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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere

Along the drivewayThere are some compensations to living at FAR Manor. One is the explosion of color we get, usually around April Fool’s Day. This year, with winter hanging on just as long as it could, things were a little slow to get moving… waiting, of course, until we were on vacation. On the other hand, this is what we came home to: everything is in bloom.

Boran2 asked me to post a photo of this episode of “When Sage Goes Wild.” It’s sprawling about 6 feet across at the moment. Iowa Victory Gardener suggests I prune it back, and that’s probably a good idea.

The rosemary (over to the left) needs a little fertilizer and trimming back, but it too is blooming at the moment. I’ll wait for it to go back to just being green (instead of green and purple) before doing much more than getting a little cutting for the homebrew (which I have yet to start, dangit!).

Oregano and mintI’d mentioned that the oregano I planted last fall was hugging the ground and slowly creeping around, under the weeds and under the frost radar. Now that things are warming up, it has made its presence known. This thing is nearly 2-½ feet across, enough to flavor a few dozen pizzas with enough left over for salads.

Meanwhile, the mint held its own through the winter and is now feeling ready to do its thing. I have a feeling these two will put on an Herbal Death Match this year.

Flowering cherryThe flowering cherry tree sits right outside the bedroom window, and stands higher than the house itself. It makes for a nice view this time of year when I’m working at home and sitting at the window.

The picture doesn’t really do justice to the tree, unless you click on it to get the full-size view.

Cherry blossom close-upJust in case you want an even closer view…

So anyway, this was a weekend of much going on (the good parts of FAR Manor tend to be rather brief that way :-P). At least I didn’t have to deal with the chicken houses… but yesterday morning I cleaned out the fireplace insert and saved out a small bucket of charcoal, maybe enough to grill out once. The Boy has been helping to start building up the fuel supply for next winter, and he’s about ¼ of the way there.

After lunch, we started shopping. The lawn mower had Epic Fail last fall, so we started looking for a new one. I decided I’d rather spend a couple hundred bucks and get something that won’t give us a bunch of grief, and ended up with a Cub Cadet. Mrs. Fetched went berserk in the garden section at Home Despot, and I picked up a couple of annual herbs — purple basil? Must try! Finally, I learned (much to my dismay) that the only place that sells composting bins around here is Wally World.

So we got home, and I put the lawn mower together (mainly the handle) — then realized we had no gas. Daughter Dearest had been pinging us occasionally through the day about getting cat litter while we were out, but Mrs. Fetched’s dad was with us and he was getting tired before we managed to get to the grocery store. So once more into a vehicle, and off to the grocery store. We got cat litter, and much more (of course), then stopped to fill a couple of gas cans on the way back. Naturally, it was dark before we returned home, so the lawn had to wait.

And wait some more. Mrs. Fetched was hot to get those flowers planted. She knew I wanted to deal with the lawn, so she simply had me drag out the Mantis and dig up the beds. I got most of the weeds out from around the oregano as well. But when I was done with the lawn, I was dragooned into digging holes for the larger stuff. Again, it was getting dark before we finished… so I guess Mrs. Fetched can try getting The Boy to do some weed-eating this week.

I’m ready for bed. Back to the office, where I can maybe relax a little.


  1. Great post, FAR! It's cool to finally get some glimpses of the Manor amongst the bloom fest you have going on! Our sage isn't even up yet, let alone the Greek Oregano (the only kind to plant IMO). And yes, by all means prune that sage back and it will thank you for it by getting bushier... but I would let some of the blooms do their thing, because they're really pretty if you get up close and personal. Take some shots if you can (with macro), trust me on this one, hehe.

    As for the mint, I'm not a betting man, but my odds are on it winning the battle, especially in your climate ... it's very tough and aggressive stuff. We're always on the rampage against ours and it hangs in there and just comes back with a vengeance. You never get rid of mint, you just thin it, lol.

  2. Amazingly enough, this is the second time I've tried to plant mint. It wintered over, but I wasn't sure it had made it until I saw the leaves. I know they're supposed to spread, and I'm hoping to have *some* success there, but the oregano seems to have a better strategy for cold weather. ;-)

    Yeah, I know I don't often include the manor in outdoor shots, but that's mostly because that's not the background I want for a shot. This time, it fit in the shot so there it is.....

  3. You've got a very attractive landscape, Far. The colors all look great together. Thanks for posting that sage photo, you patch does look rather expansive.

  4. Hey Boran. This is really the best time of year for esthetics. One of the previous owners did put some work into it; something is blooming pretty much year-round (including a variety of holly that puts out bright yellow flowers in mid-winter). Another holly has several species of bees pretty much swarming it at the moment.

  5. Beeeeeeeeeautiful ... :D

    What a lovely place you have there FAR.

  6. Thanks, O. I wonder what you could do with it though!


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