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Friday, February 27, 2004

A flurry of activity...

For whatever reason, possibly because the rain has stopped for the time being, I got a flurry of little things done about the garden and house today.

I have been meaning to refurbish the 2 small indoor fountains I built a couple of years ago. They needed a little cleaning and refreshing. Out came the bleach and the scrub brush. Bowls, stones and pumps were quickly cleaned up and reassembled. These fountains are so nice to have about the house, especially during the summer. They add a small amount of humidity to the ultra-dry air as well as make a pleasing sound.

Our large False Aralia, Dizgotheca kerchoveana, is leaning a bit to the Northeast after all the rain we had. It is a bit top heavy and the ground must be fairly saturated. I staked it up and tied it off with knee-high hose until the garden dries about a bit. I probably need to do a little pruning to reduce its height, as well.

I added some plant stake fertilizer to the 2 large potted plants. The geranium was a housewarming gift 8 years ago, so I always try to give it a little extra care. The rain has probably leeched out a lot of the nutrients from these pots, so I figure now is the time to add a little back to prepare for a summer growth spurt.

Our compost bin is made out of the wooden packing crate that enclosed the clawfoot tub we had installed 8 years ago. Today, I went out to try and raise the crate off of the ground to make it a little easier to get at the compost on the bottom. The bottom of the crate, which I probably should have removed when first installed, has rotted away quite well so now all I have is a frame. It is amazing how the garden can do your work for you, if you just wait long enough. (SMILE)

Finally, the 2 Lady Banks roses I picked up last Fall in Idyllwild, seem to be getting started. I have gently tied them to their trellis to urge them upwards. We shall see how well they do this summer.

There is still lots more to do, but I have some small sense of accomplishment in getting these little tasks out of the way.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Beeing: Life, Motherhood and 180,000 Honeybees

I love reading books about someone passionately engaged in something new, and this book is exactly that. Author Rosanne Daryl Thomas tells a tale of becoming a beekeeper almost on a whim, but it goes deeper than that. Clearly, there was something that drew her to the bees. It simply took circumstance to bring it forward. More importantly, she triumphs over the setbacks that occur with an honesty that seems missing in many books today. Reading this story was like listening to her tell it over coffee in her honey-covered kitchen.

Thomas' tales of learning the beekeeping trade from the bottom up are humorous, enlightening and presented in a conversational tone that kept me turning the pages. So much so that I finished the book in 1 day! She also throws in a few lessons about life and love, without being heavy handed or bogging down the story.

Even as someone who knew a little bit about beekeeping, I learned new stuff about the processes involved. For the gardener in me, it is great to learn a little more about how my garden helps bees to survive and thrive. My neighbor has a single hive on top of his garden shed and I can sit in my garden swing, watching their comings and goings. He makes sure we get some honey each year, too. Tasty! Even more so since part of it arose from my garden.

Several of my favorite books are based around the cycle of the year's passage. I think growing up on a farm certainly plays a part in this, but we all instinctively relate to the passing of the seasons in some way.

Beeing: Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honey Bees

Spring has arrived in LA!

I think the picture says it all.

Click thumbnail for larger image.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Scenic Nursery linked over to us and our comments about Spring yesterday.

Check them out!