Ended my last post with a certain wish for finishing our garden gate once knowing J would top it with a stabilizing crossbar because the frame is so heavy. I'd hoped to hang the wind chimes above in the resulting space but alas the piece is too long to fit. J hopes 'at some point in time' to find stained glass we could insert in the space. When he mentioned that I brought up an idea I'd had to somehow mount/insert a big dish I recently found by the side of the road. He saw it clearly but the space isn't quite tall enough.
The place where I hung the wind chimes is well suited for the lines and look of the piece. A female catbird watched everything - including my journey towards this spot. She clocked me (I saw her flutter to a closer branch for a commensurately closer look) as soon as I stepped out the door. Later - after it was hung and had grown silent she flew to sit on a maple branch near the western edge of the garden - She sang and sang interspersed with her more percussive repertoire of noises.
Yesterday in between rain showers we hung the gate. This morning I once again leaned into horse wire while Jim affixed wire to wood. He used hardware from a gate (and entire section of fence) that fell down years ago after one of the hurricanes. I'd forgotten about this episode as well as the gate's saved hardware. Think this is fine for its purpose Anything that can get through the gap can also get through the fence's wire grid as well. Have concluded I'm going to cave to popular advice and use the dish as a low bird bath. I know a great spot that's well-aligned with the flight paths of small warblers and other woodland birds.
Last night I took an unplanned three hour nap on the couch. Once awake I spent some high quality wandering around the downstairs time. Doing little boring-to-me things I notice on the fly but never actually fix/change/re-organize. There's something about mild disorientation and a re-setting of circadian rhythms that I find a pleasant match for a whole host of tiny ideas I have and then conclude I don't have the patience or sufficient devotion to detail to implement them.
with-in my wandering I shook out a curtain in a way that made a beautiful Tibetan bell ring. Where it has always hung - the spot for which I bought it - frames it awesomely as a thing to see with your eyes. But it hardly ever rings. Have never felt this bell was meant to be mere set-dressing so I took it down and let it swing gently in my hand. Realized if we put it in the field hanging from the gate's cross-beam it would ring any time the gate opened or closed as well as when the wind moves it.
The hammered pattern on the peace symbol is a flowering vine. J's eyes lit up when I first rang it this morning and suggested this bell was a great solution until the stained glass shows up. We hung it this morning and then I lingered to plant-out leeks and hill-up the shallots and take general stock of what's needed most in the week ahead. Have concluded the volunteer squash plants are actually pumpkin vines. Figured I would scythe the plentitude of kentucky mint and let the vines forge their own path beyond the one I'm making to access other key plantings and gradually give them more room to breathe free of goldenrod, mugwort and other leafy opportunists.
Yesterday I tied up tomato plants and pinched-out suckers for most of an hour once the gate was in place. I didn't have the foot stool I use in deference to a cranky leg. The opposite knee became super duper cranky as the result of squatting for an hour straight. I've thus appropriated an unused knee brace from J's collection. It's far too snug for him but on me it's comfortable while also providing support. So I definitely made it a point to bring the stool today.
A bit later we went out just as the rain began for a bit of point and shovel transplanting in the strip gardens. At the moment there's still a hole waiting for me to pop in an African foxglove. Planted three and have four or five left to get situated. These plants are just coming into their first budding. Am hoping I can get them all in the ground this afternoon. Also put in a Van Houttei sage and a newer low growing anise hyssop variety. [eta: just verified my info and see that it grows to 3 feet. I thought it was 12 inches which I found completely enchanting. will now have to transplant somewhere appropriate where it won't cross-pollinate with the other varieties. sigh.]
My next big garden push involves working-in the rest of the horse compost so I can plant beans. Also going to plant-out a lot of my tulsi crop since we got a late enough start to leave empty space in the new growing track. That soil will also need pitchfork revival and some amendments. Starting kale, broccoli another round of traditional culinary basil varieties and more leeks on the deck. My gardening brain trust is evenly split on whether or not it's too late to start finocchio so I'm going for it. The first bunch, which had begun to set plump bulbs, were ransacked by skunks.
While I was composing this post J made himself available to dig a few transplanting holes as agreed upon earlier in the day. We didn't get all that far before the rain changed from pleasant to punishing but every empty transplant pot is its own form of accomplishment. Working on filling in the strip gardens because it's close to get back inside if lightning suddenly erupts. Haven't heard any thunder for about half an hour. And this is perfect transplanting weather! Will have to let my knee decide how much more I get done on this particular day ...