Thursday, May 04, 2006

been meaning

The columbines in my little spiral garden are in bloom. Been meaning to photograph them. Tomorrow. Their second year there, finally settling in, only had a few blooms last year from one or two of the plants, but this year they're going off. The mound seems to be maturing too. Read about it in a permaculture book, increase your land space and create microclimates suitable for a wide-range of plants by growing on a spiral-terraced mound. Started it with a core of soaked wooden branches topped with a mix of our clay soil and lots of organic material, little mini-line sprinkler coming out the top near the lavendar, columbines on the south and west sides, fuller's teasel to the north with pennyroyal at the base...only problem is a distinct lack of sun throughout most of our backyard. Last year, Sean, his brother and mom made a dr. seuss tree out of the privet (i.e. shaved all the branches as high as they could get, leaving a loooong skinny naked trunk with two or three looong skinny naked branches with their tippy tops a flurrfff of leaves. We keep saying it would look so good as a stump. Those privets are prolific. I'm surprised our backyard isn't one giant hedge.

The privet is good only for dyeing and those colors are not interesting enough to cause any significant decimation of its progeny which proliferate everywhere. Ivy creates some good colors but again, my dyepot cannot put a dent in those glossy leaves' numbers. Dandelion is another pest I plan to throw in my dyepot. Meanwhile our front yard has four large mulberry trees and I keep fantasizing about silkworms. But I'm not sure of the consequences of an escape. And not sure if I could kill them in their cocoons. I guess I could make silk caps, but then what to do with the moths? Confine them, let them live out their purpose then destroy the excess eggs?

Our house is deliciously cool in summer due to all the trees, but they do put a damper on our vegetable harvest. Eggplants apparently are not fond of dappled shade. Nor are peppers. The artichoke seems happy. And we have a couple flourishing chard plants. All away from the official vegetable bed. The fava beans are thriving. Of course, they're just a cover crop. Didn't help the corn too much last year though. The corn grew all of four inches tall. Not quite successful.

Other been meanings: make my one skein landscape hat a brim, photograph the new needles, finish Bishop's armwarmers and the four almost done machine/handknit socks , spin up Jamie's fleece (finally washed it last weekend), dye up some more fiber for Whole Earth, sew some fleece bags...and that's only the textile been meanings.

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