Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Garden In New Earth

Ten months ago a bulldozer and a trackhoe were grading a new road and creating a wide level spot on the point of a narrow ridge in the wilderness. Today the walls of a small cabin are going up on the post and pier foundation and the floor that was built last fall. Two small flower beds have been cleared, mulched and planted. Other new plants have been placed in various spots around what will become a full garden over time. A vegetable garden has been cleaned and prepped. The first lettuces and radishes have germinated. The spinach and sugar snap peas look like they may have been duds. Two four foot tall, thirty five foot long, dry stacked stone walls are near completion. A general tidying up of the forest's messy deadfall is ongoing. I try to be helpful in my borrowed garden next door.

Yet, the pace of things confuses me. Shouldn't this tiny cabin be done by now? Shouldn't a garden have been fully planted?

I arrived here with more determination than money. There is no budget to have Mario "Put it over there." My labor is a cost saving measure and the only source of labor. I want things done, but I can only do so much without wearing myself out. They have winter here you know and it rains quite often.

The trees are slow to leaf out. They take their sweet time. Other processes come first for many of them.

My own garden is expanding slowly as well. A big chunk of that is due to the kindness of virtual strangers, cyberspace friends, who have sent me gardening care packages. These are treasures that I could not justify affording right now.

The Hankodils arrived last fall and were planted below the cabin at the forest edge, along what I expect to be a path into the gardens. Narcissus 'Golden Ducat' blooms now, well after Bulbarella's main show next door.

This one from the County Clerk was supposed to be Narcissus poeticus 'Green Pearl'. It isn't. It doesn't matter. I like it.

The care package also included Narcissus triandrus 'Lemon Drop'. Narcissus odorus 'Linnaeus' bloomed first and was past its prime. It was no longer ready for a closeup. Puschkinia libanotica also put on a very good bloom in its new home. Four flats of seeds from the care package are germinating on the deck. Once our last frost date, around May 15th, has passed they can all be safely planted in the ground.

The Tulizabeths turned out to be the Mama Mia from ColorBlends. They came from Elizabeth of GardenRant and Gardening While Intoxicated. She also sent me Scilla siberica, and Chionodoxa forbesii, both of which came up and bloomed nicely. By the time my new fall planted ones had bloomed, I had posted so many photos of Bulbarella's same bulbs that it seemed redundant to show you mine. The repeated bulbs will give these two gardens some cohesion and continuity. One will flow seamlessly into the next.

Elizabeth did send me something that Bulbarella might not have, if that is possible, some Ixiolirion tartaricum, Lavender Mountain Lilies. They are early summer bloomers. They have come up, but are looking rather meek at this point.

Mama Mia at the top of my driveway with Daylilies to grow and hide their foliage.

Another wall was built and added to the cabin. Tomorrow the front door wall should get built and stood up.

The kitchen/dining nook windows. I think they are about a quarter to half inch different in the framing. They are on separate wall panels. I'll have to make sure the windows are set even. Of course the walls themselves need to be checked for level and plum too.

A cabin grows, a garden expands, at the pace at which it is happening, one thing at a time.

The first of many Iris has bloomed in my borrowed garden next door. I have been offered many plants, many times. The garden is a huge resource of free material, but digging and transplanting things takes time. The time to do that has to be found.

The miniature Daffodils, barely eight inches tall are one of the last to bloom. If I don't take the time to meander through the gardens and the forest on a regular basis I might miss out on something on miss learning something new.

Meandering outside is good for the soul after a day of hard work. It rejuvenates my aching muscles and helps me go on.

Having the option to meander is a goal of all this hard work, but it seems you have to meander to reach that goal.


The County Clerk said...

That window thing is no big deal (though I'm certain it irks you). It won't show (and you know that). Building these things is a whole-lotta-make-it-work somehow, you know?

As for for your timeframe, you are making BIG progress. Once the framing is in, you'll know stuff out more quickly than you might expect. A day or two for electrical rough-in (with many more days/hours of electrical details but that's later). A day for insulation. Drywall hell (if you drywall) (the drywall will go up FAST... a day maybe, the float and tape well... that takes about a thousand years). Plumbing should move rather easily (the house is on stilts!). HVAC shouldn't be too hard. Then you are in. Then you paint and trim and floor and finish and whatever. You are doing great.

Hankodils. Too funny.

I am NOT AT ALL HAPPY with my massive bulb order from a certain bulb company. Quite a lot of the stuff is not quite right. My tulips suck. They are NOT what I ordered.

Sorry 'bout the speciation thing. The bulbs came to me so marked.

Frances, said...

Things seem to be moving for you at about the right rate, though it may not seem so to you. To have accomplished all that you have already, the rock walls, wood walls and gardens planted it a tremendous amount to progress. I would love to send you a care package, will have to keep an eye out on what Bulbarella has so as not to duplicate. Maybe she would like some things as well. How are you fixed for hellebores?

Anonymous said...

You sound like a typical stressed-out temperate climate gardener to me! (I try to remember the quote of some sage soul re gardening: It's the process, not the product.) It's tough to cram everything in in the spring. But fall is a good planting time too, and a roof over your head comes first! I agree with the others; you have made excellent progress so far and kept from getting injured from all that activity. That's something to savor.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Going at this pace will let you savor the experience.

Christopher C. NC said...

Hank you got the wrong Tulips? Not the hot pink ones you wanted. That does suck. Don't worry about my little mixup. The white ones I got are gorgeous, whoever they are.

Frances you should stop by for a visit on your next trip to Asheville. You may even come empty handed. The lone Hellebore on this mountain had one bloom, then put out a huge flush of new growth. Bulbarella was so impressed she bought another. Now there are two. I have none.

Chuck you should see the size and number of the Dahlia's growing in people's vegetable gardens up here, right by the side of the road in plain view.

Yes Bev and Lisa I need to savor the process. Mostly I am. I just don't think I was ever this sore when I had a real job. Lately I have been doing quite a few small chores for the resident gardeners. That adds to all the bending, lifing and toting.

lisa said...

All the other commenters said everything I wanted to...so all I have is "great job, great attitude"...carry on. ;-)