Spring Gardening



I've been in a major rut when it comes to writing about our latest endeavors, but in my defense, the kids were on spring break this week, and one of the boys had a stomach bug and then strep throat. This was all after I had been sick with fever and chills for three days.

Early in the week, I finally fired a load of bisque, so whenever I get back to Pullen to glaze, I should have a fun post full of mugs and pie plates. I haven't applied to any spring craft shows, but I am considering hosting an open house ahead of Mother's Day. I've loved the craft shows I've attended, but they really are a lot of work for a potter. The boxes are super heavy, and packing takes a lot of time... before and after the show when it's time to pack up. The last show I did was three days long, and it was taxing weekend for the kids and Joe. Having a show out of my own home is much more relaxing for everyone!

Being stuck at home with a sick kid but gorgeous weather, I've ended up spending a lot of time in the garden preparing it for the next round of crops. Typically I stake my tomatoes with wooden poles and kitchen string, but this year I bought 5' metal stakes and reused some green plastic chicken wire for the future tomato patch. The only potential problem I see is that the plastic mesh holes are small, and there will be no way to reach my hand in to grab a 'mater. I left an opening to be able to walk inside, but I'm skeptical there will be much room to work. Eventually, I'd love to buy a roll of cattle fencing.



The three metal trellis were in bad repair with the black paint flaking out and some pieces nearly completely rusted through. I finally got around to brushing them down and giving them a coat of Rust-Oleum with a pop of color. I don't know how many extra years I've given the trellises, and I wish I'd gotten around to painting them before they started falling apart! Now they have a lot of character, and the color really took the garden from winter-drab to spring-ready.






There's not much point to this new little section of white fencing except to say, "Here's the asparagus!" Really, by the time I got the kids to go with me to Lowes, I wanted to buy everything and anything that would bring order to chaos. In our garden, I try to rotate crops, change up the brick paths, occasionally move trellises, but I also try to have anchors. The anchors in our garden are near the corners: a tee pee, the knock-out rose bush, and the blue raised bed. The movable and rotating features are built around these with consideration given to space and sun demands. Just outside the garden fence, I realized that the asparagus has become an anchor of sorts, but it's not visible for most of the year, so the little fence helps define it. I'll see how it feels for awhile and then maybe determine if there is a better use for the little fence.


While this grape vine should have been given the honor of being an anchor, it was always in the way. It would sneak only the blue-berry nets and tried to make its way onto the gate. I pruned it back heavily last fall, and then dug it up and moved it to an entirely new spot under the rooster wind-vane. The two of those combined -- wind vane and grape vine -- make a nice new anchor of their own in a long stretch of fence that tends to be mostly uneventful. I tried a gumi berry bush in that spot, but the berries tasted nasty, and the bush was demoted to the back of the property line. The kitchen garden real-estate is far too valuable for something that isn't delighted in.


The plum tree has set fruit, and it appears to be loaded this year. Last summer was the first time I was able to snag a plum before the bugs and birds, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the plums this year again.


Finally, June kitty has enjoyed exploring the garden. She loves listening to the birds, poking at worms, and stretching her kitty-legs. The other day after she rolled in the grass and dirt, she was yellow from all the pollen.



Holy Name Cathedral Dome Rising

I've felt wide open this week with the sunshine and warmer weather. My own students are on spring break, so there isn't as much online activity, and I've been busy in the garden trying to encourage little sprouts with just enough moisture to help them sink in their roots. While driving to the Farmer's Market on Wednesday, something bright and shiny caught my eye. I did a u-turn and made my way over to site of a new cathedral in Raleigh. It turns out is not just any cathedral, but it is the Diocese of Raleigh's new cathedral. I knew nothing of it before Wednesday, but I came back on Thursday after dropping the boys off at school and got to witness the final bit of lowering the 160-ton dome into place. I'm not Catholic, nor do I know anything about architecture, but still I could appreciate that this structure would far outlast my own lifetime and likely the lifetimes of my great-great-great-grand children.

3/9/16

3/10/16 - The dome is almost in place

3/10/16 - View of the dome from the Alexander YMCA
Here's a news article on the event: http://www.wral.com/placement-of-dome-will-cap-raleigh-cathedral-project/15507429/

Wrightsville Beach Girls Weekend Pictures



Flock of birds over the sound
Pier at The Oceanic

The seagull thought I was a little too close and took to the sky

Ruffled feathers

Seagull on the pier

The jetty at the end of Wrightsville Beach

Up close on the jetty

Sunset over the sound

Seagull watches out over the sound

Sunset over the sound

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