Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mucking about

Three good garden ideas converged today. The first was our new wheelbarrow, the perfect wheelbarrow, exactly the type and size and weight we have been searching for for months, and bought yesterday at a garage sale for $3; we love it the more for its price.

The second was going out to the stables for more manure. I read all the gardening books that advise finding a good source of manure but it seemed such a hassle, and we could always buy it at the garden store. But one day in the Sunday classifieds we saw an ad asking people to take away the stuff and we've been going back ever since. Now we have as much as we could ever wish for - horses defecate a lot and the horsey people spend all day riding and grooming and servicing the beasts; they don't have time for gardening and have no use for the stuff so we're doing them a favour - and Lucy gets to spend time making friendly overtures to the horses. This lot went on the raspberry canes, a fig tree, a grape vine, the asparagus bed, and on top of an imperfectly dug in green manure crop in preparation for asian greens as soon as the weather is a little friendlier. The rest has been piled at the back to settle down before we spread it around the fruit trees which are currently ringed with jonquils and daffs.

The third and best idea was my using the baby backpack around the garden. Nell's a difficult baby to garden with. She wants to be held all the time and she needs to be on the move. So while Lucy and I find it easy to bumble about together, Nell is often left back in the house with Al. I'm aware that she's left out but as Head Gardener have found it difficult to involve her while actually doing some work. Today she loved being up the back, and I found it was easy enough to dig and spread the muck with her riding shotgun. Plus, unlike Lucy who's independent and does her own thing, Nell is a captive audience for my singing and philosophising. We foresee many more hours of garden fun for all the family.

The good feelings have been slightly diluted by Al cutting his hand on the saw; he's now at the hospital getting jabbed and stitched, my poor love. I hope he's back soon with all his fingers still attached - he's no good to me otherwise.


nutmeg said...

Hi Kris - kids in the garden - it is a wonderful life. And I loved your last post. It is so very interesting to see how robust and happy plants are when they mingle in amongst each other - now if only us humans could do the same!

And "well deserved" on that award.

Also, I have finally managed to do the eight things meme - bookish style, as promised.

Finally, I hope Al does return all intact - if Mr J returned without a thumb or some fingers, who would carry up all my extra mulch and manure? A caring lot we gardeners :-0

Rhonda Jean said...

What a nice post. You're like those asian and african women who garden and work with their babies attached.

Just a warning with the horse manure. It's EXCELLENT that you have a never-ending free supply, but ask the stable owners to let you know when the horses are wormed. Any worming mix will go through the horses and into their poo. Putting that on your garden, or in a worm farm, will kill the worms in your soil. Most stable owners don't mind letting you know, especially if they know you're using the manure on your vegies.

I hope Al returned fully digitalised.

Kris said...

Rhonda Jean, thank you! This never occurred to me. Our soil was utterly lifeless when we arrived and I've worked so hard for those worms. To lose them would be such a blow.

Al is fine. All ten fingers still in place, though one is well bandaged. Nell keeps mistaking it for a banana and gnaws on it - more pain for Al.