Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Monday in May

It's SO beautiful today - light breeze, balmy, sunny, the air scented with flowers and wood smoke. Ken bought a brisket at McCall's Meat and Fish Company on Hillhurst and is smoking it for dinner. I just had a bite and it's out of this world. McCall's is a nod to my not being able to stomach factory farmed meat anymore. I rarely eat meat, so when I do I want it to be good.

I've been doing garden cleanup and planting seedlings today.

I grew these nettles from seed and planted 4 behind the barn and two beside the bridge - out of the way. They're just big enough now to sting. I've never felt that before - very cool, and surprisingly lasting. I'm very into weeds this year and so nettles were on the top of my list. I'm also growing 2 kinds of plantain - the seeds gathered curbside. I've transplanted them to a mixture of our clay soil and amendment as they don't need that rich of a soil.

This is angelica that I've also grown from seed. I've planted this one near the bridge, an area amply shaded which I can easily keep moist. The angelica will not bloom this year, but I'm patient. I was smitten with it on my Tennessee Valley walks in Marin County, CA. It grows wild there. Next time I go I'll try to pinch a few seeds.

This is "french hollyhock" (malva sylvestris), a weed around here, but one with which I am deeply in love. It's a mallow and has large round leaves. Even though it rusts the rust does not spread to other plants. It has been a wonderful nurse plant to my tomatoes.

I caught this bee reveling in a California poppy. I hope it's one of our bees, though I fear all ours are gone.

Here are our new hives, awaiting starter strips and wax. I've been told that bees leave 50% of the time, so I figure if we have two hives we have a better chance of one of them being occupied.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

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