Saturday, June 30, 2012

Start of the Summer Season

The first party of the summer season was tonight.  We had a lovely time with lots of friends, good food and, of course, a rousing game of cricket.

Having never been to a cricket match before, I am not sure of what the terminology is - but I can say that a "jolly good time" was had by all.

Fortunately, there were some folks who knew the game well and they volunteered to umpire and coach for both teams.  Hats were passed out - it was Red vs Blue - and the game was on!  It our game, we had 2 wickets - little sets of 3 sticks setup in a row with 2 tiny sticks resting on top of them.  The pitcher (bowler) tosses the ball towards the wicket and tries to knock the tiny sticks off of it - meanwhile, the batter (batsman) tries to hit the ball away from the wicket so he can then run like mad back and forth between the 2 wickets - all the while carrying his bat.  This was all explained in great detail - and we all promptly forgot everything except hit the ball and run back and forth.

Some of the players had the advantage of growing up in cricket playing towns - they hit the ball long and scored run after run.

 Each hit was cheered and the batters did their best while the outfield scrambled to get the ball back to the closest wicket.

But of course, you had to carry the bat for it to count as a run - Blue lost a few points over this little detail.

Of course the dogs had to get into the game - there was a ball being tossed around!  It was a challenge to keep the play going on when the 4-legged outfielders would "fetch" the ball back to the wicket.

But there were distractions enough to keep them busy so the 2-legged players could keep the action going.

By the end of the game (and I still am not sure how it was determined that the game was over), the Blues won the day, the dogs took to the field to play and the humans took to the tables to eat.

We had a simply wonderful time.  It was a great start to the summer season!

Friday, June 29, 2012

To Market

Friday is market day here at our bucolic manor.  Our local farmer's come to town and bring whatever is growing now - fresh, out of the fields and into my shopping bag.

In the summer months, they set up their pop-ups in the town hall parking lot and load up the tables with goodies!  There's fancy soaps and lotions, salad dressings and bbq sauces, fresh baked bread, organic meats, yarns, fabrics, pillows --- and vegetables and eggs.

I sent my DH to the market today to pick up the eggs and vegetables - they close before I get home.  He got the groceries and a few pics to share.

You have to love that!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A River Runs Through It

There's a little river that runs alongside the train.  Most of the time, the train is going too fast to take a photo, but tonight we had a trainee engineer taking us home and he went v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y into the station.  So I got this shot.

It's one of my favorite spots to check the changing seasons - the blackbirds resting on the tall grasses, the red-tailed fox chasing dinner, the dinner running for all it's got.

When ti sky is just right, you can even see the fish swimming around in the river.  They get pretty big - probably because no one can get in there to fish them except the heron.

It's a nice little river and I find it very calming at the end of a long day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My sister told me that blackeyed susans were my dad's favorite flower - I think about him when I see them.  My mother told me that my dad thought that chewing potato chips was unbearably noisy - I think about him when I eat them.  My brother plays guitar - just like my dad did.

My dad died when I was little.  I remember flashes of him here and there.  I remember how he taught me to ski - riding up the big mountain on a tow rope.  (It was a hill.  I was small - it seemed much larger at the time.)  A picnic we went on - all of us kids crammed in the back seat of the car.  Learning to play chess - it was so complicated! (I was 5.)  Standing at the top of the stairs watching mother talk to the State Trooper the day he died.  It was a Saturday.

But mostly, I know about him through how we all turned out as adults.  Even though he wasn't around, my mother kept his memory alive for us.  We all have a bit of him in us.

Me? I make lists - just like him.  And just like him, a lot of stuff on the lists never gets done.

Miss you, Dad.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Foggy Morning

Sometimes it's nice to have a quiet, slow morning where the bird's songs are muffled and everything is just peaceful and calm.

Sometimes you need those extra moments of nothingness to just give you a respite from everything that is going on around.

Sometimes a foggy morning at the train station gives you that.


I hear it's going to be bright and sunny tomorrow.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Oh Happy Day

So here's the dilemma.  The daylilies are popping out all over the place.  But the tours are still 3 weeks away, so it would be nicer if they would hold off a bit so they could all bloom when the tour is on, but they're plants, so there's really nothing I can do - they're going to bloom when they're going to bloom.

But it would be nice if they would wait.

In the meantime, I'm rushing like a madwoman trying to get all of the flyers, brochures, press releases, fundraising and advertising stuff done for the tour.  I was really pleased when they selected me to be the new president of the garden club, but my vision was more along the lines of hosting little garden tea parties in my fancy garden dress and pearls - not so much along the lines of spending hours on the computer, then more hours covered in compost and weeds.

I'm thinking the June Cleaver in pearls thing would have been a bit more relaxing.

Maybe I could put some bags over the flowers and surround them with ice so they think it's winter again!?

Just a thought...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Best Thing About Rain

Everything is so lush and full of vigor after a good soaking and some nice bright sun.  Hope you had a great day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Night & Day

After 3 days of high heat and humidity, it's nice to get back to some cooler weather - you know, in the 80s.

When the front came through yesterday it was like a mini tornado - high winds, quarter-sized hail, torrential downpour (almost 2-inches of rain in 30 minutes!).  I thought that the gardens would be trashed beyond repair.

After walking around, though, I found most everything was just fine.  Even though the clover field got knocked down, I'm hoping it will perk up over the next couple of days.  And quite frankly, I was just happy that none of the trees came down on the house.  There were a few small branches here and there, but overall, it was all fine.

I'm glad we took the time to put in all the plants before the heat hit.  I think they would not have done so well if they were still in pots out on the back patio.  Being in a cool garden bed really let them do well with the heat and the heavy rain.  Now all they need to do is grow - a lot - before the tours start.

And today was all about the tours.  Not the fun outside things, pruning and primping, but the million details of paperwork, flyers, brochures and phone calls.  So I didn't get to go outside much at all today.

Because even though I kept looking out the window and thinking that I would be done any minute, the next thing I knew, it was night.  Apparently even though it's lighter longer in the summer, they didn't add any extra hours to go along with the extra light.

I'll try again tomorrow...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Groovy Concrete

This is my train.  Note the closed doors and the blur as it speeds by me while I stand on the platform.  Yes, I missed the train tonight - and just to make it worse, it was the Friday night train.  It was most painful.

So, what do you do when you miss the train?  Well, I sit there.  And then I stand for a bit.  Then I walk around the platform awhile.  Then I sit some more.  Then I take a few pictures.

And I stare at the platform.  It's made of concrete with deep grooves for the water and ice to drain off.

The grooves aren't consistant.  Some are wider and some narrower.  They aren't perfect straight either.  I think that they were made with a broom after the concrete was laid down and screed.  The grooves also allow for expansion and contraction in the concrete so the water won't break it - that's why they put those marks in the sidewalks.  If you don't give water a place to go, it will find it's own way - and it will usually be a very expensive repair.

There were 736 lines in the concrete in front of the bench that I was sitting on.  I thought you'd want to know that so I took the time to count them.

In Manhattan, you pretty much only get to walk on concrete.  The grass is for looking at - not for touching.  And I haven't found any other surface (except for asphalt) that you walk on.  Maybe there is the occasional slab of marble here and there.

When we moved to our bucolic manor, the first thing I did was go out and walk barefoot in the lawn.  I felt like I was breaking the lawn or something and I loved every minute of it.

Every morning on my way to work, the supers of the buildings are outside hosing down the sidewalks in front of the buildings.  It's like walking through an obstacle course - dodge the hose, hop over the puddles, hurdle the water spray.  My DH says they do it because it keeps the sidewalks clean and makes the concrete last longer.

So, concrete.  Yup.

I can't believe I missed the train...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot Dog - Cool Treat

Okay - so this has nothing to do with peas, but it was way too hot today to take pictures of anything having to do with cooking - even if it was just making cool pops for my hot pup - so here's the latest (and probably last) of the spring peas.

I don't give my pup ice cubes to cool her down.  They are just too cold for her to eat and they shock her digestive system.  Also, the thought of her breaking a tooth on an ice cube always makes me nervous.  So - no ice for the pup.

But what to do when it is hot hot hot outside and I know she just wants a little something that is cool and refreshing?  Peanut butter yogurt cubes to the rescue!

It takes less than 5 minutes to make these and toss them in the freezer.  I take a large container of plain yogurt, add about a cup and a half of (natural no sugar added) peanut butter and mix it all up.  Then I spread it out on a sheet pan and pop it in the freezer until it's frozen solid.  Once it's ready, I cut it up into squares and toss them into a zip bag, storing them in the freezer.  

Our pup can have a couple of these cool treats anytime she needs it - and I don't worry about her tummy or her teeth because they're cold - but not as cold or hard as an ice cube.

Now I'm off to think about the rain we are going to get when this little heat front moves on out of here and things cool down again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grandpa's Flowers

What better way to start the summer off than with hollyhocks.  These beauties greeted me as I came home tonight - and it was a lovely surprise.

I forgot they were there.  Which is kind of funny considering that they are going right on top of the red tulips that came up this Spring - that I also forgot were there.

My grandpa used to have hollyhocks growing right outside of his front door.  I always thought that they were the tallest flowers in the world.  Then I thought that when I grew up I would realize that they really weren't.  I still think they're the tallest flowers in the world.  These things are huge!

I must say that they definitely make me think of home and family when I see them.  I almost checked the freezer to see if there was any blueberry pie waiting there as well.  Unfortunately there wasn't.

I guess that I miss my grandpa's garden.  Even though we never went out to work in it, I notice that I've planted all of my favorite plants that I learned from him - the rhubarb and blueberry in the vegetable parterre, the lilacs on the north drive, and now we have hollyhocks on the south drive.

Here's to summer - and to my grandpa!

(Miss you gramps - Love, Joe.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Day Will Come

Our roadside daylilies have bloomed - 4 days ahead of "schedule" - but right on time for this year's garden.  All over the gardens we are starting to see their bright splashes of orange - quite lovely.

Of course, every year I have a "contest" with our neighbors to see whose daylilies will bloom first.  Even though I have extra earlies in the garden that start blooming in mid-May, they don't count when it comes to this contest.  It would just be pitting our wallets against each other - who could buy the earliest blooming plant - and would have nothing to do with the skill of the gardener.

So we only count the lowly common roadside daylily for the contest.  Same flower, same soil (practically), same sun (pretty much), same rain.  The question is plant placement.  We have both set stands of these daylilies throughout our properties.  We even have some from their gardens and they have some from ours because these daylilies spread like crazy, so whoever is willing to get to digging gets the overflow daylilies.

This year, I had a new stand of daylilies on a southern hillside, well protected, lots of sun, good soil, good amounts of water.  Everything was looking great.

But he beat me.  He beat me by 12 stinkin' hours.  I thought I had it in the bag when I got up in the morning and saw that his weren't in bloom - knowing that mine were ever so close to bursting open.  But when I looked again at the end of the day, I saw it - a lone daylily blossoming on his south-facing hillside. (Yes, that's why I planted mine on a south-facing hillside.  I'm not too proud to take gardening help!)

I thought, well, maybe, possibly, it was a cultivar, not a roadside.  But I knew better.  It was the first roadside of the season - 4.5 days early.

The next morning when I went out to my gardens and saw all of the roadsides in bloom, the only thing I could think to console myself was that where they had but 1 blossom, I had several in almost every stand (except the south-facing hillside stand).

So there you have it.  The "daylily cup" goes to the neighbors once more.  But next year - next year I'll have compost on my side!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Who You Lookin' At?

In honor of me returning to the city to go back to work after a week of gardening, I give you - Chipmunk with an Attitude.

There he is, on the 2nd floor of his 3-story walk-up, staring at me as if I should go away and leave him to go about his business in peace.

We both stood there looking at each other for a good 5 minutes before I finally realized that I was just having a staring contest with a chipmunk.  I'm not sure if it was the staring contest or the fact that I was assigning a tough city attitude to a chipmunk that made me realize it was time to go back to the city today.

Ironically, all of my "city" friends spent the day commenting on how countrified I was - and then when I came home, my "country" friends spent the evening commenting on how citified I was after just one day back at work.

I guess I'm neither city nor country nor chipmunk today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What's a Dog to Do?

All week long I gardened.  I dug, I weeded, I planted.  And there by my side the entire time was my faithful puppy.  She was so involved with what I was doing - interested in everything that was going on.

You can tell by the excitement in her eyes that this is her idea of a great day!  Just being near me is enough to make her eyes light up with joy.

Yes, she is really getting into the spirit of a week filled with me on my hands and knees in the dirt and mud pulling out foot after foot of crabgrass roots.  The enthusiasm is overwhelming.

Here's a really fun moment - when I toss the compost into the bin.  I have her complete attention here for sure.

I don't think she can contain herself much longer.  I can see that her heart must be racing a mile a minute with all of the excitement that gardening can provide to our pup.  Yup, racing away.

Whew, that was a close one - I thought for sure she would actually stand up or something!  It's clear to me that our pup loves weeding about as much as I do.

I knew we were simpatico on some level.  Good pup!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Five years ago I bought some bare root blueberry plants.  Five years ago I planted those plants in little pots and left them alone.

Four years ago I put the blueberries in bigger pots.  Again, I left them alone.

Three years ago I put the blueberries in my vegetable parterre.  2 of them survived.

Two years ago I ... I did nothing.  They just sat in the parterre enjoying the sun.

Last year, also nothing.  Okay, I might have inspected them with a magnifier to see if there was any hope whatsoever of them ever bearing fruit.  I decided there was no hope, so I left them alone.

But today!  Today when my DH and I were planting in the garden, I came face to face with this - the first blueberry on the blueberry plant.  I couldn't believe it.  My first blueberry.

I love blueberries.  Always have.  To me blueberries mean summer is here.  Their sweet taste, the purple stains on your hands, the smell of them simmering in a pot on the stove.  It's my childhood all over again each time I see a blueberry.  I can still hear my grandpa when he greeted us each time we went to visit - 'There's some blueberry pie in the freezer, Joe.' (He called us all Joe - our mother said it was so he didn't have to remember all of our names - I think he just liked saying Joe.)

Now we have our own blueberry.  It's small, it's green, it doesn't look like it has a chance of ripening.  It's not enough for a pie or jam or fruit salad.  It will probably be eaten by a bird or a chipmunk or our rabbit.

But it's there!  We actually grew a blueberry from bare root.  This means that I am not a lame gardener! I have a clue when it comes to plants.

Oh wait - I just neglected it for a few years.  Well, let's see...

I chose the spot to plant it!  I'm not a lame gardener! I have a clue when it comes to plants.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Top of the Mountain

Somehow during the course of my day, I ended up at the top of a little mountain overlooking grazing horses.  Today started out rather normally for a week spent gardening.  I weeded.  Then I weeded some more.  Then I planted some plants.  Pretty normal.

But then there were errands to run and charity events to attend to - and during the course of that, I ended up at the top of the little mountain watching the horses.  They're very friendly and did not mind sharing their space at all - as long as I stayed up at the top and they stayed down in their plateau pasture space.

Unfortunately for all of us, I had to come down from the mountain - and pass through their space.

Let's just say that there are no pictures of what was a very fast event in my life.

All is forgiven, though, and I think we can still be friends. (I bribed them with treats...)

So the lesson for the day apparently is - if you're going to weed in the garden, make sure you leave some wild carrots and clover that you dug up in one of your pockets so if you end up at the top of a mountain, you'll be able to get back to your truck.

Tomorrow I'm staying home.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Light and Dark

I was sitting on the porch of the carriage house this morning, just looking at the church across the way and I thought how interesting it was that the church was like this beacon of brightness and "nature" was  all dark and looming.

Then I thought about the conversion of Europe to Christianity from naturalist beliefs and how the church used the contrast of dark and light, turning light into goodness and dark into evil.

Then I thought about the Egyptians and how they also switched from a night worshipping society to light, worshipping Ra.

Then I thought that I was spending way too much time thinking about early religions and their effect on societies.

But then I thought that these things should be thought about and contemplated. And that there was no better place to do this than sitting on the porch of the carriage house where symbols of both were right in front of me.

Then I realized something...

I was really just avoiding doing more weeding in the garden.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Contain Yourself

I took a break from the weeds today to get our window boxes done.  Of course, after I finished them, I had some leftovers - so I tossed them together into a container.  I followed no "rules of gardening" for this container - I just had fun with what was lying around, playing with the plants.

I put a dracaena in the middle, some geraniums around the edges and tucked in orange mosaic impatiens under the geraniums for a splash of color, then finished it off with common vinca.  I like it!

The "sun" window boxes came out alright.  Again, the dracaena in the middle, calibrachoa on the "inside" edge, sweet potato vine on the outside, and 2 coleus in the background.

Usually I just put in a ton of impatiens for the "shade" boxes.  This year I thought I'd try something a little different.  Dracaena in the middle again, sweet potato vines on the corners, bacopa in the center and then a hosta and heucharella in the background.  It really brightens up the shady windows - even if it is mostly bright green - the bacopa flowers are white and they'll stand out in a week or two.  I think it came out great and I can put the hosta and heucharella in the ground once the season is over.

Perennials in the containers - it's too exciting!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Flowers to Fruits

While I've been focusing on weeding, the rest of the gardens have really taken off with all of the sun and the light rains we've been getting.  It's good growing weather - and not just for weeds.

The yews are in bloom.  They don't have big showy flowers, just these little tubular blossoms all over the place that you probably wouldn't even notice if you were just looking at the hedge while driving by our bucolic manor.  But the bees really like them.

My DH rescued the yews a few years ago from an estate on the other side of the state.  He piled them in the pickup and on a trailer, lashed them down and brought them home.  We didn't know how much damage 55mph winds would do to a plant until that day.

They were sad looking specimens when we put them in the ground, but we did it anyway - the roots looked good.  We cut them back and fertilized them, watered them frequently and waited.  By the next spring they were as big as when he first dug them up - and now they are bigger than us.  They seem really happy in their new home and we enjoy the privacy and noise abatement that they provide.

The concord grapes are coming in now.  I won't let the amount of potential grapes fool me this year like they did last year.  Out of all of the possible grapes on this vine, I don't really expect to get more than a handful or two.  I could go ahead and cover them in netting to keep the birds out of them - upping the amount of grapes that we get.  In a way, though, it seems like I'm cheating the birds out of their fall treats.  I think that they look forward to the grapes as much as we do.  There's one little raven who stops by in the morning.  I'm pretty sure he's checking out the progress of the grapes as well.  I think that I'll share them with him this year.

The peas are doing well.  They are starting to produce a lot.  I think that I may go in there tomorrow and harvest them.  If I get a lot, I will blanch them and toss them in the deep freezer so we can enjoy them this winter in a stir fry or some such thing.  They're so good when they're fresh - so maybe we'll just enjoy them for dinner.  Maybe this is too big of a decision to make right now - I think I'll just wait until I harvest them before deciding anything.

After all, doesn't the saying go, don't count your pea pods until they're picked, cleaned and in the fridge?

And yes, I see the weed, thank you very much, I just didn't notice it until I saw the picture.  I'll add that to the list of weeds to pull.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Knocked Out

After 12 solid hours of gardening, I can freely admit that it has knocked me out.  Bugs, slime, dirt everywhere.  I need a recharge.

So as I was slogging my way back to the house, I looked over at my rose bush.  It's the only rose that I have been able to grow.  I tried 5 different varieties before this one and they all got diseased and died.  But this one has lived - and that makes me happy.  I don't even mind pruning it, and that's really saying something.

It's a Knockout Rose.  It handles disease and gets back up again.  It weathers drought and floods and gets back up again.

Today it is my inspiration, because the weeding isn't done and the gardens aren't ready, but tomorrow - like the rose - I'll get back up again.

Right now, though, I think I'll get some rest.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Garden Hates Me

I am sure that my garden hates me.  Every where I turn, there are more and more weeds to pull up.  Finally I just had to stop looking at the weeds and spend a few moments looking up at the sky.  It was a gorgeous sky, so soft and pretty.

Little fluffy clouds kept skitting across, bringing me moments of shade from the sun - whose true purpose is to only make it hot and muggy and humid...and to encourage the weeds to grow.

This week is when we do the "Big Push" for the garden tours.  Everything - and I do mean every thing - has to be weeded and pruned and fluffed.  This is when I question my personal sanity.

I remember gardening as a kid.  I absolutely hated it.  I hated the planting, the weeding, even eating the vegetables that would finally come in.  It was work.  I was a kid and I wanted to play.

I guess I haven't changed that much.  Well maybe a little.  I like the planting part - there's hope in a garden when you plant something new.  You hope that it will do well, hope that it will grow where you put it, hope that it looks okay there with the rest of the plants.

And eating the vegetables is alright.  My DH and I love nothing more than opening up a jar or freezer packet of something that we grew in our garden when it is the dead of winter and we just want to think of the warm days of summer.  So, I like the vegetables now.

But the weeding!?  I still hate the weeding.  They are evil little plants that try to kill all of my nice plants.  They have bugs all over them - which frequently get in my hair. And some of them are slimy or they prick me or they irritate my skin and make me look like I have chicken pox.

Sure, we mulch, we put down landscape cloth, we even over plant some areas just to try to break the cycle of weeds.  But they get through all of our defenses.  No matter how hard we try, they find a way in.

Today I found a horrible weed in my "hospital" bed.  That's where we put plants who need a little extra TLC.  It's far enough away from the gardens that they won't contaminate anything else if they're contagious, but near enough that we can keep an eye on them to help them recover.

This weed was vicious.  It had grown to about 3-feet tall and had nasty spikes all over it.  It also was a "leaves of 3, let them be" weed.  At first I was convinced it was poison ivy.  I called my girlfriend to find out the best way to kill, kill it dead.  We worked out a strategy, this evil weed was a goner.

But I wanted to be sure of what it was, so I did a little checking...wild raspberries!  It's not an evil weed after all, I have wild raspberries growing in my garden now.  I love wild raspberries.  They make a terrific jam.

Okay, so maybe I'll come around to being alright with weeding, after all, you never know what gifts you'll find growing in your garden when you're weeding.

But I think I'll have to wait awhile for that feeling, at least until the first batch of wild raspberry jam is ready.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gardening in the Weeds

On the one hand I was really dreading my gardening task for today.  I postponed, delayed and procrastinated to the best of my ability.

I made potato salad from scratch.  I baked chicken.  I took care of laundry and even did paperwork (ugh!).  When I started contemplating cleaning the bathroom, I realized I was avoiding what was inevitable - the south drive garden.

This garden is 90-feet long and 5-feet wide.  There is no possible comfortable way of weeding it.  You can't sit, if you kneel your kneeling on gravel and you have to bend and stretch for every little weed.  To top it off, it is angled, so you have to be careful pulling out weeds or erosion strikes.

This is only the 2nd year for this garden, so it is still a big job to tend.  We put this in after cutting back the hill to prevent mudslides and washouts from the rain and also to give us a place to pile up the snow when we plow.  Before this, it was a 4-foot deep gully that would turn into an ice sheet in the winter.  If you've never tried driving a pickup truck over an ice sheet in the winter, but you want to know what it is like, just toss an elephant onto a hockey rink and it will give you some idea - out of control terror!  My DH knew it had to be resolved, so last year we cut back the hill and started planting.

Of course, some of the plantings that stayed aren't exactly the type of flowers that I want to keep in my garden - even though this bee had other thoughts on the subject.  But as dandy as he was, the weed had to go.  Last year we planted the garden with annuals because we wanted to start building up some nutrients in the soil that would help a perennial garden grow - and I haven't found anything much better than putting in some sort of plant to start turning dirt into soil.  A lot of the farmer's in our area put down crops just to turn them back into the soil - like clover.  It enriches the soil for the next crop.  We put in flowers.

After too many hours of hand weeding, the bed is finally ready for some power tools.  Once we get the top cut and trimmed, we'll take a look at the angle of the slope and decide whether or not we need to cut back a bit more.  Then it will be time for this year's plants.

We'll be putting in petunias, sweet potato vine, alyssum, coreopsis and the first perennial - hardy geranium.  I chose the hardy geranium because it is a strong grower that will spread out pretty fast and hold the topsoil in place.  It also acts as a deer repellant - they think it really stinks!  It is a pretty plant even though the flowers aren't much to speak of, but it's foliage turns some lovely shades of yellow and red in the autumn.  It's a good start for the perennials in this garden and in a day or two once we finish the rest of the work we should be good to start the planting.

If my back can take it, that is...