Wednesday, May 17, 2017

midweek musings + wishful Wednesday

in which our plucky heroine notices what is going well, and what is not so much...

The previous week or so has had a lot going on in the steading here at at Acorn Cottage. Not just the baby fruit, but the Black Elderberry (Sambucus niger) that was planted last year in the parking strip decided to blossom! The whole plant is still smaller than I am, but there are buds and now flowers on last years growth, and an encouraging amount of further expansion in a skyward direction. My hope is to eventually have enough elderberries to make my own syrup, to help keep me healthy in the wintertime

Farbjorn arrived down here from Blue Cedar House to help with the yard/garden/woodworking chores this month, the rest of the family had enough going on this month that only he could be spared. Nonetheless a rather amazing amount of work got done. First of all, on Monday when it was not raining, he managed to get both front and back yards weedwhacked, since it had grown much too long for mowing in the last three weeks, and he raked up all the clippings into the compost bins.

Some shelving scraps were turned into a new raised planter box for the backyard. Some of the older "used up" dirt from the planter boxes was used to fill in some of the divots in the back yard, that often catch me while I am walking, and attempt to cause grievous bodily harm to my nether joints. Tree branch trimmings from several years ago went into the bottom of the new planter, then the rest of the older "used up" dirt from the salad table and other planter boxes, then some of the partially composted leaf mulch from the chicken area, which wasn't anywhere near enough to fill it up... So the remaining good mixture of compost and potting soil was added to top it up, and we headed out to get another bale of good potting soil to refill the salad table, and some pine shavings for chicken bedding.

He also kindly helped me by rounding off the remaining three ends of the heavy dowels intended for my lashed tripod stool experiment, and drove me out to Ikea for a speedy acquisition of some LED task lights for the workbenches, and a clever clip-on one for lighting the wee drill press. It was a busy two days...

I mostly worked on completing the hat for Thora, which is a whole 'nother blog post tomorrow... but also managed to untangle the venerable rusty tomato cages, and attach them to the two round SWP rolling pots which are currently home to some hopeful sugar snap pea vine babies... the tomato cages should give them something to clamber up, providing they survive the forecast heat wave coming in this weekend and early next week. The former tomato cages are almost as tall as I am, if rather hard to see against the chain link fence.

The plants in the front pot are some funky "walking onions" which are kept as both a curiosity for their unusual growth pattern, and as additional insurance of allium self-sufficiency. In the very far background of the photo, you can see the feral grapvine starting to climb on the fencing, and a bit of the comfrey clump behind the compost bin... Gosh it is starting to look a bit like an actual garden space!

While we were both out in the backyard, Farbjorn noticed an unusual bird in the tall conifer in the back corner of the neighbors yard. It was partially brown/grey, and partially a kind of dull greenish yellow color, not a familiar denizen of the yard. A few moments later I was just delighted to see a flash of bright yellow and red, when what was obviously a male Western Tanager flew into the tree as well! I have only ever seen one of them once before. It would be particularly wonderful if they set up housekeeping in the backyard, I will definitely keep my eyes open

May SMART goals (x=extra)
1 grey jersey pants loom weightsbag to Goodwill
2 brown trim bands sakura embroidery-
3 brown jersey pants supports for peas x
4 planter box x x
5 calligraphy for scrollx x
6 Thora hat cone x x
7 x x x
8 x x x
9 x x x
10 x x x
11 x x x
12 x x x
13 x x x
14 x x x
☽ O ☾

For wishful Wednesday, I am wishing for a local helper with a car, so I can go and collect cocoa hulls for mulch, from Woodblock Chocolate


  1. Very positive progress. The garden planted by the previous owners of my home is lookimg lovely. I added some hanging baskets to block out the view of the neighbours kitchen!

  2. How exciting to see a tanager!! I look forward to the day when my tiny back yard, and larger front yard, are havens for birds and bees and butterflies. I so miss that part of life in Wisconsin - spring birdsong was a glorious cacophony in early morning ;-)

    I should join the local garden club. Or hire a landscape design person since the PNW is so new to me. All of my gardening "chops" were earned in the upper Midwest - very, very different environment!