Workin’

Beltane                                                                       Beltane Moon

Flagged off my Latin tutor for this Friday.  Bees, garden, retreat, finishing Missing combined to soak up my good work time.  To do well at the Latin I have to have a full day; it takes me awhile to turn on the neural network that recognizes cases, remembers Ovid’s peculiarities and enjoys the play of connotation and denotation.  Once I get in that place, which may take as much as a morning, then I can translate faster, with more facility.  But.  I need that unbroken time.  Just the way I work.

Rain kept me out of the garden last Thursday so I’ve got to out there right now and plant potatoes and chard.  The garden’s looking good, daffodils and tulips, bleeding heart and hosta, pachysandra and maiden-hair ferns greeting the strawberry blossoms, the asparagus spears, the green shafts of the allium family:  onion, shallot, garlic and the small leaves of the emerging beets.

Today, too, is another round in the Can I keep Gertie in the yard game?  I added another wire and plan yet more moves.  I’m smarter; she’s more persistent.  An equal match so far.

Changes Comin’

Mid-Summer                                                            Waxing Honey Flow Moon

Mark and I transplanted hemerocallis (daylily) from the tiered gardens in the back to a front bed defined by a bur oak now in its 17th year and a Norway pine equally old.  What we’re 06-28-10_earlyliliesdoing is gradually filling in spots on our grounds that seem to always require weeding, maintenance with plants that are hardy, go it alone types.  The hemerocallis, like the hosta, receive scorn from landscape designers and permaculture folks, but like all God’s creatures, they too have a place.  And their place is to grow in those places you don’t want to have to worry or fuss about.  As we get older, we plan to retire more and more beds to this kind of planting, reducing the ongoing work until we have only some vegetables in a raised bed or two and the orchard.  The rest will be in asiatic lilies, hemerocallis, hosta, bugbane, grasses, ferns, bulbs like tulips and daffodils, monkshod and various shrubs.

We don’t want to nor do we need to get there all of a sudden.  We still love the bees, the vegetable garden, the orchard and the perennials, but realistically there will come a time when weeding, planting and transplanting will no longer be fun, but will turn into chores.  At that point we want to have grounds that correspond to our willingness and ability to care for them.

Kate’s retirement has brought up a lot of these questions.  We love her retirement and the success she’s shown in recovering from her recent, second, hip replacement.  That means a lot of things that were too painful in the past, like long car rides and train trips, may become more possible.   So, we’re not shuttling back into the shell until the end, just trying to be realistic about life’s changes that are ahead and inevitable.