Handsome Chef Boyfriend and I squeezed much into our Saturday as we are wont to do; it is really our only day together every week, so to quote Eloise, You can imagine…. In the late afternoon we pushed up our sleeves and got to work clearing and preparing beds in the terraced gardens on the beautiful property I am fortunate to call home for the time being. We talked about doing this last summer on a sweltering day as we walked around and took inventory of what this place has to offer. The deer flies that afternoon made it just about impossible to enjoy the wild beauty around us. Still, we could see its potential. You’ll want to clean this up in the spring, he said.
Cleanup I can do; growing things, not so much. But I am resolute in my desire for vegetables in my garden this summer. The heirloom beans I started indoors too soon from seed recently sprouted purple flowers. They have absorbed most of the soil nutrition in the planter where I moved them after they sprouted, and need to go into the ground now. There are no frost warnings in the ten-day forecast, so I think I shall risk moving them later today. Ditto my very healthy-looking squash plants. HCB, in true HCB-stealth-style, prepared one bed for me while I was showering.
Nobody has lived here for the last couple of years, and the terraced gardens are badly overgrown. But in the space of about an hour my envisioned vegetable garden plot had morphed into this:
HCB paid closer attention than I to what was growing where among the weeds and volunteers on that day when we walked around and explored last summer. He knew there was a mainly bare patch, and so that is where the vegetables will go in. A healthy raspberry patch on the other end of the bed will be left alone except for weeding.
In my vegetable garden, though, we also found this, which looks like chard (something I am also starting from seed), with its bright red stems:
Later I will ask my colleague, who owns this beautiful place. We also found a thriving patch of chives, some of which found their way into the turkey burgers HCB made for our dinner.
A row of something-or-other planted across the front of the upper tier remains a secret for a while longer.
Soon I will poke tomato seeds into this flat I prepared while we worked outside yesterday.
HCB went about the somber business of starting a grave for Clarence-the-Canine, who will finally have his burial very soon. We chose a spot near the entrance to a path in the woods where Clarence once attempted a solo flight, relenting only when he heard the panic in my voice. It is a nice final resting place for him, but the soil is rocky and difficult to work, and there is more to do.
When the cool afternoon drizzle reached a crescendo and our sweatshirts were soaked, we put away our tools and called it a day in the secret garden.