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The projects [gardening]

I managed to get in a bit of gardening help on Sunday. The weather was clear in the morning, but with a forecast of rain for the afternoon, so sytharin was up early to work on things. The garden is mainly her project, but given how much of the harvest I get to enjoy, I should really be doing even more to help out with it.

After a bit of discussion between the two of us, she went ahead and ordered a reasonable but inexpensive small branch chipper, and immediately put it to use. It just keeps making me think that I should have sucked it up and gotten one back in the Farmer House era. Both of us have this sense that it's best to recycle as much material as possible back into a given yard, and so in lieu of getting rid of all those small branches that have to be trimmed off of various plants, in our respective gardens we have just instinctively made stick piles instead. Stick piles can be nice habitat for certain kinds of small creatures, but at the same time they also turn into one more thing that has to be dealt with. When I moved out of the Farmer House, I had to deconstruct the stick pile and put it out by the curb for green waste pickup. The same thing at the Villa Maria house.

Now, instead of that sorry fate, RAC can make mulch! I helped her round up some mulch material by reducing the size of a long-term stick pile that's been gradually decomposing by the side of the house for the past three years. An added problem with that pile is that it is close to the neighbor's fence, which means the neighbor's vinca likes to jump the fence and grow through it, making it a thick tangle. I think I managed to reduce the pile to about a third of its original size before disturbing some sort of bee nest. Okay, bees, we'll leave you alone for the time being, and at least it's now easier to walk around to the backyard.

We also went on an expedition over to Berkeley Horticulture because it's tomato-stalking season. RAC wishes to grow black krimms and some other variety of tomato, so this time of year she goes over to Berkeley Hort about once a week to snatch things up as soon as they arrive. She has also started up a bunch of black prince tomato seedlings for me, which are now getting hardened off. They'll go in a set of very lovely cedar planter boxes that she's put together in the front yard (made from that one trip to the hardware store).

There weren't any tomato plants just yet, but we walked around and of course found a bunch of other things - for me, a catnip plant, some lavender, and some sort of interesting-sounding strawberry plant. I should have known better than to put the catnip plant on the back porch, however. The remainders of the plant are now transplanted and in a spot where the porch cats can't reach it. Hopefully it will survive.

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