Late Wednesday afternoon, I added a second box to the beehive. The boys and girls are active and the hive seems to be thriving. I encountered bees in the garden on the tomatoes and cucumber blossoms. The are all over the asters and wild daisies. But more than anything they are all over the blackberries.
I am slowly planting monkey grass to define the flower beds around the house. Now that it’s spring, it’s time to re-mulch the beds, too. I prefer pine straw mulch. It breaks down fast but is inexpensive and gives the yard a fresh look so quickly. I have used peanut hull mulch, too but spreading 10-15 cubic yards of peanut hull mulch is very, very labor intensive. It lasts longer but is costs more and I pay a hefty personal price. I am still working on the exact calculation of pine straw bails needed to mulch all the beds. This time I ordered 50 bales but I think I will need 10 more. I mulched all the trees on the swale around the lot, the pecan trees, the rose bed and the birch tree bed. What is left is the chickasaw plum/camellia bed and the Confederate jasmine wall. Oh, and the hydrangea bed. Yes, 10 more bales. Next weekend. Cuz I am tired.
The front porch is planted with pink lorapetalum. They are 15 months in the ground and in need of a trimming. I trim by hand with hand nippers. I do this mostly because I lack the mechanized shrubbery trimmer or shearing equipment that runs on electricity or gasoline. I also now attest that I do this by hand because it requires no additional time than if I did it with a piece of motorized equipment. From start to finish, including the as-I-go collection of the trimmings and their removal to the waste pile in the back yard, this task took 45 minutes. Because it was a manual task, I could hear the birds fussing at my nearby lounging cats and I didn’t need hearing protection or safety glasses. I don’t have to store a canister of gasoline in my garage nor do I have to be concerned with repair or maintenance or the motorized equipment. I sat for about 3 minutes before I started and hand sharpened my nippers. I like doing tasks under my own “power”.
I then knelt and hand planted two flats of monkey grass along the landscaped bed’s edge. This grass will fill out over the years and form a thick, lush, dark evergreen circumference around all the flower beds adjacent to the house and porches.
Along my front walkway is a bed seeded with red clover. I bought the seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange a full year prior to moving into the house. The day we seeded, it rained and the seeds floated away, or so we thought. I now have clumps and mounds of large leafed clover growing and Irish Eyes are smiling upon Biddan Ridge because we have found five four leaf clovers with minimal searching. Evan also found a FIVE leaf clover. We have set them to press so they can be framed in glass to hang in the house. I do not believe in luck. I think you make your good fortune through hard work, tenacity, perseverance and a clear vision of your dreams. But, it is a lovely discovery to find abundant validation even if it is in the form of shamrocks.
biddan (v.) Olde English to petition, pray, ask and entreat unceasingly