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Thursday, 19 March 2020

We are keeping to our own property for a few days while we sort out what to do next. At first, it seemed like Allan might still be able to go boating close to home. (I was concerned about further distances, because what if he had a vehicular breakdown or other problem that required human contact?) But having all been asked by our governor to avoid recreational travel, Allan refocused his boating energy into his boat building project. Part of what influenced him was this article by the Washington Trails Association.

He laid out all the parts while sorting them.

My mission was to get some more early veg planted. I was reassured to read that I can plant spuds till early April, as I am still waiting for my order to arrive.

I had some Sugar Sprint peas to plant and asked Allan to help me put together a bamboo teepee for them, after I had done some extensive weeding.

Before:

After:

When I read the packet and learned that Sugar Sprint peas only get two feet tall, I planted them in big patio pots instead with some decorative short metal tuteurs to guide them. The tall teepee got these:

I enhanced the bamboo with lily stalks and other twiggy bits to keep cats from digging there.

Planting seeds is not my favourite thing. I would rather have been weeding. The garden looks a solid mass of weeds, but in most areas the soil is so loose and nice that the weeds come out in a deliciously buttery way.

I have some less pleasant weeding to do in an area infested with couch grass, where we removed a big physocarpus awhile back to make grass control easier. I yearned for the days of yore, those happy times when I offered the physocarpus and other plants up on a local Facebook gardening group, and gardeners came over to get them, and life was free and easy.

I started weeding there and then stopped with the realization that the second teepee will be for runner beans, and it is too early to plant them. I’ll get back to this later.

Today’s other project was to take the strawberries out of some containers where the deer have stuck their heads through my poorly installed bird netting. The strange semi round rebar thingie that we salvaged from the free wood pile became the strawberry enclosure in the part of the garden that is outside the deer fence, next to the Nora House driveway.

Some new bird netting fitted over it perfectly.

While transplanting, I pondered the apocalypse and thought about whether or not to try to make a deer fence for that area out of some good solid black plastic deer fence that we have and some bamboo or driftwood or whatever else we might have around, including an old door. My fenced garden has little room for veg as it is almost all ornamental (except for herbs, apple tree, elephant garlic, blueberries, edible flowers). I can incorporate some chard along the edges and that’s about all.

With the makeshift deer fence in mind, I dug up some rhubarb plants (two of four) to put them in an area that will be outside the imaginary fence. The short but juicy red stems broke right off. The plants were buried deeply by new soil that had been added from the gravel project. I regretted moving them, having missed a lot of root, but at least it resulted in stewed rhubarb as a tasty dessert later on.

Container gardening will meet some kitchen garden needs, inspired by this excellent book:

I still have strawberries to transplant out of the vulnerable containers to other, lighter weight and moveable containers.

Some green bunching onions went into the container on the left and one row of radishes into the middle one; then I searched the web and learned that deer eat radish leaves. Two other kinds of radishes went into containers on the patio (inside the deer fence), along with some chard. I asked Allan to think of a clever way to enclose the concrete pad behind the garage with some sort of deer protection that actually works.

To clear out a big container on the patio, I moved a Corokia sort of shrublet whose name I forget. Sunshine something. Golden foliage. Too close to the cistus but it’s desperate times. They can intermingle, perhaps. I hope it survives.

The good ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’ may also go to veg instead of cosmos when the tulips are done. It will then be the food ship ‘Ann Lovejoy’. It would look best with a tall veg, perhaps. Not sure what, nor do I think I can order more and different seeds because I hear the seed companies are running out.

I may not have mentioned that the reason for all this is not because I think the grocery store food chain will collapse, but because it might be three months or more before I feel safe going to a store, and because these days I don’t want to eat a salad mix that someone else has handled. I had resolved when partially retired to grow more veg. This is just a two year advance on that plan.

All day I enjoyed my birthday present from Allan, a pair of solar fountains in the water boat.

In the evening, we have been watching Black Mirror. I love it (except for finding the first episode deeply disturbing), yet while watching, I notice the scenes of people mingling, as life used to be, and it makes me nostalgic and sad, even though I haven’t been much of a mingler of late. I was moved by an article about how the world might be permanently changed, an assortment of ideas on Politico.

Tomorrow, more of the same.

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