Bzzzz September 29th, 2009

Edna is a standard white crested blue. I consider her one of my glamor chickens.  She’s a bit high-strung and tends to be flighty. I can’t help but wonder if some of it has to do with her hair in her eyes.

She is also a bit sneaky. When I go to open the coop door in the morning, Edna almost invariably tries to sneak past me for her own private walkabout in the garden. Often she succeeds, but then almost immediately regrets her actions since she’s separated from her friends.

Edna should start laying in about another month.

edna collage2

This is the first in a photo series featuring the chickens from the little flock here at Bumblebee.

Posted In: Chickens

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Bzzzz September 25th, 2009

It is a season of changes.  Not only is the weather cooling, life is changing here.

Benjamin, my only child (my baby!), has gone off to college at The Citadel.  He is the third generation on his dad’s side to attend college there. When he graduates, he will wear “The Ring” with his dad, uncles, great uncles and cousins. He knew what to expect going there. He is well-prepared for the challenge. And he seems to thrive on the manly camaraderie of the place.

That still didn’t stop me from crying for pretty much the first week while he was gone. The tears were drawn from a combination of missing him, worrying about him and being disoriented by the new direction of my life as an empty-nester.

sweet autumn clematis 1

Sweet autumn clematis blooms over the garden gate in September

I have stopped crying now, but am still trying to navigate a life with a 50% reduction in the number of men I need to take care of on a daily basis.

In other changes, Harry has left private practice and gone back to work for the government. The book I was co-writing this summer, Grocery Gardening, is finally off my desk. The six new baby chicks will be laying in about another month–leaving us with 10 – 12 eggs a day to dispose of. And I have major new work and writing assignments to keep me busy.

Oh, the garden?

garlic chives and pineapple sage 1

Garlic chives and pineapple sage duke it out in the herb bed

I can’t say this has been my most productive or meticulous garden year. There were so many distractions and challenges that kept me out of the garden. Still, Mother Nature was forgiving for just this year. The work from past years has paid off, as perennials continued to bloom, flowers to re-seed and the overall bones of the raised beds, fences and arbor to hold it all together. I don’t think I can continue this type of neglect next year and still hold my head up as a gardener though.

fall-garden

The hakuro nashiki willow standard needs a haircut--but then it ALWAYS seems to need a haircut. The tuteur is covered with malabar spinach and scarlet runner beans.

Now, as weather cools and all these darned changes slow down just long enough for me to catch my breath, I am enjoying being out in the garden, putting in fall vegetables and tidying up for the winter to come.

fall-lettuces

I just broadcast a mix of lettuce seeds for this pretty little bed. What a treat to pick our salads each night.

I’m actually looking forward to winter now. I have a fancy new cold frame to put together this weekend. I’m setting up the light garden in the basement to grow microgreens. Cooking projects, sewing projects, writing projects and, of course, visits to The Citadel and Ben’s visits home are going to keep me busy.

amaranthe-and-henryi-clematis

That's amaranthe leaning against the tuteur where the henryi clematis grows.

Overall, I’m still living the good life. It’s a life of transitions, but it’s a good life.

(You can click on an image for a larger version of the photo.)

Posted In: Gardening, Lifestyle

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