Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hope Springs...Eventually


Yesterday was glorious. By the time I reached the bottom of my first glass of wine the indentation of my socks around my peaked ankles was gone and I was soaking up the sunshine.

I've been honing my latest meditation "Homestead TV" now for over 2 months, rain or shine and I've come to a few conclusions about how I feel about my garden. First, let me explain the nature of Homestead TV. I come out to the very back corner of my yard, book, journal, libation and chicken scratch in hand and I let out the critters for a minimum of 2 hours, that's four chickens and 2 bunnies...after the Boston Terrorists have been safely secured in my bedroom with their own treats. Oh, I grab my camera as well...when I remember. Then I sit, and observe the space. What's growing, what's the weather like, where's the sun, what's coming back...what's a lost cause...what the heck is that crazy chicken doing, are those rabbits trying to mate...wait they're sisters! And so it goes. The girls join me when they get home from school with a snack and devoted spouse sometimes shows up with a 6 pack of delicious IPA and it's wonderful. Before the crowd happens I take note of what birds are visiting and what subtle changes the thawing brings.

Things of interest...well to me: My uncle Clyde sent me 2 bluebird houses he made a few years back that have sat empty until Monday. We now have a Chick-a-dee couple taking up residence in the one we installed at the pitch of the chicken coop. The sedum in the window boxes made it through the winter! Without being watered? Wow. 3 of the plants in the paint cans survived without attention...I thought the metal would conduct the cold and freeze the roots...? Go figure. I'm ready to eat my chickens that are not producing eggs. I never thought I'd do that.
Last week the city came and took out a huge portion of my American Elm, they said it was too close to the wires...it was covering them up, which is why I liked them. Anyway, they were nice enough to tie my tire swing back up, and did a better job than I. That tree doesn't have much longer to live and it's really a shame because it's the home to a pair of Ladder Backed Woodpeckers and many, many squirrels. I put up a Screech Owl Box, but no takers so far. I thought I had a pair early last Autumn but they were just short term-renters I guess.

Onto my realization. I need a break. Some time to absorb the changes that must take place because I simply don't have the time, energy or desire to maintain my garden like a city-wide tour is next week. I'm going to do the necessary Spring pruning (it's underway) and put some Turkey-poo on the St. Augustine and aerate the poor damaged minuscule lawn...it still hasn't popped back. I'm going to transplant a few things that look ridiculous where they are, straggling among nothing else that lived and I'm going to throw out, yes THROW OUT seeds...maybe the chickens will eat them, maybe they'll work 'em into the soil...I don't know. But, I have way too many seeds and they're just going to go to waste waiting for me to make up my mind...I'd rather have the space. Something else I've decided...I'm tired of dealing with indoor plants. So, I'm going to need to find new homes for them...though spouse wants to take a good portion of them to his office. A few sentimental ones I'll keep...like the new Orchid my daughter got me for Christmas, that is STILL blooming. I love Orchids.

Anyway, I feel better about everything now. The bees and birds are back and I think we've found a system that will keep the chickens safe. I will be planting veggies...that's not an option, I can't live without fresh greens and vegetables. I hope the fig tree makes it...only one branch is sporting baby buds.
I'm excited about the process of letting things rebound. I'm over grieving for my lovely lost yard and energetic about the long sit. Sound contradictory? Naa, "Meditation in Action." A lot of watching and wondering, still an enormous amount of spring cleaning. I'm keeping a journal of what is truly Texas hardy...I didn't cover anything up but my eatin' greens so what lives is a true Texas winner...and those will be the plants I'll use in the yards I design.
You'll get to work now! Happy Gardening!

13 comments:

ChrisG said...

Homestead TV!!! Love it! It must be very calming to watch the chickens and bunnies.

Hope to see you at the mg meeting tonite.
ChrisG

katina said...

I haven't even bothered going outside to see what has survived (other than the artemesia, rock rose, and society garlic). Though based on everyone else's vigorous bulbine plants, I think it means mine have bit the dust.

Diana said...

How liberating. Keep up the good meditation - you're inspiring me!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Cheryl, I watch a lot of Homestead TV here on my corner of Katy. It's very soothing. I can totally relate to your decision to step back and take a break. Here's to both of us stressing less and watching Homestead TV more!

Bob said...

Eat your chickens, you're not that kind of gal. Chickens go in and out of egg laying cycles so they will probably start laying soon.

I truely can't remember you having any grass in your yard. I've actually told people about your beautiful gardens and said you had no grass. I've actually made big plans for doing away with our front yard and making it into gardens after looking at yours. Your front yard is just perfect and more people should do that.

Caroline said...

I like the way you think!

ConsciousGardener said...

Oh I am so Bob! I will not eat another CAFO animal...only happy ones that I know lived a good life!

Bob said...

OK, I'm stupid, or out of the loop. What is a CAFO animal?

Phyllis York said...

I absolutely loved your blog. Was hanging on every word...and was SO relieved when I got to the end and read the words "in the yards I design". So you will help me again, right, when I also emerge from my sabbatical from the yard? Come April, I will be ready and free from work. A cuppa java on Funston Street will be waiting for you!

Lancashire rose said...

I think we should all spend a little more time doing what you have been doing- sitting down and just watching what is going on out there. I usually spend about 5 minutes doing that, in a totally exhausted state. Then back to work cutting down, pulling out all that dead stuff. I hope your fig makes it- mine too. Just one tiny bud going nowhere. Did your Philippine violet make it? Mine is showing no signs of life-rats.

LindaCTG said...

I love Homestead TV. It's my best way to relax, too. Haven't brought the bunnies out to playpen just yet but this weekend for sure. You've got the right philosophy about gardening. Oh, and cheers!

ConsciousGardener said...

Hey Bob, google CAFO and you'll have reading for days...essentially it's the current mode of raising animals for food and it's criminal in my opinion. Also, check out a few films: Food Inc., King Corn, Fast Food Nation and anything written by Michael Pollen.

getgrounded said...

Cheryl, I know what you mean about collecting a plant list of what made it through the past two years. Your beautiful garden, which I admired on the tour, had to be way way too much work. To see it all fry or freeze had to be hard. I love your plan and will keep checking back to hear more about it.