Wednesday, December 13, 2006

winding down the year

With Thanksgiving and my Christmas party out of the way, I feel really relaxed now. I still have some Christmas shopping to do, but not too much and I feel like these next two weeks will be rather calm. For the forseeable future at least, the weather is projected to be in the mid to high 50s, barely getting to freezing at night, so I'm looking forward to being able to putter around the yard a little on weekends. Recent putterings have revealed that a very tall rabbit or sorta short deer has been munching on my Viburnum dentatum 'Blue Muffin' that I planted, in addition to several Ilex verticillata 'Berry Nice' that were little more than twigs to begin with. The Pink Diamonds Hydrangea are almost no longer visible but I can't figure if it was a critter or the victim of the last mow before the Cub Cadet was put to bed. They are suspiciously short.

I am taking the week off between Christmas and New Years and I'm expecting that is when the Arctic air mass will appear. But, whatever. I've got books and seed catalogs and plenty of stuff to keep me busy inside if need be. I picked up these three books recently at Chester County Bookstore, as I happened to be in the neighborhood. A little early Christmas shopping for me.

Paths of Desire by Dominique Browning

Continuous Harmony Essays Cultural and Agrarian by Wendell Berry

it's a long road for a tomato by Keith Stewart and Flavia Bacarella

I've only barely started the Dominique Browning book, but I'm not loving it so far. She of course was/is the editor of House and Garden and is a little too designy for me. I should have realized this, but I am always a sucker for books about people buying old houses and redoing the grounds. I don't hate it, but I'm not devouring it as I usually do.

As the garden catalogs trickle in I'm mentally making a list of what I want to do next spring. And what worked and what didn't this past year. El at fast grow the weeds is doing a year end wrap up of her garden and it has gotten me thinking. And Liz at Pocket Farm has me considering beans, something I've never grown before. I know I'm gonna give up peppers, save for a handful of pimentos. They just never do well and don't show up until September. I'm thinking about little hoop houses and maybe a cold frame to start things earlier, and goats are always on my mind. Oh the grand plans we think up during the long winter months.


Blogger wurwolf said...

How lucky for you to be able to relax for a while. I envy you!

Funny, goats are always on my mind, too. :o)

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I have just been to check out your new books. I can certainly understand the first. Changes come with changes, for sure. Guess I would read them all.

By the way, have you gotten that catalog called all tomatoes, or something like that? This is the first year I have seen it. Looks interesting. Peppers are really easy to start indoors, you might enjoy doing that. My plants don't get very large here in Maine, but they do seem to do the best in the cool temps.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

I normally don't have good luck with peppers, but this year I tried ones called New Ace. They're hybrid, but I actually got blocky bell type peppers that turned red, even! I roasted a bunch and froze for the winter.

Plant the beans, M, you'll love them. I just sent you an email with a rough idea of yields.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

Let us know how you like It's a Long Road.... I saw that at Borders last night and thought it looked interesting.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so bummed out by this weather! But it is a great time of year to curl up with a book; I envy you your time off to do so. The Browning book is actually okay: she has the right intentions, even if she's a rather pampered person. Just imagine what you'd do in that great house if you had her dough. I felt for her when she said she may have to leave the house. Berry is fabulous, but I am biased. And the tomato book does sound interesting...

And goats! Such poop to be had. Milk? Wool?

9:46 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

Probably neither milk nor wool. Just pets. I'd like to do the milk thing but I just don't think I will have the time every day. I started peppers from seed last year and they did crappy also. They just don't do much for so long. Maybe adding black plastic mulch or something to heat them up more. And no, I haven't seen the tomato catalog. Sounds interesting. I got the SSE catalog yesterday and they mention all the varieties of tomatos that their members save seed for and it's something like 4,000 different varieties. They don't sell that many, but still. That blows my mind.

10:07 AM  

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