Sunday Muse

As a child, my father helped me dig
a square of dense red clay, mark off rows
where zinnias would grow,
and radishes and tender spinach leaves.
He’d stand with me each night
as daylight drained away
to talk about our crops leaning on his hoe
as I would practice leaning so on mine.
Years later now in my big garden plot,
the soggy remnant stems of plants
flopped over several months ago,
the ground is cold, the berries gone,
the stakes like hungry sentries
stand guarding empty graves. And still
I hear his voice asking what I think
would best be planted once the weather warms.

“Lonely Harvest” from Family Constellation by Margaret S. Mullins

The Garden in Winter

The winter gardens lie in a blanket of white
Sleeping… waiting…
The Juncos enjoy the tiny seeds left behind by the last of summer’s weeds.
Seed catalogs… the stuff that dreams are made of… arrive.
We struggle to balance lofty ambitions and the certainty of time constraints.

Of Note:
Our dear blog-friend, Ann, is contributing to the new Dobies of Devon Gardening Companion – “words, images and ideas to inspire keen gardeners – young, old and ‘in-between”.  You might join us there.  With Ann’s contributions, it promises to be informative and entertaining.


All the variables (ripe cabbage, moon sign, available time) came together over the weekend for sauerkraut making:
There was a lot of shredding

salting and stomping´╗┐
and stomping…
And more stomping….It takes a lot to bring up the brine on the over 100 pounds of cabbage!
The crocks were covered and will be watched closely for a few weeks until the kraut is ready to be put into jars for sealing.

Purple in the Garden

The old-fashioned iris plants are just beginning to bloom in the garden. We are enjoying them so much! Iris flowers have been one of our favorites since we were little girls. Each bloom is so delicate, so unique.

The chive plants have also started blooming. We will take the opportunity to make chive vinegar this weekend. It’s one of our favorite ingredient for salad dressings.

The lavender plants should begin blooming soon. So it’s time to enjoy the purple in the garden and savor every moment of spring!

Family – Mantidae

The past couple weeks we have been entertained by praying mantis in our dyer’s garden. Pictured above on one of the cosmos plants is the smaller of the two.

They are truly fascinating to watch and have proven to be very distracting.

According to the Insecta Inspecta they are the “only insect that turn from side to side in a full 180-degree angle”. They are very aware of everything around them and turn their head to follow your movement.

This mornng the smaller one is seeking shelter from the rain under one of large sunflower leaves, a very creative umbrella.

Now we better get ‘un-distracted’ and get to work. Joe is coming to shear the lambs today!