Very nice news on the car front. A rebuilt engine has been found and it is guaranteed to 100,000 miles. Here’s hoping Putt Putt makes it to age 25. It will take at least another week to get rolling again, but glad I don’t have to buy another car.

I spent the morning gardening and am exhausted but happy. Rather more exciting than I would have liked as a neighbor’s brush fire gave us some cause for worry. Made mental notes to grab computer first.

Flowers cure all worries.

I love bluets, which grow in great clumps and line our moss covered walkways with stars.

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Orange is my least favorite color, but in flowers all is forgiven. I didn’t think I would like these Gypsy Hyacinths, but they grew a delicate salmon pink, and the floral cluster is as long as my forearm. The scent is so strong you can enjoy ten feet away.

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Another look at the trail to the barn, lined with wildflowers, daffodils, lilies, tulips. It’s going to take a few thousand more to get the effect I want. Much more fun collecting flowers than, I dunno, shoes, I guess.

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Another look at the vegetable beds, with a wire cover. No specials skills required to do this. A roll of mesh will hold the round shape in an arch after you cut it to fit your beds. The ends fit snugly onto the sides of the wooden beds, and can be easily raised or lowered, though the mesh is wide enough for my little mitts to fit through.

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Then you place the row covers over the wire mesh. Secure with clothes pins.

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I’m not entirely keen on the square foot gardening concept. That gardening technique is a little mechanical for me. But if you want to read about it, here is a good overview with links.

I don’t use any special soils, and get great yields with little effort. For a more scientific approach to the raised bed gardening technique, try this website.

Important safety tip: if you are going to build your own raised beds, you must use treated wood, otherwise the wood will rot. Be sure to buy wood that has not been treated with arsenic. Most suppliers will know what you are talking about and will steer you away from treated woods which are not safe for gardening. If you get some guy at Lowe’s who simply doesn’t know what wood is safe for you to use, go to another store.

Arsenic treated wood will eventually leech into the ground and minute amounts will get into your food.

Of course you can always buy pre-made raised bed kits. They are kind of expensive, but if you are not handy, they are easy to put together. It’s not exactly cheap to make your own from scratch, costing at least $50 each. But for the serious gardener, they pay for themselves within a year in higher food yields.

I’m waiting to see if our wine barrels lend any interesting flavors to our potatoes…

The Saint of Garden Bulbs. Very cute! Thanks to Jacque Howell for the link.