Monthly Archives: June 2014

Gardening Minimalists

IMG_7601
IMG_7590
This year we are gardening minimalists. At least compared to our previous gardening efforts. You’ve heard me talk about how we had a busy winter/spring enough times. The visual proof is a garden about a third the size of our typical summer garden. But we have all the essentials. Tomatoes & peppers, a few squash, plenty of herbs. And our galvanized bins full of cucumbers and lettuce. We’ve stuck a few melon seeds in the ground to see what will happen.
IMG_7593

We put our drainage pipes back in between the tomatoes. We went three years without doing that and we know now that for us, adding the drainage pipes produces a much nicer tomato plant. While we use drip lines for regular watering, being able to stick the hose down those pipes once a week or so, and water really deeply makes a world of difference.
IMG_7589
IMG_7587
IMG_7595
IMG_7607
It’s easy to beat ourselves up for not getting it all done as large-scale as in previous years, but we’re slowly learning to be easier on ourselves. We bought almost all our plants this year, no time for starting from seeds. And besides all that, it’s a drought year, so we’re even more justified with staying ‘small’ this growing season. We are loving growing in these raised galvanized tanks. There have been a few mutterings about wouldn’t it be dreamy to get another 8 of them and just grow as much as we can in them. I don’t know if that would really happen, but we are enjoying the two we have immensely. The way they are positioned, the sun hits them just right so they are much more photogenic, you’ll be seeing a lot of them. So we hope you like them too.
IMG_7608

How’s your garden doing this year?

Advertisements

13 Comments

Filed under State of the Garden

the summer of freedom

deck steps scabiosas potting table coneflower & nicotana lettuce shadeAnd so it’s summer time for us. School ended late last week. Starting up in mid May and extending all the way until the final half hour that they get out of school in mid June, I have this background of anxiety that builds up…’what am I going to do with these kiddos all summer?’ Last year I really needlessly worried about it, yet once summer began we fell into a pretty good lazy, relaxing rhythm. I was even sad to see us jump back to the school routine once September began. This May, when I started to feel that anxiety creep back I tried my best to calm myself. I stocked up a little stack of new books and activities in the back closet and a list of summertime activities to turn to if things get desperate, but other than that, this summer I’ve named the Summer of Freedom. This article from a blog I read frequently was running all over facebook a few weeks back and it totally hit home. An old fashioned summer, it argues, isn’t about specifically catching fireflies or flying kites or eating popsicles, it’s about Freedom. About kids being in charge of their own time table, about diving into whatever interests them. It’s a great article, you should read it if you have a minute.

How can you give your child a good old-fashioned summer like we used to have?

It’s not about fireflies or picnics or homemade kites. It’s about freedom.

Leave them alone.

Let them be in charge of their own time.

Let them have their own ideas.

Give them big, sprawling blocks of unscheduled time. Give them whole days, whole weeks.

Let them dig into whatever interests them and do whatever they want with it.

– See more at: http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/intellectual-benefits-real-old-fashioned-summer#sthash.YnWeC43K.dpuf

How can you give your child a good old-fashioned summer like we used to have?

It’s not about fireflies or picnics or homemade kites. It’s about freedom.

Leave them alone.

Let them be in charge of their own time.

Let them have their own ideas.

Give them big, sprawling blocks of unscheduled time. Give them whole days, whole weeks.

Let them dig into whatever interests them and do whatever they want with it.

– See more at: http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/intellectual-benefits-real-old-fashioned-summer#sthash.YnWeC43K.dpuf

How can you give your child a good old-fashioned summer like we used to have?

It’s not about fireflies or picnics or homemade kites. It’s about freedom.

Leave them alone.

Let them be in charge of their own time.

Let them have their own ideas.

Give them big, sprawling blocks of unscheduled time. Give them whole days, whole weeks.

Let them dig into whatever interests them and do whatever they want with it.

– See more at: http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/intellectual-benefits-real-old-fashioned-summer#sthash.YnWeC43K.dpuf

How can you give your child a good old-fashioned summer like we used to have?

It’s not about fireflies or picnics or homemade kites. It’s about freedom.

Leave them alone.

Let them be in charge of their own time.

Let them have their own ideas.

Give them big, sprawling blocks of unscheduled time. Give them whole days, whole weeks.

Let them dig into whatever interests them and do whatever they want with it.

– See more at: http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/intellectual-benefits-real-old-fashioned-summer#sthash.YnWeC43K.dpuf

How can you give your child a good old-fashioned summer like we used to have?

It’s not about fireflies or picnics or homemade kites. It’s about freedom.

Leave them alone.

Let them be in charge of their own time.

Let them have their own ideas.

Give them big, sprawling blocks of unscheduled time. Give them whole days, whole weeks.

Let them dig into whatever interests them and do whatever they want with it.

– See more at: http://www.project-based-homeschooling.com/camp-creek-blog/intellectual-benefits-real-old-fashioned-summer#sthash.YnWeC43K.dpuf

We ran all over this town during spring, with two in separate baseball teams, one in ballet and all three in school with different dismissal times. Schedules ran tight, tension ran even higher. We’re tired, our poor car is tired. My oldest, who loves baseball, turned to me one day in the car and said, “I can’t wait until baseball is over, because we never get to go home and play afterschool.” Well now baseball is over and so is school and as far as I can see, we have little to nothing scheduled on our calendars. Find yourself again, children. Enjoy & have fun.

(do you see? we have deck steps and shade, just in time for summer!)

 

6 Comments

Filed under Life in Sonoma

Hurried Life & Slow Blossoms

IMG_7396
There is some quote I keep seeing popping up on Pinterest that says something about how at the end of your life you should end up battered and torn with make up smeared, or something to that effect. Have you seen it? I understand the sentiment, you know live life to the fullest, squeeze every last drop out of it. But after living a weekend where quite literally my clothes have become battered and torn and my make up is visually smeared, a few new gray hairs have popped up, I’d like to offer balance to that quote. There is such thing as squeezing too much life out of a weekend. I guess it’s the culmination of the end of school approaching and the end of baseball and active, social, sports oriented boys that has produced a weekend that was planned down to the very last half hour.

IMG_7398
We’re tired, I can’t remember the last time I pushed a button on the washing machine, we are seriously out of food…couldn’t even squeeze out a meager dinner, and there is possibly nothing in our drawers and cabinets because I swear its spread all over our floors and tables. We’re out of balance and I long for a few hours to reset our house and get us all back to ‘normal’. That said, we saw our oldest hit his last triple in this baseball season, our middle run his first running race (our second for the oldest), we talked and drank wine with friends until way past bedtime, celebrated a young friend going another year around the sun, and watched energy filled neighborhood kids perfect a limeaid recipe. Oh, and we painted and painted and sealed our new deck project (more to come).

IMG_7400
It’s a full, full life these days, which makes the moments when I can go outside and watch the changing flowers blossom all that much sweeter.
In opposition to a hurried lifestyle, I’ve been slowly tending to these hollyhocks for well over a year now. Back when I was obsessed with dying yarn with plant materials to make my fair isle sweater, I searched for plants that would yield something other than browns and yellows. In Harvesting Color, Rebecca Burgess showed that niger hollyhocks give a pretty mint green to blue color, so immediately I picked up a packet of seeds from Baker Creek. Hollyhocks, being bi-annuals take their sweet time growing and blooming, so these missed being in my sweater. But I can always think of new plans for a knitting project. I grew about six different plants and they are finally blooming!

IMG_7402
IMG_7442

I have them drying in bowls on my desk waiting for activities to slow down, for summer to bring on long, hot, lazy boring days so that I can watch the alchemy that happens when you transform garden blossom to dye. Have a good week friends.

8 Comments

Filed under Flowers