08 May 2007


No, not the Sir Mix-a-Lot variety, though it'll be interesting to see what sort of Google searches it attracts.

It's been a beautiful and busy spring around here the last several days, which is why it's been 5 days since my last post. Friday we went up to my parents', partly to visit them and retrieve a couple of apple trees they'd picked up for us, partly because it was a closer jumping off point to go do a herd health visit at an alpaca farm up in the mountains. David had never visited the mountains, the Northern part of the Appalachian range, and was surprised to see a fair bit of snow still on the mountains and even in the shady parts of the valley.

Sunday night at work was busy, busy, busy, with no down time at all to pick up the shawl-in-progress (I'm mostly through the 12th of 20 repeats for the body). Then I had a recheck appointment at an alpaca farm on my way home, and a ton of errands to run, and then a couple apple trees to plant. Yesterday, I only managed to get one of them done.


This is a Cole's Quince, which is a rare heirloom variety that originated here in southern Maine. It took me 3 or 4 hours to get the hole properly prepared and get this into the ground, partly because of the fibromyalgia but largely because of that fine harvest of rocks you can see in the photo.

After all that running around and hard physical labor, I dragged myself upstairs and took a long soak in a hot bath with lavender and cedarwood oils. I also fell asleep long enough that my wrinkles had wrinkles, but the tub is far too short for me to slide down and drown, so do not fear for my safety. And when I finally went to bed, I slept the sleep of the dead for 13 hours, with only the vaguest recollection of David coming to bed and getting up.

Today's planting was a bit quicker, as there were not quite as many rocks (though still some very nice specimens which can't be seen in the photo).


This one is a Wealthy, which was developed in Minnesota from seed that originated in Maine. I had ordered a Baldwin, but they didn't have any when my folks went to pick up the order and my mother settled on this one instead. It's supposed to ripen earlier and doesn't have quite the storage quality of the Baldwin, but I look forward to seeing what I get from it.

Of course, part of the fun of gardening on an old farm like this is that it also becomes a bit of an archaeological dig when you come across things like this:


or these:


My flower bed also continues to surprise and delight. These little species tulips opened up next to the steps the other day.


I really prefer the species varieties of tulips to the common Triumph varieties that one usually sees planted. Largely, I think, because they're so unexpected, but I feel like they also have more character - each is a bit different and unique. One thing I'm not terribly keen on is double flowering varieties of most anything, but these daffodils opened up quite unexpectedly, and I must admit I think they're lovely.


And I've been watching for the last several weeks to see whether the Siberian irises were going to get over their indignation at being dug up last fall (They're such primadonnas). At least some of them have.


I won't hold my breath for blossoms this year, but we shall see.


M-H said...

I love old-fashioned apple varieties! We had one when I was growing up called a Cox's Orange that you don't seem to be able to get here in Aus. Also Sturmers, an old cooking variety that is very tart, seem to have disappeared.

Anonymous said...

My girl cat would love that orange rubber ball. She seems to have lost all of hers under things. :-)

The apple varieties sound great. Hope they settle in well and the squirrels don'T eat all the fruit.

Mel said...

Actually, it's a marble, not a rubber ball. I've found a few of them here and there.

knitnzu said...

Nice job with the apple trees! (I took a tree steward class and graduated twice from a forestry school, so I noticed how they are planted-beautifully!). I have heard that about the siberians, but my experience has been different with them. The lived (and GREW) while being buried under 5 or 6 feet of clayey soil that we dug up when we put in a retaining wall. The pile sat around over a year, two?, and when I got around to moving it, I found green sprouting leaves! However, my big bed saw hard wear with two and occasionally three dogs tramping on it this past year. Rhizomes all exposed. So it's now fenced off, and I'll give them some care so they can show off again next year. We find lots of similar treasures around here. Oh, and we're rock farmers too.

Cheryl said...

Hahaha! I've had hits from people googling "Baby got back". I wonder if they were disappointed.

Sheepish Annie said...

Isn't it nice to finally see some signs of spring around here?? It's enough to almost thaw my cold Sheepie heart! I'm told I was humming today, although I'm not sure that I believe that.