Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mid- September Video Tour

The garden is still doing well, but it's dry!

Here's a video tour from last week:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pics of bouquets from the garden

I grow lots of easy-care flowers, both annuals and perennials, because  vegetable gardeners need beauty in their lives too.

Here are some quick bouquets through this spring and early summer:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Winter lingers on, but the peppers are planted.

It's March 5th, and winter still has it's chilly hand clutched tightly around my corner of Massachusetts.  Here's the driveway after I cleared away yet another five inches of snow this afternoon:

I've shoveled it myself every time, saving my back from the worst lifting by using my garden wheelbarrow to move the heavy snow at curbside. I'll be in great shape for digging the garden, if the snow ever melts.

Meanwhile, all the birds in the neighborhood come to my feeders, including a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk that caught a dove this morning. He spent two hours on the ground afterwards, eating every scrap of meat off the carcass.  He was clearly desperate for food, and I had to admire his determination to survive this long, cold, snowy winter:

I need to believe in spring, and so I started my pepper seeds last night, in a south window with a bottom heater. Peppers take so long to germinate that it's not too early, as long as spring really does come this year:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Goodbye Sol

I haven't posted to this blog in almost two months, and the reason is more than the winter doldrums that comes over every gardener in a temperate climate. I've also been finding it hard to be excited about my garden without Sol, my canine gardening companion.

Sol died on November 20th, after a three month battle with a blood disorder. It was a warm day, and he'd spent the morning sleeping in the yard, getting up now and then to follow the sun.
I'd spent the morning kayaking, but went out to rake after lunch. I was lifting a pile of debris into the wheelbarrow when I saw Sol stagger into my field of vision, dragging himself towards me with difficulty. He made it to a couple of feet away, then lay down and looked up at me with confusion in his eyes.

I picked him up and ran to the truck, and rushed to the vet, but it was to late. He died at 2pm with an oxygen mask over his face and me holding his red and white paw. It was just a couple of weeks before his 13th birthday.

I have lived with and loved 3 dogs as an adult, but I had a closer bond with Sol than the two dogs before, even though he came into my life when he was 5 years old and I'd raised them from puppies.
All three dogs were Basenji's, a sighthound breed my husband Tom grew up with. They are neat, tidy dogs with strong personalities and no bark.

Sol was a retired show dog. He spent  his first five years at the breeder's kennel and on the road to shows. He had a gentle, polite manner with strangers, and a silly goofy streak with his friends. And he loved our yard and garden.

He wasn't so sure at first. I took a week off work to hang out with him and get him settled, and the first few days he was uncomfortable when I let him out into the yard - he'd circle the fence line nervously, looking for a way out, back to the kennel and the world he understood.  I stayed in the yard with him, speaking gently when he seemed most upset, and giving him treats, trying to convince him that he was in a good place.

He finally jumped the fence late in the week, right in front of me. I ran to my truck and drove after him, wondering if I'd ever see him again. I found him trotting down a nearby road. I pulled the truck alongside and opened the door. We'd been on many drives that week, and he loved the cozy truck cab.  "Truck" I yelled in desperation-- the command I'd been teaching him for jumping up onto the seat. He stopped, gave me a considering look, and jumped in. I shut the door quickly and hugged him in relief. He had made his choice.

Now I have to adjust to a season in the garden without Sol, without his joyful zooming across the lawn, his grimacing enjoyment of a nice spicy radish, his relentless battle with the woodchucks. It will be hard, and there will be many sad moments when I pause and remember.
But spring will arrive and the garden will come to life, and I will still love to be out in the growing, green world. And I'm open to bringing another dog into my life and garden. The squirrels are getting mighty cocky, and need chasing...