Bzzzz August 24th, 2008

Notes from the garden today (aka, too tired to write much):

I headed outside this morning expecting to spend a couple of hours weeding. Instead, I found that my strategy of packing in the plants was working. The flowers, vines and vegetables had pretty much crowded out any weeds, so my weeding took all of about 20 minutes.

With so many plants packed into the kitchen garden, it also means that real estate is hard to come by here at Bumblebee. I finally picked the last of the tomatoes on the plants that had rallied nobly against the fusarium wilt so that I could plant broccoli. I’m eying the Armenian and Burpless cucumber patch now because I have to find room for the Brussels sprouts and collards. And where will I put those savoy cabbages? Thank goodness the lettuce and spinach are planted.

I always marvel at the beauty of the garlic chive blossoms. But guess what? If you let them go to seed you’ll be dealing with thousands and thousands of little garlic chive plants in your pathways. Take my word for it. Don’t let them go to seed.

Why haven’t I planted Russian sage before? Note to self: Plant more Russian sage.

The container plants are lush and full. I recall reading in some design magazine that the container should be mostly concealed by the plants. No problem here. Do you see the container? I don’t see any container.

So, how are things in your garden this August?

Posted In: Container Gardening, Flowers, Gardening

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Bzzzz August 21st, 2008

Yesterday was a sad day here at Bumblebee Garden. Maxine, our very new Polish chick, passed away.

First thing in the morning she was fine, chirping and hopping around with Minnie Ruth and Olivia. An hour later she was down and unable to walk. An hour after that she was on her side and unable to move. She expired shortly after.

I was in a wretched mood all day. Then my friend Cindy from A Texas Cottage Garden emailed a wonderful piece of writing called How to Mourn a Kitten. Here’s my own abbreviated version that I call “How to Mourn a Baby Chick.”

Marvel that the other baby chicks are clearly disconcerted by the problem with their friend chick.

Wrap the baby chick in a clean towel and place her in a box in a quiet place.

Examine her obsessively for cuts, bumps, bruises or other signs of trauma.

Spend 30 minutes sitting and observing the other chicks as they turn their attention back to pecking and chirping without their friend.

Return to the box to make sure the chick is really dead.

Wander around the house and feel a sense of being out of control.

Return to the box to make sure the chick is really dead.

Try to wrestle control issues by obsessively organizing the office, polishing the furniture and putting away books and papers.

Return to the box to make sure the chick is really dead.

Email, Plurk and Twitter friends about the chick’s passing.

Return to the box to make sure the chick is really dead.

Try to eat lunch—definitely not chicken.

Return to the box to make sure the chick is really dead. Feel the futility of checking to make sure the chick is really dead.

Obsessively clean the chicks’ playpen, rig new heat lamp and coo soothingly to the remaining chicks.

Meet son as he returns from school to share the sad news. Stand quietly, side-by-side with son, to make sure the chick is really dead.

Watch as the macho 17-year-old male insists on giving the chick a proper burial in the woods. Smile in appreciation to have raised a son who cares about such things as baby chicks.

Hope he made sure the chick was really dead.

Au revoir, Maxine. Bonne nuit.

Posted In: Chickens

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