Flora

Just pictures from the last week or so.

Golden shallots, peppers, tomatoes, basil.0508191608a

Armenian cukes with marigolds.

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Cabbage worms, damn it to hell.

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Sage. This kind tastes like crap but it’s pretty.

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For there is nothing hidden…

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…that shall not be revealed. (Luke 8:17)

This is an interlude from my garden theme, though it has to do with dirt.

Four years ago in January, my husband surprised me with a lovely ring ensemble…a diamond band and a plain gold band. The plain band was for every day wear, while the diamond band would be for more special occasions. I had lost some weight, so the bands were loose.

The second day after receiving them I went out to feed the chickens. Between the house and the chicken yard both rings slipped off. What a nightmare. A light snow lay on the ground, and though I went back and forth numerous times, retracing my steps and going further afield, neither ring was found.

Imagine losing a ring within a thin area of 50 feet. Surely it would be easy to recover. But no. It was like they had disappeared into another dimension.

After that we went through a tough time. Marriage is like that. Those lost rings seemed like a metaphor for our relationship. It all seemed to be lost and hidden and obscured. It seemed like 25 years meant nothing.

But God kept working in us. Bit by bit we found our common ground again. About a year and a half ago, while feeding the chickens, my husband stooped down and found the thin gold band right where we figured it had been lost. It was half buried in the dirt. How he saw it I’ll never know.

We rejoiced and I was sure we would find the diamond band nearby.

But no. It never surfaced. I thought about it, prayed, and kept looking. Year two and the three went by. I lost a little hope. Doing the same drill day after day when feeding the chickens, one would think it would turn up. Nothing.

January this year was the fourth year. It slipped by with no notice, though I always cast eyes about looking for a glint of diamonds when I went to feed the hens.

Today was no different except I was trimming a tree near the coop. Of course my thoughts went to the lost ring. But today I thought to myself, “God knows where that ring is, and that’s good enough for me.” It satisfied me. I went about my business.

An hour or so later my daughter came running. “I found the ring! I found it, Mom!”

And she had. Forty feet from where it was supposed to be she found it sticking out of the ground under a dead branch. She had been raking up a pile of walnuts. How it got so far away from the other we’ll never know.

But God is good. He works miracles effortlessly. He is faithful. I am grateful.

Orchard chores

 

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I’m dog tired, but the orchard has been watered, mowed, and mulched. Such a sweet new orchard these trees are. Because of our cool spring we have a good crop of fruit forming. Even the apples are winning. I will have to thin them.

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My little Winesap, which isn’t supposed to produce in Texas is doing really well.

Not everything comes up roses, though. My ‘great ideas’ often outpace my time and talent. Animals, meaning dogs, mess things up on a regular basis. Even my few little acres entail a lot of work. Not having the right tools (please God, a tractor falling from Heaven would be a miracle) makes everything hard.

But it is springtime and my roses are blooming, and even though these little guys are not supposed to have a fragrance, somehow they do, and the breeze brings it to me and I rejoice.

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Can’t escape the roses

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Roses are a royal pain. But I have a thing for them. Knowing that they are very susceptible to disease I thought to head off any problems by liberally spraying them with a fungicide.

Naturally, I misread the label (insecticide) and was mighty perplexed when the common spotting and yellowing of leaves commenced on a couple of the weaker specimens. But I was on top of it and found the fungicide and re-sprayed the roses, all 24 of them.

The rosebush above is over six foot tall. I will have to trim it back next winter, but the early blooms are promising. It looks to be a good year. So excited!

Love my clucks

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My chickens are a blast. I often sit outside and just watch them go about their business. They are blessed chickens with lots of land to roam and eat grass and bugs.

One chore I must do this weekend is get the coop really cleaned out. All the built up bedding has to go right into a compost pile. Then the coop gets swept out and sprayed for pests. I use a pyrethrin (sp?) based spray that is harmless to people and pets and which dries quickly. Then a dusting of diatomaceous earth and a layer of new hay makes it all good again.

That rooster is named The Donald in honor of his light gold feathered head and his way with the hens. ☺ The brown hen right in front of him is the last of our Buckeyes, a heritage breed. She is over five years old and going strong. Hasn’t laid an egg in years and never did lay well.

When somebody tries to sell you heritage livestock just run away. Unless you just like heritage breeds and don’t care about production or finding buyers for that great tasting meat that takes 18 months to grow instead of eight months. The learning curve is mighty steep out here. Love my clucks, though.

Growing!

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Things are really taking off. My favorite time of year because pests and diseases haven’t manifested yet and everything is growing like mad. Garlic in one bed of two beds.

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Is this marjoram or oregano? Can’t remember, but I had to pot it up because we had a French drain installed. It’s happy.

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Cilantro is happy. Have taken a cutting from it already. Bolts fast so I need to plant more.

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I have so wanted Walking onions, or Egyptian onions as they are also known. They are a funny perennial and hard to get unless you order early. Finally got mine last week and they are coming up well.

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And, the patio is finally in. Still sweeping sand into the cracks and need some nice patio furniture, but I no longer have a giant pile of bricks laying around. The displaced soil that is mounded up has been planted with peppermint and bulbs. If the dogs and grandkids cooperate the bare spots should be filling in by summer’s end. New roses are planted in the landscaping feature. Doing well, too. I’m pretty satisfied right now.