Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tomatoes in Containers, DIY Wedding Arch, Hot Day in April..

There's hot and there's 'hu-hot'. Yesterday was 'hu-hot' for April. It got up in the low 90s here, this morning its pretty humid, so no telling... About noonish yesterday I found out that during one of the projects over the winter Hubby disconnected the wiring to the AC and hadn't yet gotten around to fixing it! I'm one of those semi-homesteady types who has never gone off grid because well--I don't want to live without hot showers, high speed internet or AC unless its one of those scenarios where civilization as we know collapses, in which case I'll be splashing with Mojo in the muddy stream down the hill--and not doin' much else til God takes pity on me and I die.

No fear, all is well. Hubby brought some wires a little box gadget home after work and got it all up and running. We slept in a cool bedroom, which wasn't cool til about midnight. I guess we didn't expect to need AC in early April--but one never knows here.

I put some of my tomatoes out yesterday and quickly moved them to the shade of our back porch. The Mountain Pride and German Johnson didn't seem to have too much trouble but the Roma fainted dead away in the heat and threatened to die on me. 90 is pretty hot for one's first day outside. They all perked up nicely once they were out of the sun.

My little friend came over and we worked on the arch for my daughter's wedding. We took it apart in three pieces, I want to see if those will fit in the jeep, otherwise I'll have to break it down a little further, hope not. We got the whole thing covered in sphagnum moss which took 4 bags. I have one bag left for detailing it later. The next step is wrapping it in green rafia and honey suckle vines. My friend suggested soaking the vines to make them more supple and easier to work with-- GREAT IDEA! She was just so helpful. I did start to wrap the vines but we both were ready for lunch and to set a while. We had each enjoyed a salad and visited before she went home. I left my vines soaking overnight and will do more today on them.

I'm not done yet with planting seeds for the garden. I do think I need to plant some peppers for one thing. I waited a while, but finally decided to do it. Hubby wants to save seeds of his jolokia peppers, so I hesitated to grow eating peppers and risk cross pollinating his precious babies.. but we do use lots of peppers and I'm pretty sure nobody is really going to like the jolokias--except him. I guess I'll just put mine way over on the other side of the property someplace. I want some jalapenos and bananas and a few other kinds. Things that are edible without a fire extinguisher. I'm thinking I'll make signs that say, "hot" for mine, and "hu-hot" for his.

I started my decorative gourd seeds today and some squash. We have a long growing season here and they should all do fine, there's still time to start more seeds. I think I may try to grow the gourds up trees. I saw this done and it looks pretty neat and it provides shade near it. They also look nice as part of a border mixed in with flowers--so long as you keep them going in the right directions.

The gourds are for me to do artwork on after they dry. I bought seeds for birdhouse gourds, baby bottle gourds, nest egg gourds and apple gourds. Its ambitious but really I think a plant or two of each one will give me all I need to paint and decorate away next year. I don't think they'll be ready to work with before Christmas, so most likely they'll be worked on next winter or early spring.

They need time to dry properly, and then they need a good soaking and cleaning before painting or wood burning projects can be done. In the past I've made gourd santas and folklore figures and bird houses, it's fun and although they are a bit of work to prepare they are easy to decorate and make a nice final product. The last batch I made as gifts are still getting raves.

I'm still enjoying watching my blue bird nest. The other two nice houses stand empty because I haven't gotten around to moving them and the blue bird will not allow them to be inhabited so near his home.

He is gorgeous in flight! I just watched him chase away a downy woodpecker. I don't know why he decided to do that, the wood pecker wasn't even near his tree, but then he is a 'bird brain', and they do many inexplicable things.

I guess nest building has gotten to a frenzy now. They are out in the garden right now digging through mulches looking for the best stuff and going in and out of the hole in their little house. They mainly do this in the morning and that is when I prefer to be in the garden, but I'll give them a little time to get things done before I head out today. I haven't put my big batch of low sodium, low fat chicken stock away in the freezer yet, that's a chore I can do this morning to keep me out of their hair for a while. Also I need to discuss wedding stuff more in detail with my Mom-in-law--get more of this ironed out. Although we are keeping it simple--well 'simple' is a relative term when it comes to a wedding isn't it?

The garden is full of pretty birds outside and behind me my parrots are making kissy noises to remind me that I need to come and see to their dishes. If that doesn't work, I'll hear Sweet Pea calling me 'honey' and eventually Bubba will chew me out in a sort of cajun-french birdy rant. Bubba was a rescue parrot with no background and we think he might have been from the Katrina pet exile, he sounds very much like he's lived in New Orleans. Parrots who want something aren't easy to ignore.

I'm enjoying seeing yellow finches, red cardinals and the red on the woodpeckers as well as the blue birds and all other less colorful birds that are visiting the feeders and trees near it. Every morning there is more green in the woods and on the ground. My humming bird feeder has been up since the weekend, but no little hummingbirds yet--which reminds me that it is early still, not really time to put tender plants out--so I think I won't pot up anymore tomatoes just yet. I can quickly carry 6 containers into the shed for a cool night--but any more would be pretty hard.

Gosh, I could sit here all day gazing at the red bud, yellow Carolina jesamine and white dogwood blooming in the woods and watching all the birds, but I guess that wouldn't get things done around here would it? Better go have a Pokeberry Day!


  1. Mary,
    It all sounds so wonderful. You share such good descriptions that I can visualize with! It is hard to imagine being able to plant things this early - you are so fortunate to live in such a climate. Although, the humid heat would not be my choice - so I guess there are trade-offs...

  2. I just had to follow your post and glad I've discovered you. We have the same interests. You must stop by and check out my blog and see my 'container' garden. Have also just finished a lasagna garden that I'll be showing in the next few days. Come join us!

  3. Always trade offs.. true that.

    Sharlene--your blog is great. Love the pysanki!
    You should check out Julie's Succulent life blog, link in my sidebar--she's always doing something over there. ;)

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