Archive for August, 2013

As often happens on the acreage my carefully laid plans for the day went sideways this morning, a result of nature’s more urgent plans. A massive storm swept through the area last night and although there was not much damage, the beautiful sunflower patch that was only just beginning to bloom was hit hard. Had I planted the patch myself, I’d have probably just resigned myself to the fact that sh*t happens and moved on. It just so happens that I have a particular affinity for this little plot of towering flowers because it wasn’t me at all who planted it. The birds did.

I planted several sunflowers last year, a half dozen at most, to see how they’d fare in this environment. Four of them made it, growing to about eight feet tall. I planned on harvesting the seed and replanting this year but when I went to retrieve the seed there was none. Not a single seed left. I checked the garden around them but nothing. No surprise really- we have a tremendous number of birds that both live on the property and migrate through. They’re why, although I have a number of berry bushes, I never have any berries. Fair enough.

In early spring of this year, I noticed a good number of plants growing in areas where I hadn’t planted anything. Dill and borage have largely taken over the “lawn”, with patches of milk thistle and mint spread throughout. Some of this is due to moving gardens and letting things go to seed without harvesting them, some is due to wind, birds and other critters. The sunflower patch must be entirely due to the birds and because of the lovely surprise that it was to find them growing (and all in a relatively concentrated patch with the odd outlier), I feel somewhat obliged to take care of them. So I spent the first part of the day replanting and staking them. With any luck they’ll take and continue growing.

As for the building- we’ve been working on the roof almost exclusively, another unexpected change in plans. “A roof?” you might ask, “didn’t you already have a roof?” Why yes, yes we did. And do. This will be roof-part-deux. The last one was insufficient. While it kept the weather out well enough, I was not thinking about protecting the lime plaster that I spent soooo much time on last year, and the fact that the lime was on top of a clay plaster, which incidentally melts in water. My brain power returns only in the off-season when the round the clock hard labour slows, so… A roof. That’s what I’m working on and will hopefully have an update on that any day now (not likely).

A final note- I have no idea what several of the wild plants are that grow out here. If you can identify any of the plants below (apart from the obvious sunflower), would you mind letting me know what they are?


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