Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Beautiful weather

Blogging is light right now, because we're in the middle of some uncommonly wonderful weather, and I'm trying to get some garden work done.

I planted 60 potato plants on Monday; 30 each of Chaleur and Chieftain; I'm still waiting for those pink potatoes I ordered, and I hope they come soon or I'll have to call the company. Yesterday I planted 15 scallion bulbs, and found I only had enough for one row, so I'll be off to pick up another package for the second row. They say to plant them 4" apart, but at that spacing, I'd have had to plant about 40, and that seemed really a bit too much (plus I'd have had to buy a third package of bulbs). So I've spaced them 6" apart, and that will come to 24 plants altogether.

I've got the rows ready for the carrots (including the famous Purple Haze!), but the package said to soak the seeds 24 hours before planting, so I've delayed the planting until today. All that's left then is to plant the swiss chard seeds, and to get the beds ready for the tomatoes and the sweet potatoes.

I emptied out the compost bin at the back, transferring the compost to the garden, and so now I can start up in that bin again, and leave the one at the side of the house to finish breaking down the compost - it's almost full, and I suppose I should go and turn it over a few times to hurry it along. My compost from the back didn't work out as well as usual; too many dry leaves, I think, and there hasn't been much rain, so a lot of the leaves were still intact. They'll break down eventually, but it wasn't quite the good compost I like. An open bin does tend to dry out a bit.

I got the last of the miscanthus out (that I could find, at any rate) and have moved our chives and rosemary up there; it's a nice convenient spot for growing herbs, but I'll also put in some more perennials once I get a chance to work on it.

One bad thing; the alder trees over the fence are coming into leaf, and they're shedding these sticky shells. Every time Yin goes out there, she comes back with a bunch in her long fur, and I have to pull them out - a lot of fur comes out along with them, too. I'm going to keep her in for a day or two, and also take her for a haircut, so we won't have quite the problem with mess and tangles every time she steps out the door.

And a nice thing: this morning I was sitting outside with my coffee. I had my legs crossed, and a little bird flew up and perched on my shoe! He sat there for about 10 seconds, then hopped over to the garden bin beside me, which is covered with an old hooked rug. He then very industriously started pecking the rug, pulling up bits of loose fluff, obviously for nest-building! (I noticed he got one of my white hairs in there, too.) It was amazing how much he could keep in his beak, while still adding more; the tongue must hold the contents back and leave the tip of the beak still able to open and close. I noticed he really preferred the red wool over the white and black on the rug. I just hope they're not building a nest in one of my drainpipes, as happened two years ago, or all that work will be wasted when I knock it out to unblock the drain!

UPDATE: No sooner do I publicly fret about my pink potatoes than lo and behold, they arrive in today's mail! Now I can get those in the ground, too. And Canadian Tire had a great price on fuchsias - $9.99 for a 12" hanging basket of the pink/purple kind - and the non-stop begonias are in the garden center too, so I bought about 8 of those to go in the planting boxes by the front door. Good times...


Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh, which Canadian Tire did you find the fucias at?

2:27 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

The one in Nepean, at Hunt Club and Merivale! Go over there! They were nice, big healthy ones, too.

2:45 pm  
Anonymous WannabeAnglican said...

Do you know what kind of bird that was? If not, what did it look like?

9:52 am  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

I think it was a chickadee, just based on pictures I've looked at online. Black on top of the head, with a white band at about the eye/cheek level, and then black again, and the wings were dark and the belly light. I'm no birder, I'm afraid. I was so entertained by the little bird's antics, going after the fluff, I didn't carefully note its characteristics.

Incidentally, it's been back since, and with a companion, doing the same thing again - word must be getting around in the chickadee community about the great nest-building materials on our front porch!

1:49 pm  

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