January 25th, 2009
A couple of years ago I managed to get organized enough to photograph my potager through several months. The changes from month to month documented in the photos were a bit like watching some low-tech, time-lapse photography. I enjoy looking at the changes as long as I try not to think about the fact that I’ve gotten older between each shot.
Here’s another low-tech time lapse. It seems that time is passing even faster than month to month. We’re skipping from season to season now.
This was part of our backyard in May. I know it’s May even without looking at the photo file information because the Lady Banks rose is in full bloom.
This monster rose only blooms in May, when it is covered with tiny yellow roses. The rest of the year it spends plotting world domination. The only reason it hasn’t grown over into your back yard is that I hack at it regularly with great big pruners.
The two trees are Zelkovas, a close relative of the American elm. Zelkovas are fast growers and have proven to be resistant to Dutch elm disease. They were the first things that I planted when we built the house eight years ago.
Although they were as spindly as any newly-planted tree when they first were plunked into the ground, they grew quickly. Now, they provide shade in the heat of the day, so that even in the summer months it is tolerable to sit outside in the Adirondack chairs.
The Zelkovas also provide beautiful color in the fall. They put on quite a brilliant show and are among the last of the trees to lose their leaves.
Oops, there go another few months.
Now here it is winter and this is the backyard in January. It was about four degrees outside the other morning when I went to let the chickens out and snapped this photo.
This weekend I’m huddled inside, looking at seed catalogs and thinking about another year in the garden. I’ll have another year of gardening experience under my belt, more entries into my garden journal and a few good stories to tell from 2008.
I’ll try not to fret about the birthday coming up that ends in the number nine or the fact that my son, Ben, won’t see the end of the summer garden because he’ll be off to college by then.
The passing of time is inevitable. But I will try to remember it can be beautiful and rewarding too.
January 22nd, 2009
For at least a couple of hours each day our chickens get the run of the yard. For the most part, they wander around happily hunting and pecking for bugs. Occasionally, they’ll all nestle down behind the hydrangea bushes next to the house for a little nap.
And frequently, this is what I see from the kitchen.
The chickens come onto the deck and stand at the door, lobbying for treats. These are the roosters, T. Boone Chickens and Johnny Cash. They like to look in the window and crow to get my attention. The hens are a bit more subtle, but no less insistent.
I said that chickens were entertaining. Now, was I wrong?