Sunday, May 20, 2007

Steady as she goes

Sunday dawned cool, grey and drizzly. Good for the garden, and the cool temps kept the black flies at bay, but I'm ready for some sun. I do think the cool weather has meant my tulips, as ragged as they are from the escaped chicken debacle and being trampled by the construction of the grape arbor have held their bloom for a long time; they are just finishing now.

Today we puttered about, weeding in the front garden bed and fertilizing the Silver & Sedum bed near the driveway, planting in the far back of the lot along the property line the 5 long suffering American Arborvitae purchased at the Fedco Tree Sale, and pruning the many volunteer maples and pin cherries from the lilac hedge by the big deck. We are working steadily on the list, and I'm feeling like we've accomplished a lot of our early spring gardening chores.

I don't think we pruned the lilac hedge last year, or if we did, we made a bad job of it, as I found a pin cherry sapling bigger in diameter than my thumb. The maples are terrible pests, they readily sprout even though the big sugar maple provides so much shade the lilacs have become a bit leggy over the years. I'm doing my best to encourage some new growth, with regular fertilizing and checking the soil pH, and pruning out the competition. Today we noticed the trunk of one of the older lilacs has cracked over the winter and it needs to be removed. A new item for the list.

When we were planting the arborvitae in our back 40 (feet) we came across a bird's nest in in a tangle of grass. Dan nearly raked it away, but saw it in the nick of time. There were four tiny babies, sparrows we think, in the nest, no more than a day old if that, eyes still closed, but beaks turned skyward when they heard us. They are so tiny!! We pulled the grass back to screen the nest, and got out of the area as quickly as possible so mom & dad could resume feeding duties. I'll try and snap some photos tomorrow.


Sugarcamp said...

The front yard(former lawn) looks super! Mom

Kathy said...

You have really tackled some huge gardening projects this year. It will be stunning next year as things fill in and become established. What would you do without the help of the chickens?

Ali said...

If it weren't for the chickens, why, I'm sure none of this would be happening, they are a vital component of the plan!

Ali said...

And thanks for the compliments... I am really pleased at how things are coming along... I am especially pleased with the front garden, it is filling in nicely this year, and we've been adding things for winter interest as well.