Friday, April 1, 2016

thanks so much

A huge "Thank You!" to everyone who commented or sent an email about the windowbox project! I feel so lucky to have readers who take the time to ponder these things, and then write about their experiences and their ideas for what would or wouldn't work well here. Thank you!!

It's extremely helpful hearing about things like fiberglass boxes that last for decades - who knew? - and using plastic liners inside wooden boxes - which never even crossed my mind! - and the need for daily watering because even in plastic planters the soil may dry out more quickly than I expect and the heat of the sun on the boxes may damage the plants' roots. This last in particular may seem obvious to most of you - except KB, who has a similar closed-canopy situation at her woodsy home as I do here - but having to watch out for the effects of too much sun on the plants will be quite a new experience for me!

I'm still looking at pictures and measuring and deciding, so if anyone feels the urge to add to the comments, please do! With so many excellent ideas and options, I really don't think there can be anything but a satisfying outcome. The project should be underway next week; I'm trying to coordinate with my hired helper to be here one day for other tasks, as that way there'd be an extra hand within hailing distance for windowbox assistance if needed.

And as I've continued to ponder plants and planters,
there's still a lot of this going on every day:

Turns out you can do quite a lot of garden planning
while combing a goat or two.

We've reached the time of year when things start happening day, the slightest tint of green amidst the high grey branches of the maples, and the next morning the air is absolutely full of birdsong. I saw the first flycatcher in the South Paddock yesterday; hopefully they will build a nest under the workshop eaves again and I will see them swooping to and fro when I am filling the water buckets. Today I saw nine goldfinches at the feeder - a record! Several are in the process of trading their serious Winter outfits for a new Spring wardrobe.

We know what that feels like, don't we, Azalea?

"I'm about halfway done with shedding my cashmere!
It's tremendously hard work, but I don't complain.
Just having a bite of hay to keep my strength up."

In fact, it's taking a chance, but this weekend I'm going to shed my own Winter coat. I'll take my ancient calf-length down-filled barn coat off the peg by the back door, mend this year's rips, wash it, dry it in the fresh air, and put it carefully away for the season.

Piper and I have been going for our usual short walk/wander most days when it isn't actually raining. Everything is right on the brink of massive change; you can feel it in the air and see it in tiny signs everywhere you look. On clear days, it would be hard to take a bad photograph.

Especially when you have the help of a dog like Piper, who has recently begun to insist on being self-walking.

She actually carried that retractable lead all the way out of the woods, walking about 20 feet in front of me the whole time. I think she's finally come up with a solution for a human who stops to take photographs too often. "Fine. I'll walk myself."

You go, Ms. Independence.