Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Thinking of the famous war poem, In Flanders Field, I took this picture of red poppies in bloom, with my flags flying from my deck railing in honor of Memorial Day. We used to have a little, tiny, deck outside the kitchen door, with uneven steps down and then up again to go around the east side of the house. Between the uneven walkway and the house were foundation plantings of overgrown juniper bushes - not really a very good idea in a dry area with the threat of wildfire always hanging over us. Junipers, with their natural resins, can go up like gasoline in a fire situation.

So, when we rebuilt the deck to connect across to the walkway, I was only too happy to pull out those junipers and put something else in there. I scattered some mixed spring bulbs over the area and planted each where it fell (ground squirrels LOVE tulip bulbs, but won't touch daffodils - so mixing the bulbs together means they haven't destroyed the tulips and hyacinths). Since the little garden patch was right outside my kitchen door, I moved some herb plants there too. But it looked a bit sparse after the bulbs died back, so I also threw a bunch of really old wildflower seeds into the area too. To keep the chickens out, a little white picket fence completed the scene.

It's now a beautiful, ever-changing little garden (seen in various other guises in earlier posts). The early-summer wildflowers - blue and white flax, red Icelandic poppies, purple chive blossoms, and something with a cloud of pink flowers - are now three feet tall. I'll use them, and the ones that will bloom later, as my seed supply for a meadow-like garden I'd like to seed outside our fence. I'm just hoping they don't completely crowd out my herbs. All summer long, I pinch bits and pieces as I need them for my cooking, but also cut entire bunches in late summer to hang and dry for winter recipes, teas, and medicinal uses. If it gets too crowded, I might have to move either herbs or wildflowers, but in the meantime I love sitting out on the deck any time of year.


Gold Country Girl said...

Hello! I found your site from the Down to Earth Blog (which is as you say wonderful!) I love your site cause I am originally from the area (Truckee actually) and always wondered if I could ever really farm in the Reno area and you are doing it! So maybe there is hope I can move back.

Rhonda Jean said...

I'm so sad to read about your dad. I hope you're ok and that your mother is too. I'm sending you big hugs across the miles.

I really admire you nominating for city supervisor. So many of us complain when rules and regulations don't suit us - you have stepped up to do something positive. Well done!

The flowers and herbs are beautiful. :- )