Friday, July 23, 2010

Success and failures of an assorted nature...and drama too.

A couple times over the last few days i have tried to put together a video "garden tour" for fun.
I have run into a number of problems.  For one, file size. Blogger only allows 100MB videos. At low resolution and with my camera, this means about 4 minute clips.  Which isn't that bad.... means i have to film in short increments and watch the camera timer.
I also have trouble keeping a steady camera. My camera is a decent one, but it has no in-film zoom, so i have to move the camera in close.  The more the camera is moved, the harder the video is to watch.  My limp does not help things and the harder i try to keep it steady, the jouncier it seems to get.  This would be almost instantaneous motion sickness for easily affected people like myself.  In fact, thinking about it makes me a little nauseous.

Another issue is that (and i never would have imagined this)  even though my garden is tiny, it takes me more than 15 minutes to film it all and point out each variety i have planted- even if i prattle on really fast.  If i have to speak slowly and move the camera slow and steadily, that time will increase further.

Now, for me, this is not actually such a bad thing. I could put up with most of the above myself. But where i have decided to make a public Blog of this garden... i should probably think of the people who are nice enough to stop by and who may want to watch the videos.  I wouldn't mind an array of ten, nine-minute videos of my garden to watch some day in the middle of February, but its unlikely that as nice as my fellow gardeners can be, not everyone will be as fascinated with my garden as i am! :o)

So i'll need a balance.  But i really want to do this, so i plan to keep trying. Its been frustrating, but its fun and i do like a challenge!

On the weather:
Wednesday, we had some big storms roll through.  I think we managed to get about 1.5 inches of rain. We needed it very much. We were lucky to not get much for high winds, but in Southern Maine there were some actual tornadoes that touched down. This is highly unusual.  I have not read or watched the news reports, but hubby has and he said there was a lot of damage.

Cuttings- the ones a dear friend sent me.... well there was a lot of failure on my part.  They didn't take for me. It may have been the soil i used, the surrounding temperature, the moisture level, any trauma they endured travelling through US
But i did have one glimmer of success! One of the hardy kiwi cuttings has taken root and is pushing up some new leaves.  Its pretty thrilling since this turns out to be an "against all odds" result.  The type of hardy kiwi is unknown, the sex is also unknown, but i think some research will help these questions be answered. Whichever it is, i will need to buy it a mate if i expect to get any fruit from it.  Of course that will be at least a few years out ahead and it still has a Winter to survive.

You can see the shiny new leaves:

 And here's the Autumn Olive from seed, while i'm posting pictures.

I have started work on the side flower bed.  This has caused a little bit of friction with our nice neighbors. When we bought the house, there was a short fence along the side in question.  About a year after we moved in, the fence was so rotted we had to take it down.  The fence had been placed so that it was right through the middle of the flower bed, cutting it almost in half lengthwise.   Our neighbors eventually started tending that little strip of escaped plants because it buts right up against their pavement and would have just become an eyesore.

The fence could not have been installed because of the paving, but where we now know the lines and the pavement is breaking up, we will be able to get more precise.
The end to the right is where some goldenrod and the raspberries are taking over.  The goldenrod will be removed and the raspberries will be salvaged.

When we bought the new lot we had our entire property surveyed.  My premise was that i wanted to have every inch of soil that i owned, but i didn't want to take anything that was not mine even by mistake.  The surveyor pins show that the entire flower bed does belong to us (as well as a good bit of their pavement), however, they have been tending it for at least a few years so she is not wanting to let it go.  The neighbor lady is also not happy that we are planning to put a fence back there.  The neighborhood kids (that we refer to as "The Hooligans") use our yard and theirs as a highway and step on anything in their path & steal things along the way, so we want a fence to stop this. 
Its going to be a neighborly fence, maybe 5' high, not so high that an over-the-fence conversation cannot be had...
I tried to explain what i plan to do with the plants that are in there but i'm not sure if we are understanding eachother.    I'm also not sure if she isn't understanding what plants are flowers and which are weeds...
Its a hard conversation to have. I'm trying to not sound like i'm saying
"The whole thing is mine, the plants are mine and i'll do whatever i want with them."
---Though, essentially, i could say exactly that. 
What i did tell her is that i am going to remove all the plants and bulbs, sort them and decide which to give away, put back or place somewhere else.  I told her that she could have all of what she wants-  there is a ton of Iris and yellow lilies in there-  some i am giving to my mother,  but she can pretty much have the rest of them.  
Some of the problem is that i don't quite know if she understands that i am not just getting rid of everything completely.  When we first moved in, i gutted the long-neglected beds and split everything that needed splitting, rearranged things that were in unsuitable places ...  when i was in the middle of that project, she was almost in tears, thinking i was getting rid of all of the former owner's flowers. They had been long time friends and i understood, the lady was part of our extended family too and i respected that, the beds needed work but no i wasn't destroying them. 
My hubby and her hubby have talked and he's ok with whatever we want done... but i think his wife is having some trouble.   I think much of it is due to failing health and without sounding disrespectful, a touch of senility setting in.  She is also the reason that 'beautiful' box elder eyesore is still standing instead of a dwarf, ornamental flowering tree that i offered to put in it's place.
Like the first time i messed with these beds, i'll simply have to do my work despite her fears and when its done i think she'll realize that my plans weren't as frightening as she thought they'd be.
Of course its going to take me 10x the amount of time to complete it compared to when i wasn't disabled.
Its easier on the involved when something seems to happen overnight.  Like last time, it took me two days.  It was started and finished before she could get too much more upset with me, but this time she will have weeks to fret about it.
 I am going to use some highly visible colored rope to string a line along the survey pins, hopefully to assure her that i am intent on playing by the rules.  I really think that she has a lot of trouble dealing with change of any sort.  I fully expect to have similar issues as i grow older. I can see it starting already, so though i am frustrated with her i understand, but i still get to do what i want with my own yard.
There's always something dramatic going on around here! lol

The beans have slowed down in production and the summer squash have picked up. I think i will only plant one of each next year.  Unless i am prepared to can them.  Shredded, they make a great bulk filler for spaghetti sauce.  

I won't be able to get my pressure canner for at least another 2 weeks, so the beans i have will need to be frozen. 
I was worried that i won't be able to use my canner this year since i probably didn't plant enough cukes for pickles and the beans are running low, my swiss chard tasted like mud this year and i won't have any fruit in quantity for preserving....but then i remembered the  15 tomato plants i have growing....  what better garden produce to practice canning with.  Its what everyone seems to start with.
I will also have winter squash and i am pretty sure that can be canned.  Since i am getting a pressure canner, i can preserve most anything in it, including beef and chicken or recipes that include meats.   Wouldn't it be nice to open a jar of pre-cooked chicken or tenderized beef?  Chicken could be chopped and made into chicken salad,  beef would make quick work of a soup or stew..among other things.
The Ball book has a number of recipes for cooking ahead, worth trying at least once....

Hubby went and picked up my landscape edging yesterday. It looks like nice stuff,  but he wants me to hold off until the lawn is prepared and seeded.  I have no idea when that is going to happen, so i'm not too thrilled to wait to get started on that.
I like to get things going shortly after getting the notion in my head. But between having to wait an unspecified length of time before i get started and knowing it will be longer and more painful to do than it should be, i'm getting all anxious over it.
I just want it done! :o)

Other than this, not much else is going on. The garden is still weedier than i like, but nothing has raided it recently, i still need to use BT on the brassicas because i saw some caterpillar poo on one of the cabbages and dime-sized holes are forming on my kale leaves.   Last time i grew tomatoes they were attacked bu hornworms and destroyed my plants in one day.
I'm a little uncomfortable with BT, but not enough to stop me from using it when i think i need it.

So that is all for today.


Faith said...

I feel for you both. I completely understand her feelings, and I completely understand yours and your rights.

I have a hard time letting go of all the memories I have attached to "things". I've gotten way better as I've gotten older and learned some things, but I remember it well. I can picture all the things going through her mind. The memories attached to all the aspects of the gardens, they are precious to her and she lovingly tends them, every time she sees the yard.

But. It's not her yard. It's yours, and your plans are really, really good ones. And you have thought of her as you've made them, and considered her needs as well.

There is probably nothing you can do to eliminate those feelings for her, other than what you are already doing; being kind, offering many things to her, taking into account their property and care of it. You are a good neighbor. Time will help. It's still raw. Save cuttings for her, even if she says no. Then later, when she is healed a bit, mention that you saved some "just because the plants were special to the neighborhood' and ask if she'd be interested.

Yay! A kiwi made it! I wonder about getting more cuttings again right now? Do you think it would be a good idea to try maybe once a month and see if we can have success?

I'd dearly love to see a video of your garden. Anybody up there with a zooming vid. cam. you can borrow?

You are going to get a PC after all! What did you decide on?


icebear said...

I think our Kiwis are females. I looked at what pictures of yours i could find at your blog. We will need to get males for either of us to get fruit.
But you can check here since you have seen yours flowering at close range.

I get attached to things too and i can sympathise. But where i know its mine now, i need to clean up that mess that has been made from the flower bed being bisected for so long.
I don't think they added anything on the side that was on the other side (her husband mainly kept it neat), if they did i wouldn't dream of keeping it for myself.
I'm having a hard time understanding her emotional reaction to my redoing it now since
A. I had already redone it years ago
B. The old fence was blocking her view before we moved in anyway
C. its such a mess right now nothing hardly bloomed this year. What did bloom were mostly new plants that i brought in.

I switch from understanding to mild irritation and back again when i think about it too long.

I think we all have snapshot cameras with some filming capability. The camera i have is amazing compared to my first digital camera. It could only take 15 second videos! So as basic as my camera is now in comparison to the newest ones, i'm still giddy that i can take 15 minute videos with it. lol

But trying to get it filmed and uploaded will be something interesting to occupy some time. I'll at least have the videos for my own use even if they turn out unbearable to others :o)