Saturday, June 21, 2008

Getting Down and Dirty

Due to difficulties in other areas of my life, I've turned to my plants and gardening for a little sanity. Above is the first Brugmansia bloom of 2008.

To avoid the heart-wrenching disaster of having moose eat my garden again this year, I'm building moose fencing. (Read about last year's tragedy here.) This is a difficult task, as there must be several elements present:

  • Sturdy enough to withstand moose
  • Attractive, as the garden beds are right in front of the deck
  • Easy to work in and around as I water, weed, harvest
  • Inexpensive to build
  • Moveable

I think I've gotten all points covered. Total cost of materials has been about $70.00, with much of the PVC pipe garnered from the Transfer Station. I'm using a thick jute/twine to tie the pipe together, and zip ties to secure the chicken wire. As an added protection measure, I'm hanging all manner of noisemakers to the structures: bells, windchimes, etc. This is in the manner of tripwires----when the enemy invades (a moose with a good appetite) it will bump the structures and set off the 'alarm.' I'm making sure these bells with put up enough of a racket that it'll wake us up in the middle of the night to scare the moose off. I am DETERMINED to get a good food harvest this year!

The weather has been warm and sunny, finally, allowing me to put the orchids out to play on the balcony.

A freebie thrown out at work, a Korean Maple. Stunted, yes, so it'll take years to get big---if it makes it through a winter in the ground...

It's cute enough to give it a try.

The Aruba is gracing us with it's beautiful blooms again this year. Last year the plant had quite a bit more height---this year, not enough light soon enough, I think. Still, the blossoms are as gorgeous and fragrant as ever. This plant has begun to attain a special significance in our marriage....

I've finally planted my first perennial bed---and a potentilla I've had in a pot for a few years bloomed this intense red-orange! I could've sworn it was yellow....

Landscaping is undertaken in the form of outlining everything and anything with flat rocks. Here, my first Rhubarb.
...and here, a Saskatoon Serviceberry.

...and here, welsh onions.

But my greatest gardening/plant success this month is this wee sprout. I ordered 8 seeds for this incredible creature 4 years ago. I tried seeding it twice before with no luck, no sprouts. This year, I tucked the remaining 4 seeds into this pot with some Hawaiian bulbs a friend gave me, knowing that I'd be watering the soil frequently. I am rewarded! This is Adansonia digitata! If I can get this dude to grow, I will truly be a plant rock star. Check out a picture of this little guy as an adult.

I can't even tell you how excited I am by this. We'll have to build another house just for it!

It's a nice thing for me to get some satisfaction and sense of accomplishment from the plants and garden right now. It seems like this is totally absent in just about every other area of my life. Last winter was something of a struggle to get through, and spring hasn't been much better. Perhaps summer? Perhaps autumn? If I enter into another deep, dark Alaskan winter with this black cloud hanging over my head, I'm buying a plane ticket for somewhere tropical for a good solid month or two.