Happy New Year! May 2016.

“Man was made to aspire, to look upward. Imagination was intended to play a tremendous part in our careers, our destiny.
The man who only sees what actually exists today never progresses; it is the man who sees ahead, who anticipates,
who forecasts the future, that forges ahead.” – Orison

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The mans got talent or a very loud voice in his ear to tell him such truths. That quote above goes right along with the subject I have been on about building “air castles”. Last month we were discussing putting mortar between the bricks but really our foundations have to be laid perfectly flat and straight before we can really start seeing the shape of any building taken place. This is true about the garden on the side of our house. We needed to rip out the grass, flatten the area that the boxes would rest on and then layer a thick foundation of sand and rock. Naturally we live entirely on the top of a very large rock that extends deep into the ocean floor. Ok. I admit we have the vest spot on the top of the mountain if the water from the ocean were drained. 🙂 Every where we want to plant something to brighten up a dreary spot we are continually running into bedrock, or shale, or some sort of solid substance that just wont budge. Perfect spot to build million dollar mansions yes, but for those of us the dream of spending our millions on beautifying where we live with more of natures best qualities … we struggle.

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May has been a quiet month this year. The garden was left to grow in all its magnificent glory. The edges of the boxes starting to spill over with lush green foodstuffs. By the end of the month this was the reality. The collard greens busted over the edges, the peas stayed strong and steady producing more pods in the shade then I have ever seen in the sun ( comparing from last year ), the broccoli has tripled in size and the cauliflower keeps reaching for the heavens. The kiwis that we purchased this spring are loving their spot up against the shed and the female has taken root nicely since she is starting to reach all over the trellis wall that will support all her fruit. The parsnips that have been left over to go to seed from last year has finally grown beyond my face and has put out what looks to be small groupings of flowers that resemble my childhood favorite, Queen Ann’s Lace. Neither of us has gone this far with parsnips so we feel like pioneers in the field of parsnip seeds. Yes, we know we are not but for us its  clearly a new adventure.

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As for the rest of the yard. Well that’s when May kicks in with all the glory she can bring. Our quiet side of the yard is pretty darn spectacular! Our peonies and sages have bloomed extremely early this year ( a repeat of last year ) but we are starting to see the early blooming of the huge white calla lilies. In the past these big grand beauties wouldn’t see sun until mid-June. With pencil in hand I headed out to sketch a few before they all disappear again until next spring. Our rhodies have done their blooming but what we really centered on was boyfriends zen garden. The quietest side of the house. There is a little pocket of private quiet that sits just right of the front door. It is small but packs a punch of solitude like no other. Over the years plants have been installed that come out of the ground with great leaf texture, stunning colors in their veins and best of all a wide variety of sizes and shapes but nothing ever really pooped out flowers. Boyfriend decided he needed flowers. So in went the daff-o-dills, in went the columbines, in went the hellebores, and in went some thinned out Solomon seals. Just left of the railing on the stairs leading down into the zen garden new iris were planted. I admit I’m a sucker for the oldies. You might have already guessed this. So on one of my haunts to the garden center “Drinks at Dawn” and “Fiery Temper” came home. The same weekend these were planted I also headed over to my rental and thinned out a pure white and a pure black iris to help fill in some space.

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Want to talk about foundations? I think this is starting to look a little more like Eden rather then a boring old construction sight of the past. Our yard is surrounded with huge boulders that support a rock wall that houses our huge hedge and a few salvaged shade plantings. Underneath our grass is a foundation of clay, construction rubble, and poor poor amended soil. You wouldn’t know by looking at the outside space that so much beauty lies on a foundation of brokenness, heavy soil and pure rock. With much tending and listening we have turned this place into our very own oasis. This I am thankful for.

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When this little community of houses was being built back in 2006 their was a vision that was laid out, thought out, and executed. Was it well thought out? That is up for debate. My opinion … no. It was executed in the timely manner yes but there have been many lessons learned from this community sight that has been expressed in the other sights that have gone up around the island. We are part of a project called Homes for Islanders. This is a build-it-yourself kinda project. You spend 40 hours a week on the building process and of course cram your real job in on top of it all so that you can have your chance at a real home that you can call your own. I did not have the great adventure of building the homes but I get to be a part of the growing community of neighbors. We are situated on five acres with 8 houses. Mind you that the 8 houses maybe take up 2 of those acres. So what does this mean? 3 of the rest of the acres are pretty much wild. Seriously wild. Deer habitat wild. Quail habitat wild. The list goes on. Could there be a use for this space? Could there be a bigger vision for this community of homes? Well, yes! It’s just how much time, energy and effort is each one willing to put in since all the rest of the property is community owned. The imagination runs wild in the realm. The looking up for bigger and better use of space and betterment of the community is a major opportunity! Our Eden could spill from our little rock wall down the edge of he road and we could turn the wild into paradise!! Now my mind is spinning out of control and I have completely lost you on our garden update.

 

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I will share on of the garden entries for the month to get back on track.

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May 24th. With a little time at home today boyfriend and I got busy on outside projects. The list was long and exhaustive but we put a serious dent in that list. While boyfriend laid a new concrete step for the shed, burning debris and structural fixes and updates to the house I got busy doing yard/gardening stuff. Today was the first day that the moon was in Capricorn. Which by all accounts means that this day is the second of the semi-fruitful signs. Capricorn is noted for producing  rapid growth where roots, stalk or pulp are wanted. Now planting in Capricorn also brings side notes, you know the kind, the stuff that we need to be warned about. There are restrictions, guess you could say Capricorn comes with fine print. Here is what the small print says: using excellent seed and maintaining moisture could give good growth. Really what it needs to say is IF YOU MOVE A PLANT OR START INTO A NEW LOCATION YOU WILL BE CONSTANTLY WATERING THE THING BECAUSE IT WILL WILT. CONSTANTLY! There my editorialized version of what that really means.

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Well, I didn’t know the above statement until after I had transplanted the watermelons and the cantaloupe and an echinacea. Luckily, I didn’t have any seeds to plant since the starts were already started earlier in March. One of the little boxes up against the patio has been acting like our mini green house by getting our seeds started. At first we had our flower seeds tucked nice and warm under the glass there but once they were started and transplanted in went our summer seeds for the veggie boxes. We started 4 or 5 different peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, butternut squash, and of course our favorite pickling cucumbers.

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As for the other plants on the list that need attention was the climbing rose that lived in a pot towards the front of the garden. It loves the hot sun but it has finally reached its’ roots through the base of the pot right through the sand and into the ground underneath that raised beds. This was the biggest challenge. She is now firmly resting in a great new sunny location up against a fence that she can dominate. She is an early bloomer so we are hoping that her timing will be perfect with the salvaged apple tree that is along the same fence. Fingers crossed they will get along. Once the pot was empty a new rose took its place. Welcome “Intrigue” a new rose to us from Weeks Roses. The label she came with claims that she is a deep plum purple but her new buds are pretty bright bubble yum bubble gum pink. Maybe she will grow into her color as she matures?

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Last year we added marionberries and boysenberries to the back fence along with the raspberries. One of the secrets that we did was to plant them both into huge pots for the first year. They didn’t produce fruit  but when they were transplanted last fall we made sure that we didn’t take up all the roots from the pots so when spring showed up this year we had hundreds of starts waiting for us to thin and share. Once the pots were cleaned out and soil put in we replanted the coneflowers and echinacea that we had bought for the Dragon Slayin’ Hoshana party. We like these plants because they bloom late into the season extending not only flowers for us to look at but, of course, they are flowers of appreciation for the bees to thrive on. The other flower starts that were large enough to move were also moved around the garden today along with a 3 varieties of basil. One last group of plants that were started late in April were the bush beans, these guys also were moved to day to their bed with the strawberry plants and up against the house.

As the end of the month rolls to a close I am reminded of where the garden started just a short 28 some days ago. Sprouts staggering in the sun to a full blown jungle. The miracles never stop amazing. Looking to the stars has taken on a whole new meaning for me when planting the garden this year. Abundance flows when you merge your thoughts and actions into the cycles of life. To really see that we are all connected to the stars and that every rippel we make on Earth truly effects the stars has been an eye opener for me. One could really say that a person with out a vision or a longing to learn and dream, is always going to be narrow minded, limited. I don’t want to ever stop learning, I don’t ever want to stop dreaming, if this is the case then my time will cease, my air castles will pass away unnoticed, unknown. To imagine is to hope. Without inspired dreams, without inspired air castles we are only half living. So to those who dream big, to those who are constantly thinking outside the box, heres to you! I raise my glass of home brew wine to you! Clink! Cheers! Happy Anni-seed-ary to us!

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