Wednesday, 6 April 2016

A Little Bit of Everything

So what about this weather? Can't make up its mind - Easter Sunday it was so warm I sat out on the porch at the parents' in a t-shirt and bare feet and was too hot, then it got cold again this week, and today it's snowing. My library pile, with books on famous English gardens at Sissinghurst and Munstead, seems a nice escape from the snow.

The preparations for spring are moving forward, though. Clean-up outside is mostly done. My seeds have all arrived, and all the windowsills are occupied by flats (spaced so the cat can still jump up in her usual places, though). The zinnias and salpiglossis are up already, and I check the window boxes more often than I check my e-mails, waiting for the next little plants. I feel really happy about the salpiglossis, since they haven't had a textbook life so far. The package said they had to be sprouted in the dark for 20 days at 80 F. Well, I wrapped them in black plastic and put them in the windowsill right by the stove, since I couldn't think of any other way to keep them warm. After less than a week (!) they were up, tiny, pale,  spindly things, so I thought they might be better off with light, and switched the black plastic for clear. And promptly managed to drop the flat upside-down while putting it back on the windowsill. But there were still seedlings on top, in the soil, when I turned it back over - thank goodness for that bag I had over it - so I thought no harm in seeing if they'll live. And they are - they are bigger and they have little green leaves, so all is well!

Assorted items done: Got things up in my Etsy store again - and this time they are set up to auto-renew if they expire. Yay, because I'm really bad at paying attention to that little job. Got my taxes done today. Finalized the garden plans I made for Liz last spring (she had a busy year too, so it wasn't like she was twiddling her thumbs waiting on me), and did some estimating for a patio a friend wants.

Work hasn't started yet, except for our first job of the season, which was building a garden at the Home and Garden show the other week. We took a day and a half to do the planting, between deciding how things would look best, and juggling the plan when some plants didn't show up in good condition. Trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs in bloom, we had it all, in a stone and wood backyard patio setting the construction team built. I was worried tear-down would be a long job also, but it went like a team of army ants had gotten in. Three hours only, and we kept all the plants for use this summer.

A treat Easter Monday - a whole flock of Bohemian waxwings showed up and hung around for a while, eating the little crabapples on a tree in the front yard at the parents'. Gorgeous birds, and watching them eat crabapples is a hoot. They were eating them whole, but if the apple is too big...bird opens beak wide, apple slides down, bird closes beak, apple slides back up!

There has been fibre stuff going on as well, of course. Mitts for the ranch store, and now I'm on an interesting project; a request for a chiengora lace scarf. The dog is more of a hair than a fur type, so I mixed it with half Romney wool, spun a couple bobbins of fairly fine 2-ply, and now it's on the needles in an Estonian floral lace pattern.


The mitts are both from a book by Solveig Larsson, and it is a lovely book.

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