A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I should have stayed in bed

I'm convinced that some days it's better not to get up in the morning. Today was one of those days. I should have seen it coming first thing this morning when I made my annual apple pie. The pie crust just wouldn't roll. I ended up with the ugliest pie I have ever made. Martha Stewart would have fired me on the spot. I've never actually seen her apprenctice show. Does she fire people like Donald Trump? I've never seen his apprentice show either.

It was a perfect day so I headed outside. After a little garden clean-up, I decided to get a start on my new garden plans. I am doing some major re-arranging. Today I tackled the shady garden. I moved some iris that was being overgrown by the daylilies and liatris. Then I dug up the liatris on one side of the birdbath. My plan was to move it forward and at an angle. I cleaned up all the weeds, cultivated and amended the soil and then dug a long trench instead of individual holes. I carefully sited each bunch of liatris in the trench, backfilled and stepped back to admire my work. That's when I discovered that I had planted it in almost the same spot where it had been growing initially only now instead of being nicely spread out, it was all bunched up.

What had started out as an overcast day had turned into a warm sunny day. I was too hot and too tired to start all over again. I got out the hose to give everything I had moved a good watering and filled the birdbath. The birdbath had also been adjusted. All season, it had been on a tilt because the ground it rested on is uneven. The saucer, which is separate, kept falling off. Once the iris and liatris had been removed, I had also taken out the birdbath, carefully levelled the ground and even dug a shallow hole for it to rest more securely in. I was feeling quite smug. Until I filled it and discovered that instead of leaning sideways, it was now leaning backwards. Unlike the liatris, I did redo the birdbath. After about three tries, it is now almost level.

I had one more garden chore planned. One of the classes at the Home Gardeners School had been on plant propogation. They had leftovers which they were giving away. Greed overruled common sense and I snagged one. I should have known that anything called "Cuban Oregano" would not be hardy. It's been sitting out in my backyard, in a peat pot, basking in the warmth since September. I finally bought a ceramic pot for it last week. My last chore for today was to pot up the oregano. The weather is supposed to turn colder in a day or so and my little plant will need to move inside. My house came with a nice bench in the basement, probably for the man of the house. It has a lovely pegboard for tools. My basement looks like most people's garages. Every inch of every surface is covered with stuff I can't bear to throw away. So what could have been a wonderful potting bench is, instead, storage. I re-pot in my kitchen which was a bad idea today. I think I can safely say without exagerating in the least, that there was more potting soil scattered around my kitchen than made it into the pot.

I'm ending my day the way it began. In the kitchen. I am trying two new recipes for dinner. The chicken is in the oven right now and smells heavenly. My cat is going crazy. He loves chicken. When it comes out of the oven, I am going to try, yet again, to make biscuits from scratch. I've never been successful. All my attempts over the years have been nearly inedible and some have been so hard they could probably be used for sports equipment. I perservere although today is probably not a great day to do so.

Hockey anyone?


At 10:59 AM, Blogger Kasmira said...

You might want to try "planting" a concrete paver to set your birdbath on. I did this with mine.
I dug a square hole, lined it with sand, and dropped the paver in. I then pulled the paver in and out of the hole about a million times, moving the sand around, until it was level. I used a bubble level to be sure. Although this took me a good 40 minutes from start to finish, I will (hopeully) be able to set up the birdbath each spring without worrying about levelling.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Beverly said...

It sounds like you are doing almost exactly the same thing I am in the garden. I did have my bird bath on a paver but after 5 years it was leaning. I only watched a little of the Martha Stewart Apprentice but I here she doesn't do the firing. They want a newer nicer Martha image.I hope she doesn't change too much I liked her the way she was:)

At 3:48 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

When you make biscuits it is critical that you do NOT over mix! This is the #1 mistake in making biscuits.

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Judith said...

Wonderful smells coming from that kitchen of yours! And I hear progress in the garden. I bought Cortland apples yesterday at a farmstand. I will chicken out on making the crust for pie and will first make Apple Brown Betty or whatever it is called.

P.S. Like Beverly, I like Martha the way she is too....

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Mr. Concrete statue said...

You may want to consider getting a bird bath of all one piece, I find them yo be much nicer.


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