Laughing Dog Arts

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gardening in the cold

We had an almost sunny day today.  The temperature climbed up into the low 60's.  Wow, a heat wave!  Does one sunny day qualify as a heat wave?  Lately it does, around here anyway.  So I was working outside the studio, instead of inside.  I salvaged an old wood stove a couple years ago, hoping to be able to refurbish it, but it was just too far gone.  I was able to salvage the base and the upper warming ovens and set them up today as some sort of yard art. 

The ovens are actually upside down, sitting on top of the wood stove base.  Then we put a wood shelf on the top.  I rather like the way this looks, I can keep some plants on there.  I put several pots of cactus on it and some pots with sprouts of flowers growing.  It may not show up in Better Homes and Gardens, but I like it.

It has been so cold and wet it has been hard to get plants to grow.  This past week the trees finally started to leaf out a bit, the alders and the maples.  They seem very late, I'm sure they usually would be more fully leafed out by mid May.  The fruit trees are only now coming into blossom.  We are growing things in flats, waiting to be able to plant them out into the cold soil of the garden.  Chain saw man likes his tobacco and grows his own.

It is quite a pretty plant, lush and green and it will get quite large.  I'm not into tobacco myself but I do enjoy the plants.  They smell lovely when they get big.

We resorted to making mini compost piles in these huge pots and planted right on top of the warming compost.  Here you see little kale plants.  Cool weather crops are doing the best.  At least the ones the slugs and squirrels and birds are leaving for us are.

No one bothers the columbine, which is getting close to bloom now.  A few more sunny days and we might get some actual flowers!   Not as many hummingbirds this year but the bees seem to be plentiful and that is a positive sign.  They have been in decline for several years now, we haven't harvested honey for a few years.  Have any of you seen the movie Ulee's Gold?  It is a so so movie but the part that shows the raising of bees and harvesting honey is quite fascinating and worth watching for that alone.

The new Greg Brown album, Freak Flag is out, I have been listening to it a lot and enjoying it more with each listen.  He is one of the best songwriters out there, in my opinion, right up there with Bob Dylan.  I have one of his songs in my playlist, you might have heard it.  If you enjoy Poet Game at all, you might want to look into more of his music.  I'll send you some if you ask.

Hope you are all enjoying your spring.  Be well.
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yoborobo said...

I love your garden stove, cooking up some cacti. :) It's lovely. It seems to me that you are doing an amazing job growing things, considering the cool Spring. I've barely got tomatoes happening (potted) and we haven't even tilled our little garden area. We're a tad behind. :) Haven't had hummers yet, but I've seen some big old bumblebees! xox Pam

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

it looks like you do such a great job in your gardens, making things lush and green. i could never do that. my mother sent sara a little planter with the dirt and everything in it with a packet of tomato seeds. even that is stressing me out. lol. i really love looking at people's beautiful gardens with envy. i like your stove/shelf. looks nice with the pots! hope you have a marvelous weekend.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Wonderful post Jan!
I wish I could send you the days we have had that have swung from a nice comfy 70 to 94!!!! (with the accompanying humidity out the yaya of course...)
Your plants look so good and healthy, and I absolutely LOVE what you did with the old stove! In my dreams~~I would have one of those!!!
Summer seems to have hit here with a vengeance, but again, rain-rain-rain. At least I don't think there are storms for today.
I am off to do the grocery-zombie thing......think of me.... ;-)


maddyrose said...

What is it with the weather this spring? I've got plants sitting in front of the patio doors waiting for the garden soil to warmand dry out a bit and noticed the strawberry plants will be bearing fruit soon. First time I ever grew strawberries indoors.I love the old stove plant stand.It all looks so inviting.

maddyrose said...

What is it with the weather this spring? I've got plants sitting in front of the patio doors waiting for the garden soil to warmand dry out a bit and noticed the strawberry plants will be bearing fruit soon. First time I ever grew strawberries indoors.I love the old stove plant stand.It all looks so inviting.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

The stove is a charmer, what a way to display. I love garden vignettes more than anything, like amazing outdoor rooms that let you live life large! Cool here today too, hasn't been warm at home. Blessed with a couple 75 days in Cali and it felt like mid-summer to me. xox Corrine

Robbie said...

It's still cloudy and rainy here in Michigan so it's nice to see a garden in the works! looks like Sadie is in the picture too!!!

Anja said...

Dear Jan,

you made me laugh with your note that it is truely not in this garden journal, oh nowadays just this is in, we had have enough of this super super gardings ;-)
It is really late at your place and rather cold, here we have always chances in cold and warm but the fruit tree blooming period is already over here.
What a good choice not be be fond of tabaco in many ways.

I can only wish you that the summer comes to your place

Alles Liebe

Judy Ziegler said...

What a cool Blog you have, you ad to the beauty of an already beautiful area.

Bunny said...

Looks like you have the same weather as us. Rain rain rain. I don't remember when we last saw the sun. It is just terrible out there. Our poor magnolia bush was drenched so we did not enjoy the flowers at all.

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Yard Art, I love it! Our spring has been cold and wet also, until the past 4 days, they have been nice and warm, we even had freeze warnings a few days ago!

Emma said...

Love your stove 'potting bench' I use the first 2 boys' old school desks, one in & one outside the greenhouse. The 3rd boy is still studying on his! I've missed seeds again but was given some tomato & courgette plants to justify my lovely gh. Will sew some lettuce in ther soon. I brought some strawberries in during the heatwave we had a while ago, little green berries, this morning we woke up to snow on the hills! Still waiting for my plum to flower.

Mmm, I could add a couple of strokes of silk paint to my bright flower, or just leave it. This week I'm into smokey blue greens. The pennants are 'decorating' my diningroom right now but they will end up round the walls for my exhibition in September...getting closer every day!

maddyrose said...

Jan, don't look now but I left you an award on my blog.