Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
Welcome to Growbox HIll!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yay, it's May!

After busting butt for a couple days, it was time for some time off.
Yesterday was all chilly and gloomy- thought it would be perfect weather for the grunt task of busting up the tulip bed- but there was also mist off and on, and the breeze was actually cold. And I was just feeling creaky. So I cleaned up the workshop and a little putter cleaning... Mostly just wanted to be around my love and settled in on the futon down by him and really started busting into a recycling task.
We save our shopping bags, paper and plastic. I do have plans for experimenting with ironing plastic still, however... Poking around in the pole barn I realized I was out of yard twine for stringing up the luffa run. But got lots of bags :) So I sat down and started braiding plastic twine. Just cut bags about an inch wide strips to make big loops, and start braiding, locking on a new loop when you run out of braiding material. Goes pretty fast, already have several yards done up. And kind of nice is it is something to do with your hands while watching TV- you don't really have to watch what you are braiding.

Woke up this morning to find that the seedlings are still hanging in there. We will have to pull all the coolers into the solarium for the weekend- it's dipping down into the 30's overnight, and with wind-chill will feel like freezing temps. No frost advisory yet, but better safe than sorry, right?
So since it was such a craptacular kind of day, I went up to the workshop and worked on the Rosepetal Pavilion. Figured out roof strut action I think, now I'm just mulling on it for a few days. 

So HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! Mama N decided to be cold for the holiday, heh. We moved the coolers into the solarium yesterday evening- I was thinking of just dropping them into the coolers to ride it out, but nope, solarium is safer. Darn glad I did, we are under a FREEZE warning tonight. Fortunately most of the fruit trees are merely in leaf and not really blossoming yet.
It was a crappy weather day, fine for some shopping. I got to pick out a dishwasher today- I know I've been a good kid about handwashing, but yipes, it will be nice not to have to do so. And erp, it's got sanitation- as in I can sanitize my canning jars in the dishwasher, boo-yah!
While out and about, picked up three more kinds of nasturtium seed, Papaya Cream Mix, Cherry, and Milkmaid. Rather pleased to get Milkmaid back in the collection- the blooms were so lovely last year I was totally bummed that I didn't get any seed :( Since they are a vine variety, I'm going to try to get them to grow in over the arch barrier. The Cherry seeds are HUGE, and since they are shorter, 12-15 inches, I think those will go into the great room pots this year.
While out and about I decided to hit Watervliet and see what they had going on for tomatoes and peppers. They had the toms in singles or quads, I picked up a Black Krim, a Mr. Stripey, a fourpack of Lemon Boy, and a four pack of Patio. I held off on the peppers, they were looking good, but I wasn't positive what I wanted to do.. And my hands were full of tomatoes and freezing, heh.

Tomorrow it starts climbing into warmer weather again, and looks like it might just stay that way for the season :) Which is good, cuz I got a ton of stuff to do!

So tonight I really had to bite the bullet and really cook again, hehehe. I have way too much sour cream on my hands after last weekend, so starting to use that up was priority. Well, I did have one tub of veggie dip I had made on Thurs day, sooo... Did my version on chicken casserole with what was on hand. Turned out pretty good, rich and full of veggies cuz I tossed in a bunch of dried veggie action :)

Monday.... Still pretty chilly, with the promise of sunny and warm to come. Did some errand running, and sat down with some planning of a lot of projects coming up.  I've got bins to fill and growing area to string up. And need to start seriously trim in at least and start weaving up the willows in the sanctuary. Need to plant in all of the tulips along the fenceline.

And yeppers, I've been slagging butt on thank you's after the wedding. There's been a lot to do and some recovery time required. I figure most folks get a week or two of honeymoon time after the wedding, it shouldn't matter that we are living our honeymoon here. We are deeply grateful to everyone coming out, and all the goodly gifts, especially the culinary ones :) A deep and dear treasure to me always will be that everyone was well fed for the whole weekend of our celebration, and we had a whole honeymoon week of awesome food and beverage service in the luxury of our own home :)

Happy Tuesday :)
The sun was shining, it was in the low 70's, with a rather nice breeze. Time to get back out into the yard. Hair up, suit up, and spray down. Heh, I need to make sure I put on some sunblock tomorrow, got some goodly sun on my face and back of my neck today. Dress my hair with clove and lemon to cook up a bit in the sun tomorrow too.
First up was getting some of the tulip border done. After busting up 12 feet of fenceline I decided it would be wiser to break this project up over two to three days, otherwise I will kill myself. Put in the first four cultivars-
White Emperor
I decided to throw all the cilantro into the area- might make for a decent cover crop that isn't too competitive with the tulips, might self sow to establish a bed... And it isn't one of my fave herbs, so having a good bunch and possibly some seed is rather nice, but I don't need boatloads of the stuff- if it dies back and tulips prevail, I won't cry over the loss. I'm not using up quite as many recycled cans as I originally planned- the sections worked out better being just a bit shorter, closer to three feet each. Next section up will be the two kinds of mixed tulips- they were 40 each instead of the 14 the rest of them were, so these two beds will be 6 feet each. Sprinkled with curly leaf parsley.
Second up on the list was doing some pruning in the Sanctuary. Snipped out all the unwanted willow starts, but left a few in the gazebo spot. As I was doing this, I was kind of left not too convinced I wanted to do the willow gazebo project, just wasn't feeling it. So I left a nice trimmed clump of starts in the right spot, they can still make nice bird perches for now anyway. Cleaned up the fenceline too- now there is room for the roses down there to grow again, and a nice wide aisle along that line. While I was at it, the far south neighbor popped by to say hello. Startled the dickens out of me to have someone pop up from the pond side to say hi. He is the sweetest little old thing, wanted to say hi and see how we are enjoying living here, getting out for some spring excercise. Good neighbors are a joy :)
After cleaning up the sanctuary, was walking along the easement drive back towards the pull barn and it struck me that the easement drive line had a lot of little tree bit action that needed to be pruned down too. So I did. Why not since I was wandering that way. Looks much nicer now. I didn't fully clean out the corner, but I trimmed it back a bunch. Still need to bust up some other brush first.
Task three: start filling those kitty litter buckets! We got some excellent seedling action going on, time to pot those puppies up! I lifted over 500 pounds of matured horse poo today. Yeah, seriously. Five 35 pound litter buckets, filled to the top. Lifted once by shovel, once as full bucket into wheelbarrow, once more to unload into the luffa run. Whew, that was a lot! It smelled like good mucky mud, and not any poo or stable or horsey smell at all, so here's hoping it really is mature enough to be planting in. If not, I'm currently frying out the peas and squash.. So, what got put into buckets today.
Little Marvel Pea
Dwarf Grey Sugar Pea
Oneball Summer Squash
Cueball Summer Squash
Small Wonder Spaghetti squash
All three of the vining beans are almost ready to be planted in along fenceposts- Gold Marie, Hutterite Soup, and White Marrowfat.. Top Crop bush is almost ready for planting too- Need to be digging up some more aged manure off the back pile to spread around and mat those leaves in real good.
Finally have seen a stirring bud out of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, hooray! I was really really hoping this one might have a viable seed or two for me to grow out. Surprisingly, the Minnesota Midget Melon is also popping. Neither of the cukes and the Tigger melon have done squat- but that's ok, if they don't rather soon, I'll drop in a couple tomatoes I bought into them instead- I picked up Patio, and it only came in a four pack, so this year could be perfect trial run with those if a couple other pots don't work out.
I still have 6 more buckets to go, but those will be split up into three's cuz pushing five across the back lawn was a PITA, I am so not going for 6 right now.

In the herb garden.. This year's catnip pot is looking lush. Past time for me to scatter seed into it's wildspot- I think somewhere along the Fonatno fenceline would be nice. Kind of off to the side, yet still dies back yearly so good to establish where I don't want other stuff growing in forever. The pot of horseradish already looks big enough that I am thinking perhaps it would be wise to transfer it into a bigger container soon. And yep, looks like it's entirely possible that the clearance irises of last fall might still be growing. Now that I have freed up a couple bigger pots from tulips, I can transplant the irises into bigger pots. If it's possible, I want to pot grow them till they bloom so I know what they are before planting them out. Yeah, looks like that may mean till next year, but hey, that's ok.

Tippy and friends: so the kind neighbor shared with me that my assumption that both the swans being on the far pond meant that the babies had hatched! He reported six wee cygnets floating along. Later on in the day I saw at least a couple of them along with the folks on our side. HOORAY for six new baby swans! I'm hopeful that since last year it seems a few survived, that maybe this year a few more will.

So dinner tonight is pretty lazy- I pulled a couple bags of potato leek soup and the last bag of spinach zuppa toscana out of the freezer to heat up and baked up some biacuits for the side. Gonna toss some cheese onto the plate too, yum :)

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