Well we are warming up a bit, and have had a bit of rain, and a bit of hail! i am in illinois you know, where if you don’t like the weather, well… just stick around. it’ll change soon:) so seeing more green in the landscape. in the cottage’s gardens i am seeing st. john’s wort, horseradish, strawberry, lemon balm, horehound, mullein, skullcap, lavender, black cohosh and angelica all emerging in the last few days.
seems kind of funny to see some of these plants before some of the others that live here. but in my little ecosystem, the above particular plants are in the sunnier spots, so even though one might think they would emerge after say, the crocus, well, the early things are in some of the shadier spots that are still covered in snow:) i’ve mentioned before my home gardens are like living just inside the forest. still a few sunny spots, but mostly shade to semi shade. here is a picture i took looking up at the geese through the trees near the hives
2 mature maples and a mature tulip tree in that picture. there are 3 other mature maples and a 10+year old white pine also. so, like everyone, my home environment has its own uniqueness, challenges and attributes:)
yesterday was a wonderful day. we had our annual master gardener’s big day at our local college. we got offered our choose of different sessions. the first one i took was on community gardens. lots of good info and now hoping to maybe get a spot in it to grow some sunny loving veggies. the school where there is going to be one start is just a few blocks from my house and i could easily walk there this summer:) i will keep you posted about that:)
the second session sucked. called the amazing bee and the only amazing thing was how bad it was. the presenter was nice enough, but i wasn’t really into looking at those sad almond groves in california, with there napalm looking rows where roundup had killed everything but the almond trees. seeing that freaked me out as i boycott almonds personally just because i despise their monoculture, chemical, unnatural way of farming them! gag! and the poor bees! fed corn syrup early in the year to build them up to truck them out to pollinate those post apocalyptic looking fields….! need i say more? i’m getting rebummed. honestly just bout walked out of that session…
but the third session on raised bed gardening rocked as did the compost session. those were both great sessions and i learned new things from both. really liked this idea for composting. they just took a normal trash can, drilled holes top, bottom and all around, threw on the ground and rolled it around once in awhile and ta dah, compost!
i guess i should have took time to photoshop and make bigger for you, but i didn’t so just click on it and magnify yourself if you want to see it better. :) we got a compost pile we turn, but thinking this might be a bit neater. to have a few of these, and where our pile is, is a bit too close to the poison ivy anyway. i am thinking to make one raised bed garden and use the compost i have now for that, and in the future, just do a few of these cans:)
my brother and my buddy val went with me to the event. i was fortunate enough to win a door prize and here is a pic of val and i
had a really nice time at the event, but was itching to get home as the sun had came out and it was near 50 degrees! when i did get home i dashed out to check the bees and open up their hives some.
here is a pic of where my hives sit in my yard. not an ideal spot with all my trees, but the best i can do:)
now today. my brother and i went out to our friend dan’s house, and just had a ball taking a tour of his farm and acreage. he was kind enough to let me harvest some cottonwood bark to work with. this will be my first time and i will keep you posted about that too. this is eric, dan and dan’s 3 goats that follow him around like the dogs did.
dan and his wife have a very wonderful home. they sell at local farm markets a variety of produce, flowers and honey:) we met dan through our beekeeping group and i really enjoyed getting to know him better, visit his farm and thank him so much for sharing with me:)
earlier this week, my husband had ran down to the river hunting. we still have lots of ice and he said it had scoured out alot of the willow, but he did bring me home some to do some herbally things with ( tell ya bout that when i do it). the river is a wonderful place to find unusual items floating around or mysteriously brought from afar by ice, etc. so the black box in front of these willow branches is a butterfly house! figured it wasn’t a bat box as the inside doesn’t have the screening you usually find.
whew, been a busy week and i need to get off here and get chores done before monday gets here again. tomorrow is my friend katee’s birthdays and dylan and i are going to pick her and her granddaughter sicily up for our monthly lap sit at the library.
rosie continues to improve and dylan and i have been working hard learning new things, and having lots of fun too:)
and lily, evan and i have started a new of me once a week going out to their school to pick them up at the end of the school day. they really love these days they get to be “car riders”! and i love spending some special time with them
big herbal and honey hugs to all of you who visit comfrey cottages:)