Sunday, May 8, 2011

Miles of Pipes

It's been a busy week.  Last Saturday we spent the day dividing and transplanting a huge clump of ornamental grass we'd dug up a few weeks ago.  We also started taming back the woods at the front of the property, opening up the cement pad that will, one day perhaps, have a little fruit stand.
Joe dividing ornamental grass

Transplanting Ornamental Grass
Judy Clearing Trees from Cement Pad
I quit working at 5 PM so I could get cleaned up and make the hour drive to Newport News, VA to see my son and daughter-in-law perform with the Virginia Choral Society.  The concert was excellent, with the second piece being absolutely beautiful.  I just closed my eyes and listened.
My Favorite was the Second Piece
From WAYYYYY at the Back
Stephen and Kristen, after the Concert
This week has been the week of installing what seems like miles of pipes.  Joe dug the trenches a couple of weekends ago with the rented torture trencher, and to me, the maze of trenches looked like some sort of crazy etch-a-sketch...but to Joe, who knew what he was trying to accomplish, it was precisely what he needed.

Now, to be honest, Joe and I walked around and around the property, seemingly for months -- Joe "explaining" his plan to me, -- me not really understanding exactly WHAT he was talking about.  All I knew for sure was that one day we would have one heck of a lot of trenches, with a goal of running water to various parts of the property, and directing excess water to ponds from other various parts of the property, and running extension cords through conduits to provide "plug-in" capabilities around the property.... I added nothing to the planning, figuring Joe knew what he was doing and certain I'd be happy with anything.
Maze of Pipes
Hose Connect at Pipe End
Joe Cutting the PVC Pipe
Laying the Pipe
And this week, many of those trenches, and the conduits they were designed to carry, have been completed.

Meanwhile, we have been planting -- planting seeds, planting seedlings started in the makeshift greenhouse.  I think we have managed to plant about 900 of the 1300 cells in which we started seeds.  The gardens are starting to look like they might grow something more than the weeds that THRIVE in the tilled soil.  I've been enjoying spinach from the small patch I started six weeks ago.  I have no idea why, but the baby leaf spinach from the garden has NO bitter or irony taste like the baby leaf spinach I get in the grocery store.  This is delicious!  I've been eating at least one salad a day for more than three weeks now, courtesy of the single pack of seeds I planted.
Front Garden -- Several Rows Seeded
Strawberry Snack
The berry patch is coming along.  We have a lot of red strawberries (which we have a habit of snacking on while working outdoors) and the currents are putting on fruit.  I don't think the cherry trees will fruit this year, but they are growing vigorously and look very happy. The plum, cherry, apricot, peach, apple and pear trees are all looking great.  Only a couple of trees look as if they are having a hard time.  One of the peach trees is loaded with peaches, but it does not look like it is strong and healthy.  I'm happy to report that the fig trees, which we thought had been killed by the hard freeze after they had put on buds, have made a comeback.

The peas FINALLY started flowering today.They are very sturdy looking pea plants, but I was beginning to think they were never going to flower.  The big disappointment to-date are the grapes.  Of the dozen or so plants we put in, so far, only one is putting on leaves.  Hopefully, they will all eventually leaf out, but right now they look like a bunch of sticks in the soil.  I haven't yet given up hope.

We have, of course, MANY more plants, trees, seeds to plant, but there is just NOT enough time in the day.  I look forward to my morning walks to see what is budding, what is blooming, and what is fruiting. Ten of the twelve tiny little sticks we received when we ordered wisteria, and three of the twelve trumpet vine are now putting on leaves.  All of the forsythia is taking off, and only one of the butterfly bushes is still without leaves.
Morning Walk
Fig Tree Lives
Single Miniature Rose
Flowering Three-Leaf Clover
Peach Babies
Only Grape Leafing Out
Benson Hunting Under Azalea
Another of my "big thrills" around here is seeing the variety of birds that call this place home.  This morning, from the window, as I looked over the back garden I saw a turkey meandering around -- not in my garden -- yet.  The bluebirds are in what I thought was a purple martin house, left behind by the former residents, and they are not at all shy around us.  While we work in the gardens, they fly in and out and help themselves to nest making materials and grubs.  I saw the first male goldfinch yesterday and he was brilliant yellow.  He looked tiny next to the dove that was checking out the ground around the back garden, and when the dove decided to share the same square foot of ground as the gold finch, the gold finch took off.  I hear the whippoorwills, and the owls, though I have not actually seen them.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another lovely day -- perfect weather in the mid -70's after morning showers -- and I'm sure we will spend many more hours out in the yard, weeding gardens and finishing trenches.  Suffice to say, by nightfall we are exhausted, but it is well worth the hard work.  I especially look forward to the weekends when I can actually get out and work in the gardens before 5 PM.  I suppose it might seem a bit odd that I have seriously considered scheduling vacation time from I can garden all day!

Happy Mother's Day!!
Dorothy Rose Columbine -- Bloomed Today


aswesow said...

Happy Mothers Day! A job could really get in the way of all the work to do on the farm, I can understand that! But take some time to enjoy it.

mixednut555 said...

A very Happy Mother's Day to you, Judy, and thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post.

Gorges Smythe said...

All that green looks so much nicer than the white we had for so long.

Feral Female said...

Happy Mother`s Day! My stars you HAVE been a busy bee!