Monday, May 21, 2007

Lightning Leads to Productive Weekend

I suppose I might have got everything done anyway. But you never know.

On Friday evening, as we sat down for a late Shabbat dinner, a severe thunderstorm formed over Sedillo. The lightning was fierce, and seemed to come from all around us. One very close strike--we saw the lightning and heard the very loud crash of thunder almost simultaneously--tripped the circuit breakers and caused a power surge. We unplugged all of our surge protectors, and did not use the computers and television again until we replaced the surge protectors Sunday evening. And did we have a wonderfully productive weekend. It helped that N. was on a campout with the Boy Scouts and MLC was away in Dalles.

On Saturday morning, we took a long walk, enjoying the sunny morning with the dogs. Fog rolled in over the hills, due to the 0.54 inches of rain we received compliments of the previous evening thunderstorm.

We took our time, knowing that we'd have clear weather until late in the afternoon--fog usually indicates a clear day.

We are really enjoying the green!

I know it looks light green to the eyes of those who live in wet areas, but to us, this is really, really green.

Our green roof still stands out across the meadow, but last year at this time, our meadow was totally brown.

Starting Friday afternoon, I got out into the side garden. It was critical.

The amazingly regular spring rains had caused weeds to spring up and grow a foot overnight!

Here are the abundant weeds--some clover, some other stuff--as they looked Friday afternoon. On the left, the Aspen trees are totally out of control.

When we moved in a year ago, I spent six weeks just getting us settled. That, combined with the necessity of taking care of the old house in town until it sold in September, and the early record-breaking monsoon precipitation we got last summer meant that I did almost nothing with this yard!

Finally, I had good weeding weather this weekend and I hit the side garden. I weeded on Friday afternoon. On Saturday afternoon, I pruned the the Aspens and weeded the raised beds behind them. It is amazing, the previous owner had a herb garden in one of them,last planted in 2005, and there is volunteer parsley and purple onion flowers growing there. She had also put a rosemary bush in one corner. I left it for now, but I am thinking of transplanting it to the slope after I finish that project.

Here is the side garden as it appears now!

What a difference, huh? The Aspens look like trees rather than uncontrolled jungle growth.

I got rid of the Aspen suckers growing through the gravel and even in the raised beds.

That is a temporary solution--Aspens are weedy trees. We'll probably have to take them out completely.

Although I removed the large clover and other weeds, I left the clumps of ornamental grass, may they increase and prosper! There are also some wildflowers that I left. They are beautiful this year!

Yesterday, I had been called to do a tahara (ritual care of the dead) in the morning, and then we went to the funeral in the afternoon. In between, I came home and planted the raised beds. I put in dill, more parsley, Italian Sage, and Feverfew in the two beds. Planting is a life-affirming action that brought me balance after the tahara.

Today, I am taking a non-gardening day to complete some indoor chores, like laundry! N. is taking a rest-day after his two-night camp-out. He finished up his "toting chip" (use of knife and axe) requirements. He is ready to start on Kemana II tomorrow.
Our next outdoor project is to deal with the steep slope to the left of the side garden. It began eroding badly last summer. So we are going to put steps diagonally across the slope and terrace it for planting. I want to put a mixed meadow of blue gramma grass and wildflowers on the terraces. I need to find my New Mexico gardening books as well as the hardscaping book to figure out exactly how to do that!
Summer goes by more quickly every year and I have so much I want to accomplish!


Lill said...

Elisheva, I am so fascinated by your desert landscaping. Here in Maine, we're slogging through wet grass, swatting blackflies and early mosquitoes and some of the trees are still not fully leafed out. Maine is such a waterlogged state compared to New Mexico. Our swamp is fuller than usual and the little spring streams are in full spate. I like New England springs, but I spent some time in the Southwest and came to like the desert too. Rosemary is so fragrant. Probably my favorite herb. I chew on organic rosemary sprigs because it's supposed to prevent breast cancer - and it just tastes good. LOL.
Happy gardening,

Becky said...

Elisheva, From the picture and your written description of of the "purple onion flowers," I believe they are chives. Here is a picture, some info and fav chive recipes:

What a great blog you have! I enjoyed seeing your book lists, etc -- we homeschool, too.

Hope this is helpful info and that you will so enjoy establishing your new garden! Have fun!! :)

Happy Gardening!

Shawna said...

I concur, the purple onion flowers are chives LOL I have some in my own raised beds. And you have done wonders out there--very beautiful!