Monday, May 4, 2009

Rhubarb Fool

We are back finally. It's been a rather long hiatus, but during that time spring has managed to, finally, arrive. Everything here is at least a month late. For instance, the Holly bushes usually bloom by mid March and here it is the 5th of May - Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone - and it still hasn't bloomed. Cherry trees are all in full bloom finally as are the Plums. Apples are leafing out, oh and Pears are blooming. Haven't been too many bees around although the little Rufus Hummingbirds have been busy pollinating where they can. And of course, the not-so-cute Island Black Bears are back. That's right, I said bears, plural.

I spotted a huge one across the creek when I let the dogs into the garden yard last week. Richard, on the outside of the fence and I, on the inside, stood watching it as two Cute Little Island Mule Deer stood in the field to the North of the house watching us. Suddenly, one of the deer started to trot away while the other twisted her head around to watch something over on the drainage ditch.

"What's she looking at all of a sudden?" Richard asked.
"No ide...oh crap, look, there, over by the drainage ditch!!!" I hollered. "Another great big Black Bear!"

Richard took off for the truck and chased after the bear to scare it away. One can only hope the two of them were just passing through on their way to higher ground up in the Beauforts. We think they were males as there were no cubs in evidence. So now our minds are working on bear defenses for the yard. As if that will work...

We have had a few warm days, nothing to write home about as the saying goes. Warmest it got was +20C or 68F. When you are used to having +30 by the end of March, +20 in May is rather chilly. It is a welcome relief after all the nasty weather this winter, but still. The good news is you should see my Rhubarb! Wow! My dad sent me a piece of his 50 year old Rhubarb plant last summer. We planted it in a big plastic tub, until we had something to put it in permanently, in a very sunny spot in the garden yard. Well, the tub is full of Rhubarb and I have to harvest it. Rhubarb pie, Rhubarb Crisp, stewed Rhubarb...I can't wait. Rhubarb is one of my favorite fruits, even though it started life as a vegetable. Mix it with Strawberries and you have the best ever.

Richard moved the big old water tank into the yard in the opposite corner from the Garden Boat. It will hold the tomatoes this year, as well as some herbs and flowers. He has another smaller oval shaped water tank that is going to be moved in where the Rhubarb tub is. The Rhubarb will get transplanted into it with some other plants. I have several rectangular window box planters that are going to be planted with soup mix beans and scarlet runner beans. These will sit along the back of the shed where the stucco wire will facilitate their climbing. I have so many seeds to plant, I almost don't know where to start.

And did I mention the two "found" tubs I have that are going to be filled with flowers? They are the drums from two old dryers Richard brought to me to use as planters. Now I have to decide where to put them in the yard. Oh, and I got the neatest idea for planting lettuce and things of that nature in. I was searching for info on making your own upside down tomato planters - more on that later - when I stumbled upon info and photo's of using 4" PVC pipe hung on the fence to plant in. Cover both ends of the pipe with landscape fabric, drill 2 - 3 inch holes in the top of the pipe about 6 inches apart, fill pipe with soil, plant seeds and before long you have a lettuce patch, up and away from Mole People and cute Little Island Bush Bunnies. We have some old eavestroughing that we are going to suspend on the fence inside the garden yard and try this idea as well as using the PVC.

As I mentioned above, we are going to try a couple of pots of upside down tomatoes. From everything I read, this is a successful method of growing them. Time will tell. I have two plastic pails, about 5 gallons each, and will plant tomatoes out the bottom and herbs out the top. Efficient use of space. And to water them, will get a couple of those goofy looking glass globe thingy's with the long glass spike on the bottom that you can use for house plants. Should do the trick, as getting water to the roots is what it is all about.

Oh and getting back to the Hummingbirds, Richard discovered the cutest little Hummingbird Feeders at Walmart. If you haven't seen them, go look for them. They are designed to hang in your hanging baskets or large flower pots, are clear plastic with a red bottom, have a single feeding spot on the feeder and cost under $5.00 for two of them. A lovely decorative and functional accent for any flower pot. I, um, er, ah, bought 4 packages of them, blush.

Healthwise, I am getting over a cold, the third one this winter. Managed to keep it from going into a lung infection, but took a lot of hard work, believe me. And the thing is, I don't get colds as a rule, nor flu either. And the only thing I will say about the current H1N1 flu scare is, STOP PANICKING!

This weekend is Mother's Day, and we hope to meet Hammond, Megan and Rylan at Ladysmith, half way between Port and Sooke where they live. We are really looking forward to seeing our granddaughter, who will be 4 years old in a couple of weeks, and our son and daughter-in-law. Rylan takes dance lessons and she and her troupe are having a dance recital in June, which she reminds me of every time we talk on the phone. We can't wait and are looking forward to seeing her dance.

Well, time to get dinner started. What's that? What am I making for dinner? Well, pork of course. You
don't stop eating pork just because they called it the Swine Flu. That's just silly.

I mean really...

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