RBO end of June

Squirrels dug in the pots where I’d planted my grown-from-seed lettuce seedlings and destroyed them all, even though I’d put the pots up on a table to make it harder for critters to get to them.

I wrote and delivered a conference paper that helps to expand what I have for the final chapter of the Putative Book, and have just had an interesting e-mail exchange with a friend working on something related.

Sir John and I went on a road trip and had a great time. The cats obviously missed us terribly, though we had a friend visit them twice a day to tend them. Basement Cat met us at the door, yowling until we were actually inside, and Reina, who had been confined to my study, yowled until we released her. She hasn’t deigned to sit on either of us, but does do more rubbing against us and talking, while Basement Cat demands lap time and reclining snuggles with Sir John. They were separated while we were gone to keep them from fighting, and I was afraid we’d have to do some elaborate re-introduction routine when we came back, but it went fine, which is to say there’s only the usual staring and hissing.

I’ve taken everything out of my closet and washed it or run it through the dryer on hot, after I saw a moth near the beginning of the month. Now for cleaning the walls and then putting things back. Last night there was another moth in the bathroom, which I didn’t manage to kill before it disappeared against a patterned background. Reina couldn’t find it, either.

I’ve done at least a little bit of work on all four of the classes I will teach next year. Anything I can do now will help out my future self. There’s never enough time in the winter break to prep spring classes, so I’m trying to do some revision on them this summer.

I’ve also done a lot of fun reading, mostly fantasy, romance, and mid-century novels by British women, the sort of thing published by Furrowed Middlebrow. Sometimes the FM blog gives brief descriptions of now-unattainable books that make me want to head straight to one of the UK depository libraries and spend the summer reading through everything they have of this kind. If I worked on twentieth-century literature, that might even be a respectable research project. I suppose I could go work on a respectable medieval project and then spend evenings reading old novels in the not-medieval reading rooms, after the manuscripts room closed.

Another late Saturday Six

Most of the day went on minor tasks like laundry, cooking, errands, the sort of thing that expands to fill the time available. I pulled some duchesnea indica out of the lawn, though it’s not rushing to come back into the veg patch, at least. There were a couple of glasses of wine in there, too, and a comfort re-read of D. E. Stevenson’s Spring Magic. At some point I took a few photos, and since there are a couple of hours remaining to Saturday, here they are.

One is my one remaining coreopsis. There used to be two varieties of it in this bed, but one didn’t come back this spring.

Two, this pale pink geranium has appeared among the ferns in the shade garden. I don’t recall seeing it before.

Three, a much bigger flower, the hydrangea Annabelle (you can see I never got around to dead-heading last year’s flowers).

Four, the wild side, with red clover and crown vetch:

Now we’ll move on to the deck plants. Here are the two pots of cherry tomatoes plus herbs. One of the tomato plants nearly doubled in size during the past week; the other is growing more slowly.

Six, pots of seedlings. I was away for a few days last week and didn’t think the seedling were ready to go in the ground, but also didn’t want to leave them in shallow pots that would dry out in the heat, so took interim measures. The chard and lettuce seedlings that I bought are doing very well. Of the three strawberry plants I bought at a sale, two survived the wretched weather. It’s a little hard to see how the lettuce and spinach I grew from seed are doing, but at least a few of them are still there around the edges of the chard. I’ll try to get a lot of this stuff in the ground this week, and start more spinach and lettuce seeds. I may pull out the collard greens (shown in the first picture last week), which are already getting chewed on by cabbage white caterpillars, and just grow other greens this year, unless my organic anti-bug spray (mostly garlic and clove oils, I think) puts the little buggers off. It seemed to be doing some good before I went away, but only when I sprayed every day.

Six on Saturday is hosted by the Propagator. I managed to get over there to see some other people’s posts this morning.

Six on Saturday, mainly veg

I don’t know how the week goes by so fast! I always think I’ll do some other blog posts, and then it’s Saturday again already. In the past week, I did a lot of work in the vegetable patch, and related planting on the deck.

#1, the veg patch with collards, marigolds in hopes of warding off bugs, two tomatoes, and some herbs. The oregano, sage, and chives came back from last year; the basil and rosemary are new.

#2, close-up of the sage, around whose roots fungi sprouted after a lot of recent rain:

#3 looks like a big patch of bare dirt, but this is my (probably temporary) victory over duchesnea indica (mock strawberry), this year’s invasive species to battle. I’m sure I’ll have to keep digging as bits of the roots regenerate. It’s imported from Asia and often used as a ground cover, but has the potential to spread into wild areas and replace native plants, so I don’t want to give it space.

#4 moves us down to the deck, where some of my seeds have sprouted. Since the six-packs have been moved in and out of rain and sun a few times, I’ve lost track of whether this is a lettuce or a spinach, but at any rate, I’m pleased to see these. When they get a bit bigger, they can go into the vegetable patch.

#5 is one of the deck pots with a cherry tomato and oregano, with a home-made support cum squirrel shield. There’s a second pot much the same, but with thyme. I’ve forgotten which has the red tomatoes and which the yellow, but time will tell.

For #6, flowers! Geranium and salvia, with a bit of wild carrot (or something like that) from the shady side border.

Six on Saturday is hosted by the Propagator. This week his roses and clematis are a lovely range of pinks and purples; check them out!

Five flowers and a squirrel

Six photos, but one of these things is not like the others! Or maybe two, since #1 has a rabbit in it along with the peonies:

#2 is a peony close-up
#3 is dianthus and spiderwort, just off the deck
Speaking of the deck, here’s the squirrel we call Blackie
#5, Alpine columbine
#6, Nora Barlow columbine

As so often, I’m squeaking in under the wire with my Six on Saturday, but it is still Saturday in my time zone, and it has been a busy day. After doing a load of laundry, I went to the farmer’s market, then drove to visit a friend at a cafe by the river, and in the evening I did some planting. The two blue pots on the deck each got a cherry tomato plant (one red, one yellow) and an herb for company (one thyme, one Greek oregano). I also sowed some spinach and lettuce seeds in re-used plastic six-packs. We’ll see if any sprout. I had no luck last year. And I made a batch of shortbread.

Six on Saturday is hosted by the Propagator.