Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cheshirekitty speaks: My week of gardening

I don't write in here often, because Richard is far better than I am at documenting day-to-day reality here in the Cozy Kittys' Household. But it's my week off between semesters, and it's drizzling outside -- which curtails my usual May activity of starting up the gardens.

I must admit, I think I am hyperactive. Literally -- ADHD, heavy on the H, light on the ADD. Also known as "predominantly hyperactive type ADHD". I prefer to think of it as "neurodiversity". I've never been formally diagnosed, but have been informally diagnosed by everyone who knows me. I think I get it from my dad -- he can't sit still, and has to be doing something else -- even reading -- at the same time he watches TV.

I can't really sit still either, until I get tired enough that I fall over. So my "vacation" has consisted of the following:

1) Fixing the watercourse/pond. The watercourse was leaking water badly -- it would bleed itself dry overnight, which is not good for water plants or fishies. I discovered that natural ground shifting had created a gap between the watercourse liner and the pond liner, which allowed water to leak under the pond liner. In addition, upon reading how to create a watercourse (which, I admit, I should have done BEFORE installing the original watercourse last summer), I realized that I should have sealed seams. So Richard and I cut a patch to join the now-skewed elements of the pond, and sealed seams with EPDM tape, black caulk, and waterfall foam. The watercourse is now up and running, and has lost no volume in two days.

2) Planting the watercourse. The whole reason I wanted a watercourse, other than to make the small deep pond and shallow overflow look less like a well, was to provide running water to plant watercress and Vietnamese coriander, two plants which require a lot of fresh water. I have not received my Vietnamese coriander yet (it's on order from, I believe) but watercress seeds have been planted.

3) Enlarged the borders of the moon garden by about 18 inches on each side. I am learning, through my trial-and-error garden design experiments, that I think too small in the initial project stage. Hence the too-small pond, the too-small front border, and the too-small moon garden.
I also planted jasmine tobacco and woodland tobacco (plantlets and seeds), night phlox (seeds), evening-scented stock (seeds), moonflower (seeds) and white dame's rocket (seeds). I will also get a couple of white datura plants and a John F. Kennedy rose to complete the picture, and maybe some fuzzy foliage from "Helen Von Stein" stachys. These plants join the perennial "David" phlox and autumn clematis already there. If you're getting the impression that all in this garden is white and most of it smells good, that's the purpose of a moon garden.

4) Planting beans, cukes, and nasturtiums in the raised beds. The beans this year are Hunan winged bean for Asian cooking, and two runner beans for green beans, shell beans, and edible flowers -- "Scarlet runner" and "Sunset". The cuke this year -- I am picky about cukes, and don't feel secure enough to grow Asian or European cukes yet -- is "Sweetest Yet". I'm skeptical; we shall see. Nasturtiums (happy salad greens and edible flowers) are "Dwarf Jewel Mix", "Whirlybird Mahogany", and "Peach Melba". I ran out of nasturtium seeds before doing the center bed, which still needs to have a debris burn before planting out with squash and melons.

5) Planting herbs. Joining the mints, oregano, and edible flowers in the new herb bed is midget savory, borage, golden feverfew, dill, and rosemary. No picture links here because herbs aren't as exciting to look at.

6) Weeding. Enough said.

7) Starting production on two Anglican rosaries. I figured another new hobby was needed to watch TV by.

8) Assorted school paperwork including setting up course sites and writing up a human subjects form for some new research.

And this was my week off. That's okay, it's only Thursday, and I've run out of stuff to do. Naptime!