I know I'm not here as often as I used to be, but it is very nice to have a familiar place to return at those rare moments I have "spare time." Today, I have spare time because it's one of those dreary, rainy, overcast days.
But even today there's a silver lining: the dreariness and lack of sun outside really makes my cherry tree blossoms pop. Their bloom is spent very quickly, but right now, they look lovely. Although the three cherry trees I planted I later cut down years ago (yes, I chopped down a cherry tree, like GW), they are easily planted by birds eating the small cherries, so I noticed this year I have at least 5 small and mid-sized cherry trees abloom in the woods.
I see my gladiolus are alreay coming up, 3rd or 4th year in a row...and they're supposed to be an annual bulb! I have a very large new bed I'm creating within view of my patio where I pulled, cut and dug out a large stand of sparsley blooming forsythia that looks a mess the rest of the year and is constantly attempting to gain new territory.
This, after I had been telling myself I would try to simplify my yardwork as much as possible in coming years. But the desire to plant and attract bees and butterflies is just too great.
Some of the space is close to or under the canopy of a giant Norway spruce, while the other space is more sunny. So far, I have purchased:
1. A river birch, a beautiful tree I have wanted for years. And it cost me just $10, through a high school fundraiser. It's likely to be very small. I pick it up later this month.
2. A bluebeard perennial, purchased through the conservation district; I pick it up later this month as well.
I'm fairly confident I can obtain other perennials for free through my Buy Nothing and gardening facebook groups through the spring. If not, I can also divide some existing plants, though it would be nice to increase the diversity of what I already have here. They just need to be deer-resistant. I'm sure I will also be tempted to browse the offerings at local nursery, although that would be the pricey route.
There should be a break in the rain in about an hour, which is when I'll go out and throw a tarp over my peas in the raised beds, several inches tall already, along with a bunch of potted annuals/bulbs I'll put in the garage. Temps are supposed to remain above freezing, but just by a few degrees, and I'd rather not take a chance.
I went up to see my neighbor's garden yesterday. He has about a dozen half-finished projects and seems to lose interest in each before they're done! However, he does have a very nice small pond with waterfall and large bullfrogs and fish in it, along with a pen attached to huge barn for his sheep and cow and lots of quirky vintage garden ornaments he collects here or there. When we both have our 2nd shots, I will join him on a few trips.
He had planted a large orchard of fruit trees, but his cow got loose one night and ate every single one. He does have quite a few raised beds, many of which are planted with elderberry, from which he makes a great wine using the flowers, not the berries.
He also built himself a great greenhouse and pavillion-type structure with a floor made of round stones in the form of a dragonfly. He's built patios and small gardens with raised beds for several of his tenants who will likely never leave because they are more friends than landlord/tenant. He and his wife nursed one of his tenants, a single woman with no close family around, back to health when she got covid.
I finally got around to seeing an endocrinologist for my osteopenia. She said I was doing everything right in terms of diet/exercise and so it was really a simple consultation/assurance there's nothing else I could be doing. Of course, it doesn't help that my knee injury/menescus tear still hasn't healed after over a year.
I had the excuse of the pandemic for not really doing anything about it after seeing an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to operate. The physical therapy I had for 6 weeks over the summer helped, but just to a point. There was a point when I thought it was mostly healed, so I decided to resume some more knee-strenuous exercises for bone health that I'd been holding off on, like jumping jacks. Big mistake. Knee not ready for that, and honestly, it's not much better today than 8 months ago.
I still don't want surgery. Not to mention, don't even know how I'd get to and back from the hospital, or how I'd manage on crutches for several weeks here, live on the first floor, get to follow-up appointents if I couldn't drive myself and so on. It all just seems like too much. I would like to see another doctor about it (not a surgeon) to get more guidance on what to do or if it's even realistic to believe it could still heal on its own. But it seems like every orthopedic doctor around here is a surgon. That's what I'd read when doing reseach: that the vast majority of menescus tears can heal on their own. And I have reason to believe my 2 tears were not so severe, because my knee, for instance, is not "locking" in place.