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Qryos

~ Spring Has Sprung!

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~ The robins are back & crabbing for water in the bird-bath, the jays are in the back-yard annoying the cat again ;)

Have many lovely blossoms on the pear tree, hoping they aren't blown away! { winds get so wicked here }

How's your Spring springing? :D

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Winter doesn't want to give it up yet. We had snow Tuesday and a 1/4 inch of frost on my windshield this morning. The leaves and flowers on those trees and bushes that had already started budding and blooming are whithering and turning brown. My only hope for something good to come out of this last storm is that maybe the morrels will be coaxed into popping up again!

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We got an allotment in March so we've been spending a lot of time digging! And what a change in world view - when I hear the weather forecast is rain I'm delighted.

Not sure whether everyone knows about allotments? We have them in the UK and I think the Dutch and Belgians have them as well - not sure about anyone else. City councils are mandated to keep some land available for citizens to rent very cheaply to grow food on.

So for £26 per year, Bendigo and I have the use of 250 sq metres of good rich earth just up the road from us. Even better, there's already a shed on it and three mature fruit trees - two apples and a plum. The apple blossom is coming on and is a fantastic creamy dark red.

There are lots of robins (English ones are smaller than the US version), blackbirds, chaffinches and more... but the pigeons are a nuisance.

So... we're in a bit of a dash to get as much of it dug over and planted as we can. Some of it is very overgrown - hasn't been dug for a few years, I'd say, and full of couch grass.

Anyway, I've planted blueberries, blackcurrant bushes, strawberries, garlic, onions, potatoes, peas, carrots and I'm starting on corn and beans, broccoli and an asparagus bed... plus some wild flowers for the insects.

Edited by Bluecat

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~ Wow Blue... No, I hadn't heard of allotments. That's neat! Sounds like you're busy :)

We do have a 1/4 acre yard, but it's all down-hill & Nevada rocky dirt. For us to plant anything but thistle & thorn we'd need machinery to dredge & trucks of soil :(

{ & actually we have some mighty grand purple thistle every summer! 4,5 ft. tall & purple & "Where did Scottish thistle come from?" talkin' :lol: }

Have my flower bed & was surprised 2 pansies made it through the winter... Hits 2* I'm surprised anything has! Snapdragons toughed it out too :)

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~ Wow Blue... No, I hadn't heard of allotments. That's neat! Sounds like you're busy :)

We do have a 1/4 acre yard, but it's all down-hill & Nevada rocky dirt. For us to plant anything but thistle & thorn we'd need machinery to dredge & trucks of soil :(

{ & actually we have some mighty grand purple thistle every summer! 4,5 ft. tall & purple & "Where did Scottish thistle come from?" talkin' :lol: }

Have my flower bed & was surprised 2 pansies made it through the winter... Hits 2* I'm surprised anything has! Snapdragons toughed it out too :)

Well, thistles are grand - some people even eat the fleshy bit around the 'choke' - it's a relative of artichoke, anyway - so perhaps you could grow artichokes there.

Or perhaps you need a couple of goats to eat back the thistles (and any garbage that might be in reach) and... um... enrich the soil?

That would be the permaculture way: if you have slugs, don't get rid of them - get ducks! Ducks'll eat the slugs and you get the duck, and the eggs. And again, the soil will be enriched.

Snapdragons and pansies - sounds like my grandmother's country garden!

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I love gardening. I grow 3 types of tomatoes (Cherry, Roma, and "Better Boy"), beans, peas, carrots, corn, zucchini, and cukes in my vegi garden in the back yard, and Narcissi, Gladiola, and Roses in the front. I recommend "double-digging" and "raised-beds" for vegetable gardens. I mix the compost I've processed from last years crops into the top 8" of soil and use mulch to discourage weeds and keep the soil moist. (Please forgive me for taking the opportunity to boast, but I harvested a tomato 2 years ago that was 4 1/2" tall, 6 3/4" in diameter, and weighed in (on a digital scale) at 1.78 pounds!)

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maters, beans, and onions are in the ground and doing well, need to get some cucumbers, squash, and mellons out soon. and more beans and maters too! my garden plot consists of a 50 ft by 50 ft plot in the side yard. today I sprayed the unplanted portions with weed killer so i can till it up next weekend and finish planting. fortunately we get rain regularly throughout the summer so i dont need to water often, and i feed the plants with an organic plant food made nearby that works wonders. When we lived out in northern calif. i used it on my roses and had fresh cut roses at christmas time on the dinner table

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~ No need to worry about slugs or snails here, there are none {gets waaay to cold! }

Trying to describe to our 5 yr-old granddaughter what a snail is? Never seen one? Odd conversation :rolleyes:

Lilacs grow well here & pine trees & roses are tough, trying tomatoes in a 4 month season is more than I'm willing to challenge!

{ That's why the surprise at last summer's pansies. Silly things are blooming already! :dntknw: }

... Our daughter buys me flowers to plant with her daughters to enjoy during summer, zinnias never make it. Sometimes it snows in May. Snowed once in July!

Northern Nevada is funky on weather with the mountains so close & such.

~ Congrats on that Songster! :biggrinthumb: Was it edible? Or did ya just lacquer it for posterity? ;)

~ We have a 100-gal. fish tank. The water from that is marvy fertilizer ;) 'Fish emulsion' doncha know!

Maybe that's why the pansies are so tough? Fishy pooop! :lol:

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Thanks, Q. I have pictures of it somewhere. My wife called it my "Baby" and teased me when she heard me "sweet-talking" it. (I talk to all my plants.) I will admit to taking extra special care while it was on the vine. I picked all the other tomatoes off the plant when they were average size and still green. I even built a stand for the tomato to rest on because I was afraid the weight of it would snap the stem. I took it up to our corner market to have it weighed on their scale and had a crowd of people standing around clapping when the produce manager announced that it's weight was 1.78 pounds. It was beautiful, inside and out... really sweet meat, with hardly any seeds. I cut it up into 1/2" slices and made tomato sandwiches out of it. The tomato stuck outside of the bread an inch or more all the way around the bread. It was one of the most satisfying meals I've ever eaten.

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~ The robins are back & crabbing for water in the bird-bath, the jays are in the back-yard annoying the cat again ;)

Have many lovely blossoms on the pear tree, hoping they aren't blown away! { winds get so wicked here }

How's your Spring springing? :D

Mongo the Peregrin Falcon has returned, leaving feathers of victims all over the place (my fault, as my many feeders lure as bait items of his fixations). As has a huge assortment of song birds, and about a dozen other annual winged visitors to my yard. Ralph the squirrel, missing a chuck or ear from previous mating, is back. As are his progeny. I have a love/hate relationship with squirrels!! :)

Several types of tomatos seedlings are now in their pots. As are strawberries, basil and parsely. And of course the perennial blueberry, lilac, and a variety of perenial flowers that we potted years ago and never disappoint. New this year are pickling cucumbers, anxious for the canning process, a new thing for us.

And of course the greenbelt behind our home is now lush and full of activity. Also it hides our own activity, which is missed in the winter when it is barren.

Bees are about. Always love when bees are about. They are among my favorite creatures...

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Hey Q i remember the july snowfall. We were repaving down around Susanville Ca and it snowed on July 4th, so we got the day off. I was a bit upset about it though. Because it was a holiday we were supposed to be getting double time, -at- prevailing wage, had to sit in a motel away from home for free that day. lol

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I had to do a rush harvesting of tomatoes last year when the blight struck (still, they made some pretty good tomato sauce). We don't often get a long enough growing season for them to ripen well outdoors anyway, and I notice nobody has eaten my green tomato pickles from some years back.

So, no toms this year for us. We hope to get a little greenhouse sorted out, and with luck try for a batch under glass next year - and some peppers and oregano too... mmm mmmm.

Lilac in England is just on the edge of blooming. I saw some today, a little glimpse of joy. Certain plants get to me that way, almost all of them things we had in the garden where I grew up. We had a lilac lilac and a white lilac front and back. (I passed the house a few years ago and the rascals we sold it to have cut down one of the lilacs at the front: a dismal sight).

Apple blossom boughs against a blue and white sky... as I saw them from my pram.

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Apple blossom boughs against a blue and white sky... as I saw them from my pram.

Poetry in it's purest form!

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~ Yes, lovely! Thank you Blue :)

Our 3 yr-old granddaughter on the way to my husband taking me to work yelled out,

"Pink trees Gamma! The trees have flowers! That's craaazy!" :D Yep, & not for long...

We've grown strawberries from plants pre-grown & tomatoes which the grandbabes have loved, but just as they're cranking up, <*frost*>. Sigh...

Our lilac bush is blooming already. The cat's happy, it's her summer retreat { all winter she's on our heated waterbed }. Has been in the 70's this week.

~ Yep Dreed ;) Susanville's a cute little town, huh? We drove thru on the way to Eagle Lake to camp.

{ Spent more time in their emergency room than the rest of the town 'cause I stabbed a knife thru my finger... Eh :rolleyes: }

~ Sonster, glad you enjoyed that tomato! You deserved it { ya mater coddler you! :friends: }.

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{ Spent more time in their emergency room than the rest of the town 'cause I stabbed a knife thru my finger... Eh :rolleyes: }

OW!! Take care of yourself, sweetheart!

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~ That was years ago, but thank you! :friends:

Birds are in a frenzy... it's "Makin' Babies' season full swing!

& we've woodpeckers here, which we didn't in So. Cal.

Several types, which is cool, but "tick-tick-tick-tick" bright & early with the bird-fights & that sqwuaking, I work nights. :(

& then 2 nights ago a BAM!!! on the side of the house...

Large cottonwood trees there with nesting birds, periodically the neighbourhood owl swoops to rest & a bird goes AAAK!!! & thud into the wall :rolleyes:

{ No windows on that side, yay! }

... & yep, it was after the meteor strike. Y'all hear about that? It was near here.

A meteor about the size of a mini-van crashed near the Sierra, they've pieces just a few miles from here. It booomed! :blink:

Guess happy happy meteor folk now... :)

Edited by Qryos

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I love bird watching! We've got cardinals and robins galore, and little yellow finches, and there's got to be a million hummingbirds around here. Most are green with a scarlet throat, but there are a bunch of yellows, too. The biggest woodpecker I've ever seen in my life was at least 2' from the top of it's red head to the tip of it's tail, and sounded like a jack-hammer.

(As for the "meteor".... I saw a very brief snippet on the news, but haven't seen anything else about it since. Was it really a meteor? Or is that just the cover story? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but the lack of info concerning the thing has me wondering.)

Edited by Songster

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~ Well, it was loud. The local news is saying it was a meteor & they're gathering chunklets...

Would think it'd be bigger news, getting through the atmosphere & crashing as it did, but :dntknw:

{ "Oh! If aliens landed on the planet I'm sure our Government would let us know!" :lol: }

Yep, we see one of those big red-headed fellas periodically, but our most common jack-hammer is small & black & white. Quite industious!

We get hummingbirds in summer when the jasmin's blooming buzzing & chirping, mostly green & brown females.

{ My husband never sees them, he's allergic to the jasmine :( } so only us sitting by it... Granddaughter had one land on her head last summer! :yahoo:

The neighbour across the street has a bird-feeder in his front yard & the small birds are messy,

so every evening 'round 5 this one pair of quail come running up the street for dinner, it's funny how she outruns him, stops & squaks & runs on, stops again for him.

The other quail in the 'hood come charging in 'bout 1/2 hr later... Bossy likes a good seat tho'! ;) Many quail here.

The hawks of our valley had 2 young last year survive so we've had four, wondering how that's gonna play out :unsure: Spring!

You'll love this... Where we lived in So. Cal. a neighbour raised parakeets, bright beautiful birds. A cage broke & quite a few got loose.

Well, evidently they nor the local sparrows were picky that Spring...We had sparrowkeets flocking about all over! :lol:

Hopin' around all brown & sparrowy, take to wing & yellow! Green! Blue! Little bellies flashing silly-style...

{ I was taught birds are picky & not inter-breedable. Somethin' in the water? :dntknw: }

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