Monday, December 27, 2010

A Hole in the Clouds

All week the weather guy has been a prophet of wet gloom. He has assured me that I should expect to be wet should I dare set foot outside of the door. He tells of wind and the possibility of thunder showers. No sane woman would carry an umbrella in that kind of wet. I am not famous for my sanity. It has been a bone chilling kind of cold out. The wet sort of cold that hot soup and coffee cannot chase away.

I felt a twinge of rebellion while zipping my jacket to my chin before stepping out the door to the garden. Who goes out in late December to putz? I thought that I would at least have a look-see. Why I grabbed my stool and tools is a mystery. Cold isn't so cold when you are on a dirty mission.

My artichoke had not been trimmed back. It does not have a hopeful look for coming back to life. Since this is my first ever artichoke I am choosing to believe that it is still possible for it to spring back. I cleaned out the snapdragon stems, more like hay really. There is a creeping rosemary in that box that I was pretty sure would be an annual but it looks to be hanging on. A few tap-root weeds were hoping to squat near the artichoke but I evicted them with a toss over the fence. The box was given a bit more soil but I could see that what she really wanted was compost (coming darling, asap)

It felt so good to work with clippers and shovel that I turned to my Purple asparagus, intent on making the bed look like someone cared. Crack grass and chickweed, salmon berries (?) tomatoes that grew like weeds because of the homegrown compost used on the bed were mercilessly scratched and tugged at until they released their hold on the asparagus bed. There was a distressing amount of moss for a garden bed that should be neutral in PH. Sweetening the soil is on my to-d0 list. So is adding a layer of fresh compost and steer manure. Yuck, I know, but it sure does make happy asparagus and happy asparagus is giving asparagus.

I only intended to putz. When the asparagus bed was about 25% done my arthritis began to assert herself, letting me know that I needed to stop for a while. But I'll be back.

Carrots, a few shallots and an onion or two, missed at harvest are all that are in the garden this winter. I had forgotten about these leeks. Rather pathetic looking little things I think. Moss in the square-foot-garden too. Buggers! Actually, the garden is telling me that she needs me and to come back soon. I will.

For now, I am attempting to stay content by getting my seed order ready. It doesn't seem too soon to start with a plan for next years Toy Box. Peas AND fava beans can settle into their squares come Lincoln's birthday. Maybe the ground will stop being squishy by then. Even before the Presidents birthday I have a plan that will have me gardening. To celebrate the new year I will start a tray of lettuce and another of spinach. As soon as my TSC order gets to my house I will start a pot with purple artichokes. There are also the custom fit square-foot-garden cloches I am working on. I can do those without a zipped up jacket.

Why is the south wind feeling so cold? Maybe because it is wet? Cloudy with just enough wind to force open the occasional hole in the clouds. A range of 40's for our temperatures. A high of 47, a low of 43. Said to be cooling off enough for the possibility of snow before the week ends.

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