minding our beeswax

Posted on Posted in designing, food and garden, projects

our poppies started blooming last week, about two weeks earlier than usual. and we have scads of them this year. today i went out to take some photos, i found a host of happy poppy appreciators visiting

honeybees positively swarming over them.

inside and out, these busy creatures were fighting over spots on the flowers

so drunk with whatever they found that they even stood still for photos, more times than not

and the sound—it finally feels like summer when the air hums like this.

actually, they were all over the place—some groups split off and found the slower pace around cranesbill a little more to their liking

the last few days sort of revolved around the garden—since it rained all week and we had just one nice day, i busted a move to get the garden in on wednesday night and thursday while we had a break.

fortunately, that was just enough time to plant all the vegetables i wanted to get in before the storms hit again. i even feel good about the way it’s organized

the stuff we’ll want to pick at for the kitchen—herbs, celery, scallions—are closest to the back door; the greens, beets, beans, okra, and root vegetables are in the middle, with the root vegetables mostly in hard-to-reach spots, where they can sit all summer undisturbed.

i even got myself organized enough to label all the seeded rows with markers—something i always mean to do and then get lazy about. which i regret later, because i can’t remember what’s what—not helpful when i want to know the specific names of varieties i liked best. i added the thinning info right on the stick so when the time comes, i won’t be wanting those seed packets i threw out, heh.

learning from experience = priceless.

i have a row of golden chard from starts that my friend kris gave me, which should be ready to eat before we know it. i’m drooling in anticipation . . .

along one one side we have some old planting boxes which i used for the hot peppers

and along the other side, we totally revamped the asparagus bed one more time, amended the soil, and replanted afresh (except for this one healthy root from a previous year, which we kept). fingers crossed, this time it will take. our soil is rather heavy, but i found some roots that are bred for these conditions, so maybe they will like it.

we rotated the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant to the back this year and the tomatoes have already doubled in height (or more, i think) since we bought them one week ago.

i’m trying something new with the green and yellow squash; something i’ve been wanting to do for a couple of years. i noticed that our squash always grow in the same direction, toward the front lawn, overtaking anything in their path. last year they ended up mowing over half of my greens.

i saw a couple of times where squash plants were used as decorative plantings in front of office buildings or nurseries and i liked that idea (i’ve seen chard used that way too, and i’m plotting . . ). i asked david to dig up planting spots for them on the “lawn” side of the path, so they can grow toward the lawn and away from the other plants. he’s been doubtful about the idea, wondering however he’ll mow around them, but says “we can try it”. i think it’s going to be splendid to have those bright yellow squash flowers facing the street.

hopefully, this will not be the year they decide to grow in retrograde, haha.

we’ll put the mulching and soaker hoses in this week—the forecast is for about ten straight days of nice weather, perfect for the seeds to sprout and take off.

speaking of david, another surprise popped up in the yard that i almost missed.

i love iris and we finally have some, yay!
our honeysuckle vine seems to be responding to the copious rain in the right way, too

a few big blooms opened up today.
and that apple tree david pruned back is covered with fruit, too; maybe some of it will even make it onto our table in the fall

our limited experience of tasting them has been wonderful and we’d love to have more.

with all that going on, i haven’t gotten a ton of knitting done. i wrote the pattern for the baby sweater and sent it off for tech editing and sizing. i also finished the hat to go with it

it’s kind of a dough-boy shape; i like it. we’re hoping the set will fit susan’s grandson so he can wear it for a photo shoot. i decided on a name i like, borrowed from beckie’s husband—he calls their grandson “inky dinky” and i was so taken with that idea that i wanted it for the sweater set.

other than that, i don’t have much. i started a big secret project and have been working on my longjohn sock rather sporadically . . .

i should be able to get back to it with some energy this week, now that the baby set is done.
i’m swatching for new projects too; i need to get going on a shawl, another baby blanket, and that sweater with the spirit trail yarn. i’m also totally out of portable small project to take on my travels in the coming weeks; i’m thinking that another scarf or two and a sock should be on my to-do list (you know, in my copious free time . . .)

we did nice photo shoot over the weekend of the campanula scarf at our favorite nursery with beckie showing it off to great advantage; i ahve to edit the hots, but it’s looking good for getting that pattern out on tuesday or wednesday this week.

ok, that’s enough chatter for today; i think it’s time to knit, don’t you?

37 thoughts on “minding our beeswax

  1. Ann, your garden is fabulous! I hope everything comes up the way you want it to. Also: I absolutely ADORE the baby set that matches the blanket. I think the garter stitch eding is the perfect touch. And don’t worry, the buttons are perfect for this set and complement the stitch pattern.

    Picture my eyes, green with envy….. 🙂

  2. “other than that, i don’t have much” You crack me up. I got tired just reading this post! Your gardens and your knitting are gorgeous.

  3. Today was gardening day for me as well (as I tried to ignore the cries from my knitting and sewing – ha!). We are several weeks ahead here too – even my miniature rose bush is blooming – a good three weeks ahead of schedule. And the lilacs are peaking when they’re usually closer to Memorial Day. Great idea about the labeling sticks in the garden; I get lazy about that too. I think I will remember everything but I never do.

    Love the baby set – such a fabulous design and color!

  4. we have been hit by the normal springtime rain in portland. we had a couple of beautiful weeks in april and then BAM back to rain for a stretch. funny thing? it always happens and each year we all kind of forget. i think the sun is supposed to return next week. thanks for sharing the beauty and color. it helps me get through the blah rains. 🙂

  5. I envy you your garden, I’d love to sample from your bounty! 😉
    But right now I am so looking forward to your Campanula Scarf. . . I’ve been knitting the Twinings Stole while I wait out of fingering yarn for the fall, but the Campanula is calling my name. I have some lovely peach laceweight that is dying to become that scarf!
    I know. . . patience, patience. . . 🙂

  6. Your garden looks so organised & those sticks with all the info. are great. I will have to copy your idea for my garden.

  7. I saw John and Nat’s bees yesterday–so cool. Maybe they should plant poppies–those bees look happy!

  8. all good gardeners were out there this week! Your poppies are exquisite. I hope that you tried the basil/parsley mix with your asparagus bed! I planted my fingers off! No knitting for me, so it was nice to see you Inky Dinky – CUTE!

  9. You’re garden looks like it’s going to be a great one – I always admire it every year since I’ve started reading your blog. I took the lazy way out since where I’m now living isn’t that great for a garden – my friend and I have joined a community supported agriculture group – so we just support the farmer directly!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing your garden! Those poppies are unbelievable – I always think they look almost fake because they are just so over the top its hard to believe they are real. What gorgeous color and drama! 🙂

  11. Love the poppies…but then I love anything that’s pink! LOL
    And I also love that baby sweater set. So cute!! I have a new grandchild due on August 25th…hurry with that baby blanket you have planned so I can make a decision as to which one to make! (As if you catered to my every whim…NOT!!)

    I had such a bad time of it with my tomatoes last year (not enough sun) that I decided to not risk it again this year. Last year’s crop was only 11 tomatoes total on one plant and 2 on the other so all of the work and effort and worry just wasn’t worth it. We have had practically no sun for the last 2 weeks until today. In the next 10 days we will have partly to mostly cloudy days with hot temps. Tomatoes just won’t make it under those conditions. So I guess I’ll just have to fork over a lot of $$ at the farmer’s market…I had to do it anyway last year so this way I’ll be saving money. ‘Tis sad though.

  12. Really looking forward to the Campanula pattern! It would be perfect flight knitting for Friday–flying to the states for a visit.

  13. Good heavens, you’re a busy one! Our itsy-bitsy garden will have to wait till next weekend. I love that baby sweater more with every picture you post. I may have to knit it and then stalk pregnant women…hey…you want a sweater for that baby? ;-)—-

  14. Your Poppies are great……Did you order them from a catalog? I haven’t seen many colors other than Orange…..sweater is so pretty. Everything you do is GREAT. Love Betty

  15. Your garden is so inspiring. I might have to go out and get some tomato and pepper plants this week. Looking forward to seeing if the squash experiment works out. And I love the baby sweater set. If only my grandbaby wasn’t heading off to Indonesia next month. I doubt there will be much call for woolens out there.

  16. My poppies are blooming too–but they’re orange. The pink are delightful. Your garden puts my measly 3 tomato plants to shame. I must get some herbs for the deck this week. I just cut several stalks of rhubarb–I’m thinking perhaps a blueberry-rhubarb crisp and some rhubarb juice, which is so good in tea, w/lemonade or seltzer water. The baby sweater is so very cute. If my friend is ever able to conceive I plan to make the set for her.

  17. you are absolutely amazing. and so are those poppies. and so is that baby sweater set. cannot wait to knit both pieces!
    have a great week, anne.

  18. Just wonderful!!! I love the new baby set. I’m just “green” about your garden. LOL 🙂

  19. Baby set is so adorable. Super cute.
    The Poppies are stunning. How to capture that in yarn, I wonder…If anyone could figure it out, I know you will!

  20. The garden is gorgeous! I, too, think the sound of bees just screams summer; I’m hoping to spend some time on the back patio today, listening to them in our now-blooming jacaranda.

    And I’m going to see you soon, yay!! 🙂

  21. That baby hat is the cutest thing ever!

    I love the photos or your poppies. Something about the way the light hits those papery leaves make the pics look like watercolor paintings, particularly the first one.

  22. Anne I’m not sure which is more beautiful-the garden, or the baby sweater. Makes me wish I had a little baby to knit for!

    My poppies ‘may’ bloom this year. If so I have to take pictures of their happy faces.

  23. Oh, those poppies are just the bomb! Gorgeous! And I love all the planning that goes into the garden. Don’t love doing it myself, except in my mind, but it’s fun to see what you’re up to. All those tags will come in so handy later! I hope the squash grow the right way, that looks like fun.

  24. Good to see the weather finally allowed you to plant your veggies. We have been having super weird weather here! Coldest end of May in about in 40 years! I love the baby set!

  25. What a beautiful post! My garden is in…all containers again this year. My husband built it up on pallets so I don’t even have to bend! Gotta love them =).

  26. Oh! Stop my heart! I am crazy about pink flowers. Those poppies are drop-dead gorgeous.

  27. Your photos are so beautiful, Anna and David. Your garden looks so inviting and I hope that you have bumper crops again this summer. Your poppies are gorgeous and the iris buds a wonderful sign of summer. Here in a very wet early winter in Sydney, Australia, it is a treat to see your delightful blog!

  28. I’ve never seen poppies in that gorgeous shade of pink before. I grew in up central TX, where bright red poppies reign (Georgetown, TX, claims to be the red poppy capital). Here on the East Coast, all the local poppies are bright orange. I didn’t even know they came in pink! That would be a great color for a sock yarn (hint hint).

  29. Is the baby sweater knit top down? With the raglan type sleeves it looks possible. Whether or not, love the green; love the design! I adore knitting baby sweaters–it is always so great to have a finished one in my gift closet when a giftee comes along.

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