed, maybe never delivered orders placed around first of March hang up in limbo – all while the ‘forecasted blizzards/snow’ just really haven’t panned out, here, AND a graze of green growing prairie grasses have really just taken off in the past two weeks and I realize – if we don’t get a few more spring storms – alas, I’m already behind the curve/8-ball, if you will – – thinking I was ‘playing it safe’ by not diving in on gardening purchases/activities during our usual “Fake Spring” weather – –
I drove 100 miles round trip today, to stop at 3 places, to pick up supplies, for those who let me order online, pay and pick up OR those who never stop with emails telling me ‘to order now!” then announce ‘delivery/order online & pickup options” changes their website some Sunday afternoon and the order I spent hours… no, days…to get infrastructure in place items, as I looked at what I could afford, played out in face of runs on stores, hoarding, transportation/inventory delays, whatever –
I missed the ‘buying boat’ on some things, and ‘caught the boat on others’ by showing up – but seriously? Switching to ‘in-store’ only purchases instead of just saying, “out of stock, sorry Charlie’ had me grousing yesterday afternoon – what, they gonna check my ID to see if I’m a local or what?
This is for TOP SOIL in bag size I can throw around by me self to load/unload/put in place – mind you –
And so, I rather got ‘er done today, via online, visit another store that doesn’t have online/pick up in store, but was on the way and WALLA! Scored without wiping out stock for others, and one more stop to ‘pick up online’ order that had one only, instead of the 2 I was allowed to get, or smaller size/higher price substitution, of same thing, for those little luxuries that haven’t run out completely yet – like cheese, baking soda, milk, raisins and mustard…to name a few…
Guess I can let go of my A1 steak sauce preference –
Since couldn’t find where I stopped (limit stops, just get what you really need, or think ya need…) I will learn to either make homemade that I like, or go without – seriously, I’ve been told for years given the good meat I get from local ranchers, that putting A1 on it is just a crying shame and I should be flogged over the blasphemy – and yet, I can’t quite just work myself up to take a swig of it straight from the bottle when the ‘craving hits’ – so – there ya go –
I’ve learned how to live without Mike & Ikes, on purpose, I can do this, out of necessity, me thinks – 🙂
Did I get everything I wanted?
Nope, but that’s okay – I got what I really wanted to build for future local food operations – like right out my kitchen door….
Did I leave some ‘luxuries’ in the shopping cart, while assessing budget needs? Yup –
I bought 1 box of generic Ginger Snaps and 1 pack of Oreos – one for me, one for the man-child, as…yup, I’m rather busy wanting to do other things, have never really gotten the hang of baking cookies in the toaster oven (long ago, I had a full range and one day every 3 months or more was given over to ‘cooking baking, freezing for future desires/school thingees no one let me know about until 11 pm the night before operations…).
I didn’t hoard, I didn’t buy bulk, I paid more for the substituted smaller size, and yet, still spent less money because the time between putting in the cart, placing the order, and then going to actually pick it up meant quite a few things were substituted and/or no longer available –
Okey dokey – but I got what I needed – top soil to mix with stuff I already have, to build new garden beds –
So in my world, it’s the top soil, responsibly made, near crisis of Spring 2020. Or perhaps the baking powder/cream of tartar crisis? Who knows – but – alas, I needed to restart and maintain a sourdough starter anyhoo – so there ya go – 🙂
Now for the FUN stuff!
Spring has Sprung in the past two weeks –
I arrived home with a few t-posts, a small roll of garden area fencing, and top soil to mix with compost/local offerings, hoarded supplies of cardboard that no one else wanted anyhoo, so I can get ‘going’ on finishing out the south side ‘cottage garden’ area – –
As I walked around to assess stockpiles of straw bales, wood mulch (local), cardboard that has weathered in the destroyed ‘insta-shed’ that had a ‘big hunk of dead tree removal fall on it a couple of years ago….), I found myself walking right back into the house to grab my camera – because a fellow blogger, Green Bench Ramblings, sparked my ‘oh, why don’t I do that more regularly’ creative spirit with his post sharing his garden journal/how he does it.
And so, I give you, the Colorado End of March, 2020, Journal….
First injury of the garden fiscal year was incurred today – was busy loading/bucking bales/sacks of top soil to mix with local compost stuff to build new beds over cardboard sheet mulching (instead of fighting durable, deep rooted prairie grasses for seasons to come) and promptly ripped off a ‘too long for summer time’ nail about 1/2 into the quick –
Alas, this kind of stuff is like paper cuts to me, as in my shock over how it happens, when I notice it happened AND the level of blood and/or pain that occurs on such little things – sigh – –
Here’s the photo montage of winter nail growth while I’ve worked in computer land/not spent as much time in essential oil concoctions and how bad I am at doing manicures on me self – scroll on by, if you wish, cuz, yes, given the before, injury, after pictures for getting ready to spring, as I resized them for upload across slower rural internet, I was rather shocked to see how awful my cuticles, callouses, and skin condition was overall-
Ahh well – still not bad enough for me to want to carve out hours of time and/or $ for supplies/professional to do regular ‘manicures’, that could be better spent on other things I notice everyday – not stuff I notice once every 5 years when I actually take a picture of how I’ve injured me working hands – AGAIN!
And, I promptly managed to injure myself just ‘getting supplies’ –
I arrived home with an aching finger, blood on the left leg of my old ‘going to town to load supplies’ jeans and ahhh…..to little douses of straight Lavender oil later? Much, Much better……better than those papercuts from office work/filling – who knew papercuts were so painful? When they slice your dry, unkempt cuticles? (Yup, I’ve lived this way for years!
Ta-Da! Nails now prepared for Spring/Summer Operations and not sticking out like something that is just waiting, WAITING I tell ya, to stick out like a ‘sore thumb’ –
Ahh…what a difference two-weeks AND no spring blizzards/severe cold fronts make – all around me, stuff poking it’s head out to ‘greet spring temps/gear up for summer’ – – Puhlease, Mother Nature, deal with these babies and elders as kindly as you can, will ya?
(Yes, I mulch in place by not cleaning up in the fall – this spring stuff keeps holding on and the forecast declares “winter really, rather over” I’ll clear out and either mulch in place or put in the compost bin those too tall/didn’t fall over to the ground by themselves, thingees, to clear the ‘sky’ for new babies – just not yet – those same things rather blunt the brunt of cold winds, blowing snow, etc., and new ‘garden babies’ for this year just seem to survive better if they have last year’s elders standing guard around them – –
That said, yes, you are free to call me out on my lazy gardening ways – I confess it and you might as well have the satisfaction of saying it outloud…too! 😀
The Spring Line-Up
Poplar on West side of house that I’ve trimmed back, but not ‘trained/pruned’ to be a mighty truck with sky high branches – nope, it provides more west winds coverage if I just let it do it’s own thing – the buds are on the branch –
Grandmama Lilac that’s probably been growing for over 50+ years and provides babies to dig up and transplant to other areas on the place in need of winter gales protection for…um…lest strong of character, thingees (so many vegetables sold in the store are really, rather a pain in the arse to get to maturation/harvest, here without waiting on them hand and foot like they were divas or superstars…..). Buds here too – how I love lilacs – don’t preserve them, nothing – just greet with joy their beautiful leaves, and, if Mother Nature kind that spring, their short-lived but oh so fragrant blossoms – –
The long ago ‘free, take it, it will die’ clearance table sedum offering is still going strong – should I go back to store to pay the $1.75 I saved by boldly plucking it up and taking it through checkout with me? Nah – too much book work for them is what I was told one short year after I called to say, “It’s still Living and doing well!”
The volunteer elms around the place are budding out – how many of them have grown to provide shade/heat/drying wind protection now they aren’t getting mowed down 2-3 times a month – Alas, a neighbor opined they are siberian elms, not chinese ones, and also told me in the first (drought year) I lived here, to cut all of them down – how glad I didn’t, for they have become beloved entities that protect, and carry on, if just given a chance, and don’t whine if I cut them back here and there –
Yup, have no clue, but suspect this year, as I did last year…maybe the year before, too, this is a ‘never harvest, always meant to dig up/split/confirm what it is’ for the past two years – – given it’s leaves/size, I suspect it is one of the many, many ‘perennial onion’ varieties I tried planting in with the garlic roses bed on the South side of house, that never did take off – meh – it goes along doing it’s own thing, and maybe, maybe I’ll remember to ‘investigate this next fall’ –
Nestled in between the wild roses on the west side, is the first peeps of prairie grasses/some hard weeds that poke through 3 layers of mulch – sigh – but this? The garlic I planted in fall of 2018 and haven’t ever harvested yet (except when I oopise, pull up a small one while doing spring weeding operations – – maybe this year they will be populated enough to start harvesting here and there….
Vinca minor gifted to me in August of 2013 just trucks right along with no help from me – at all – and on the North side of the house (shade, cold, etc.) Yet to appear in this ‘chillier than other places” area is the white tulip that rather got dug up and gifted to me, too, with the vinca transplant…..
Tulips on the south side of the house are up and raring to go – no rabbits have hit yet, we shall see, however – check out the now pretty and healthier yucca plant! Yup, dug up the yellow, dying, behemoth 1 or 2 falls ago, knowing durn well I wouldn’t get it all – but probably good I didn’t try to – – Dish soap seems in short supply nowadays at stores, and well – don’t ya know, yucca roots have..um..what’s the technical term? Saponins? –
Whateves – you can mash young roots, mix with water and wash stuff with it – so glad to see it going fresh and strong once the dead stuff got dug out – 🙂
And last, but by no means least – the dry bed with no watering, no protection, etc., and home to prairie grasses, weeds blown in from miles away, etc., but don’t ya know?
The Rhubarb poking it’s head out, along with it’s neighbor irises, although they aren’t as high as the irises on the more protected, right next to the house, east side of the place – but still – Rhubarb and Irises have made their appearance!!!
Rhubarb and native cool-season grass – think it’s a ‘brome’ family type? On the place and unless it grows grain, all I care about is ‘it it friend or foe” and try not to get too hepped up over ripping it out, unless absolutely necessary – Prairie grasses have spent millenia figuring out how to survive drought and have long root systems – thus, I don’t worry about wiping all of it out, as long as it is playing nice with it’s neighbors that were ‘rescued from mowing’ too – 🙂
Another Rhubarb (one of 5 plants here) surrounded by irises – alas, despite careful searching, this western, no protection at all, dry bed, revealed only one iris feeling the need to pop out to greet the spring…
My check in update complete – hope you, your loved ones and, if you garden, your garden doing well –
Catch ya on the flip side!
P.S. – ALMOST forgot to include the pic of the rose hips (1st year of abundant fruit in 2019!)
Last fall, I harvested some for me, but also, I left about 2/3 of harvest for the birds, for winter, since I don’t spend money on birdseed, and even if I thought about it, would talk myself out of it, for I do not wish to ‘man’ the feeders when it’s winter….for the squirrels to raid….Plus, birds a plenty show up here, if I ever choose to take up birdwatching and trying to do better at remembering their names than I do plants… 🙂
Hmmm… I guess, thus far, it’s been a bountiful winter for the birds – – they haven’t gotten desperate enough for food to come pluck the berries off the the bushes I left for them – ah well – – I may try to make sun tea with the non-eaten berries and/or just let them do their own thing and see what happens – haven’t decided, just yet ….. 🙂
Whether this is do to mild winter after not as severe of drought summer OR the fact that many of my neighbors man the bird feeders, I don’t claim to know – but check out those pretty red wild rose canes with dried berries on ’em – 🙂