Lettuce, garlic, rat’s tail radish, peas and onions

So much going on! I did not intend to be away for so long. And now here it is Monday and the end of the three-day holiday weekend. You don’t want to know about me coming home tired from work and not having energy to write a blog post, or about me slogging away doing hard cycling workouts on the trainer most nights during the week. You want to hear about the garden and the Dashwoods.

Bookman and I worked hard this weekend to clear out the remaining raspberry invaders from the garden beds so we can plant vegetables. We spent a good amount of time out digging Sunday and ran in and out today between brief rain showers. Bookman broke his digging fork while trying to dig out a big raspberry root! But we are almost done getting everything planted at last. There are still a few more patches to get to but it feels good to have made so much progress. If only I had a few more days to spend in the garden!

The sunflowers we planted two weeks ago are coming up strong and now they have pole beans and pie

Rescued from the raspberry invasion

pumpkin seeds planted among them. I have given the “three sisters” planting a twist and substituted sunflowers for corn. That should be fun! I am also trying a second kind of pumpkin this year that is grown for the seeds. The seeds have no hulls making it easier to eat them, you know those pumpkin seeds you buy at the market, pepitas? These are them! Or a variety of them. The flesh of these pumpkins is not very tasty but rumor has it, chickens love it, so the Dashwoods will get to test the rumor come autumn.

There is also zucchini, onions, cantaloupe and eggplant now in the ground. Still to go in are the tomatoes and peppers we started from seed. It has been so rainy and cloudy that they haven’t had a chance to get completely hardened off. As it is I rushed them a bit too much this weekend and some of them got a bit scorched. Oops. I hope they are able to recover from my impatience.

And beans, there are lots of varieties of beans yet to plant. And some flower seeds. If it all flourishes, it will be a good year!

Half a garden view from the house looking to the chicken coop

The cool weather seeds we planted weeks ago are doing well. The peas are starting to climb, the radishes are big enough they need to be thinned already, the beets, carrots and kale are sprouting, the lettuce will be ready to start picking in about two weeks. The mustard and cilantro are just beginning to come up. There are turnips and pac choi in there somewhere too. The cabbage is doing well. The potatoes are beginning to sprout. The garlic is going gangbusters.

So much!

We managed to get the green roof on the chicken coop planted too. We are doing mostly annuals while we experiment with what perennials might be able to survive. The annuals we planted are two different colors of cup plants, creeping zinnias and dwarf zinnias. We also seeded bachelor buttons. The perennials we are trying out are pinks, creeping phlox and a creeping sedum I don’t remember the name of. While we were up there weeding, because weeds seem to do just fine on the roof, we discovered that the creeping thyme we planted last year is trying to come back. It is putting up tiny little sprouts. Hopefully it makes it! And a couple of the pasque flowers we planted last year have tiny sprouts too.

The Dashwoods were not pleased to be closed up in their garden while we worked in the vegetable

Perennial bunching onions in flower

garden. They kept trying to figure out a way to get through the lattice gate and when that didn’t work, Margaret flew right over it! I chased her around the garden a bit and then Bookman cornered her and scooped her up and put her back in the chicken garden. Not to be outdone, a little while later Marianne made a big fuss and came flying over the gate and halfway across the garden. She is not quite as wily in the chase as Margaret and was fairly easy to catch and return to the chicken garden where she then made it known that she was not pleased.

The Dashwoods had a purple cabbage to keep them occupied but apparently that was not enough. We were out digging and they were angry at missing tasty morsels. Whenever I’d find a grub or June beetle I would give it to them but they refused to be grateful. It will be several months before they are allowed back into the main garden. It’s going to be a long summer!

I got in a long bike ride on Saturday. Actually I stayed indoors and did it on the trainer. The training plan I am following to help me get ready for my 200-mile/322 km race on August 5th meant I had to do a 9-hour ride. It is hard enough to plan a six-hour ride outdoors with traffic and all that, so it was much easier to stay indoors. That way I didn’t have to worry about carrying enough food with me and where I might be able to stop for water. So in nine hours I managed to ride 167-miles/269 km with only two nature breaks and one short break to stretch because my leg muscles were beginning to get bunched up and tight. I am really pleased with how well it went. I was tired but not spent, a good sign!

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