After much overtime, and a very intense courier trip to Mexico City, I have finally returned to my favorite pastime of plopping my ass in the garden and tending to my flock. I have returned from my forced blogging hiatus and climbed down from the pyramid of the sun in Teotihuacan to discover that while I was abroad my yard has exploded with growth!
I’ll fill you in on my trip in my next post with some amazing photos! But for now, I wanted to return to simple things. The stuff that Mind Your Dirt is meant to be about. The garden. No more melancholy over the loss of rock stars or pissing and moaning about working too much. It’s the brass tacks y’all. The meat and potatoes (although neither of those are in the content below). In short, I’m back baby! Did you miss me?
Being away from home for a spell truly affords you some perspective. I came in late Thursday night so I didn’t see the changes until I woke up too early on Friday morning (jetlag). When I stepped outside, I was blown away. Things were bursting with buds everywhere I looked. But what I noticed before even stepping out the door was the sweet smell of jasmine. It wafted through the open window and pulled me out of bed in a pleasant dreamlike fervor.
And no, it wasn’t just a few flowers like shown above. It was bazillions of flowers!
Flowers as far as the eye can see! Reaching towards the heavens in fragrant awesomeness.
Then I began to walk around as the haze of sleep wore off and notice that life was exploding everywhere.
My newly planted cherry tree began pushing buds while I was away.
And not just any ol’ cherry tree. This one is a Frankensteinian mutant freak of a cherry tree. Four different types of cherries have been grafted onto one root stock! Lapins, Black Tartarian, Stella (pronounced like Marlin Brando would) and Bing cherry.
I have high hopes for this cherry tree so it’s a good sign to see it budding on queue like this. It’s refreshing when my humble attempts at gardening behave as I hope they do. That’s not always the case and I’m learning as I go.
Another tricky wicket that I’ve been fighting to overcome was the willow tree I planted next to my water feature. Not a wise plan in hind-sight as you can see here. Well I’ve remedied that (for now) by some aggressive root pruning mixed with a water feature foundation rebuild that should prove to be effective at keeping the invasive roots at bay.
I also trimmed the willow tree above ground. The canopy was getting to much for my tastes so I decided to prune it back heavily to give some room for the grass and black-eyed Susan vine to grow. Also so I can walk around the tree without a machete and three local native guides to find the way to the lost temple of poor decision making. Here’s the tree with half of a haircut.
I know this kinda defeats the purpose of having a weeping willow. Let’s just call it a “mildly depressed willow” for now and move on shall we? Grand.
Well, I’m happy to report that my major surgery did not cause the patient to lose it’s life! The mildly depressed willow is now bouncing back with new growth of its own!
And now I can see inside the chicken coop and run as well as give more space to the black-eyed Susans.
Speaking of the chicken coop, I also paid a visit to the girls to see how they faired in my absence. My awesome neighbor helped me by watching them while I was away. She ended up thanking me instead of the other way around because she really got into the whole urban chicken process. Which is great! I think all my readers should follow suit and get a backyard chicken flock going. Here’s a good place to start.
And, of course, Piper gets the special treatment. She does way less damage than the other girls and is also on the bottom of the pecking order so I like to give her some alone time in the yard to gather bugs and weeds at her leisure. Here she is glowing in the setting sun with the other girls getting all jealous in the background.
While in the chicken run, I couldn’t help but notice that the Satsuma tangerine tree is somehow blooming once again. Perhaps it’s all the chicken shit that is giving this tree such a boost the last two years. Maybe its some form of wizardry. Either way, I’ve been getting oranges about three times more than usual!
My vitamin C levels will be through the roof if this keeps up. But let’s get back to the critters…
I also got my regular visit from the millions of hummingbirds that frequent my yard and waterfall. Here’s a couple enjoying a drink and sauna during their busy day.
Speaking of busy days, here’s the opposite of that. Sasha enjoying the scene in leisurely style.
The winter vegetable garden is pumping along as well. I’ve got kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli in the mix with some flowers scattered about for the bees. I couldn’t find the photo from right after planting though. All I could find was this…
That’s Piper helping me plant. I did find a shot from January for a comparison though…
Everything is growing perfectly!
It looks like I got the nematode problem all worked out. I’ve been keeping the slugs and snails away with crushed eggshells. No need for chemicals here! Only a few nibbles throughout the whole garden. There is always a safe and sustainable way to protect your crops so never give up and take the seemingly easy way out!
All of my fruit trees are in bloom as well. The pomegranate tree had zero buds when I left for Mexico. When I returned not only did it have new leaves, but about two dozen tiny flower buds as well. Nury will be so excited!
The apple trees were also showing signs of life…
Even the tiny Little Jeanne dwarf peach tree is bursting with flowers.
I pruned this back aggressively as well. It was growing into a small bush instead of a tree so I removed all branches that were leading downward and outward and thinned the canopy to allow for more light and air. I’ve only tasted one peach from this tree in the three years I’ve had it. It was so delicious but not nearly enough. Hopefully it will do better this year.
In the front yard, the coastal coral is doing well. It’s in it’s flowering cycle now and I attempted to take a photo for you.
While this is a lovely photo, I realized that it’s too hard to make out the true beauty of the bloom from the low angle. The solution? Climb that bad boy and get a better shot! See the risks I take for my awesome readers?
And in slippers as well! And here is a better shot of the bloom.
Everywhere I looked I found amazing flowers. Take a gander as we stroll the yard in search of these beauties.
Truly the best welcome home I could hope for. I feel invigorated by this renewed life all around me. The promise of delicious organic fruits and vegetables makes me so happy for all the hard work I put into this once barren wasteland. It’s also good to be back in your good graces after my absence. I have a lot to share with you and I hope that you were able to forgive me. I’ll leave you with a photo of my new hammock. The last one was torn to shreds by series of wind storms. Here’s the place that I never seem to make use of because I can never seem to stop farting around the yard.