gardening in may

Short Rambles

I would like to have a day off in April. If all goes to plan, Sunday is that day. It’s been a long, long month and we still have a third of it to go. Not that it’s been uneventful!

We signed on the house Wednesday. I’m devoting my art sales money for the rest of the summer to building my garden, by the way, so if you’ve ever wanted a piece of my work, now is the time! You’ll get a deal, and the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped build something beautiful I’ll use to make even more art. I’ll write more about my garden philosophy soon. When I have a spare moment. Which, frankly, looks like it won’t been very soon.

The house is great, it’s good, it’s so wonderful we’ll have our own place again. One thing I’ve learned after renting for eighteen months is that having my own place is important for my peace of mind. Yes, yes, there’s a lot of expense and hassle involved with owning, but I think it’s worth it. This isn’t the first time the First Reader and I have had our own place, it’s just that the last house was tiny (one bedroom) and not in the best of shape (to put it mildly). This house passed a notoriously sticky VA appraisal process and is move-in ready. Which isn’t to say that it’s perfect as-is. The kitchen in particular needs some work to be fully functional, because it’s not laid out to be friendly to a cook/baker/experimenter. However, it’s big enough to give me the wiggle room to make it my personal domain and I’m looking forward to that. It’s recently renovated, just not designed well. The rest of the house? It’s smaller than I’d hoped for, but ample room for the kids and us, and in one of the perks I’d been looking for but almost given up on: we have a master bath. So nice.

We can start moving in a week, but we have plenty to do to finish packing in this coming week. Also, we’re planning a slow move – the new house is only 2.8 miles from the current residence, so we can slide on over with a load after work every day and trickle this in a couple of weeks rather than busting our butts doing it in a couple of days. I’d rather not exhaust us like that, not with the work schedules the way they are right now.

Effectively, my writing and art, and all my creative outlets, have a little sign hung on them ‘back later’ because I haven’t got the energy. My brain is protesting by giving me vivid dreams of painting, sculpting (which I haven’t even done in 20 years!) and story snippets while I’m sleeping or in a hold pattern at work. This gives me hope that when I do finally have the time, it’ll come back to me.

But in the meantime, I need to dig out a pad of graph paper, do some measurements, and start planning the Suburban Orchard and Artist’s Garden. The sellers graciously handed us the survey map they’d done of the lot a few years ago so I have precise guidelines to start on. Bliss. Pure bliss…

The New House is a modest ranch at the end of a cul-de-sac. It’s on a double lot, so I have plenty of room for several fruit trees, enough berry bushes to keep the First Reader in cobblers and crisps, and an Artist’s Garden surrounding the decks for color and scent.

The back deck will get sun sails (my complexion y’know) and be a fantastic place to entertain friends. There are dwarf fruit trees next to it already! (the barn in the background is the neighbor’s)


14 responses to “Short Rambles”

  1. Kathleen Sanderson Avatar
    Kathleen Sanderson

    I look forward to seeing what you will do with your house and garden!

    1. I’m planning a modified permaculture approach. I will incorporate herbs with my flowers near the house, but I think most of the veg is going in a more traditional garden by the trees, so I can rototill it annually.

  2. i think that house is a little bigger than ‘modest’…

    1. 3bds, 2 baths. I wanted 4 bds, but it wasn’t happening and we couldn’t keep looking much longer with everything that needed doing this year. Also, this house having been extensively remodeled and modernized it’s really nice inside. I’ll post more photos in a week when we start moving in.

      1. i still want to own a place that is actually wired for Ethernet.

        1. Well, I could probably do that with this house… LOL

          Actually, depending on how well the wifi works, I just might. The rental is miserable even with a booster point.

          1. wifi in my room is horrible… apparently the AC vent and stove and stuff between me and the access point ensure crummy wifi. Even the Infinity Wifi that blankets the neighborhood is bad in here but not the living room.

  3. Until you make that coffee table art book, I am going to be a curmudgeonly albatross.

    1. Until I have more than 30 minutes at a go, I don’t have time. But yes, I know and it’s on my list.

  4. Congrats! I look forward to seeing the garden take shape.

  5. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Good luck and enjoy!
    Dwarf fruit tree?
    Are you going to name one Gimli?

    1. I should! If all goes to plan it’ll be more like the Seven Dwarves 😀

  6. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Our friends farm also includes fruit trees.
    He is a wealth of practical experience on how to successfully grow fruit trees near Pittsburgh, and almost all of the berry varieties he suggested we try have worked out very well. If you have any questions he would be glad to advise.
    The exception being blackberries, we ran into fungus problems, and eventually waved the white flag and replanted with something that didn’t get fungus.

    1. Blackberries are the one thing I really, really want to grow, because the First Reader loves them. I’ll spray, if need be.