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Diary of a Boy Gardener

We are in the Berkshires, the beautiful rolling hills of western Massachusetts where the season is short and the frosts sometimes win. Visit Sally and David's Gardens and see how two old farts spend their time helping what plants they can find their place in this world.

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Location: Hinsdale, Massachusetts, United States

Retired Service Engineer. Installed and repaired diagnostic x-ray equipment. Trained and supported others doing the same thing.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

David has a very sore back this morning. Seems he started out yesterday thinking he would begin to build a small bridge over the stream to replace the functional but ugly plywood and pallet bridge. Little did he know that he would complete it. This included moving and piling the rocks on either side to prevent bank erosion, cutting 3 2x12x8ft pressure treated planks into gracefull arches, cutting and drilling 20 5/4x 6 inch cedar treads and screwing the whole deal togther. Pictues to follow when the rain goes away. Yesterday was a glorious respite from a few miserable days and thus the pent up energy.
Meanwhile Sally got in all the onions and sifted lots of composted soil for same and continued the never ending cleaning of beds. Also gathered up a few carloads of wood from the back before it got rained on. Two tired old farts last night....

Thursday, April 24, 2003

This is the same roadside bulb bed after the mad weeder has shredded his hands (that's a good thing !). There is debate whether to mulch or not to mulch and when to apply the bulb food. Some say during bloom, some say after and none mention what to do when the blooms start in April and don't end until July. So the plan is to do it when the wind dies down, since half the daffodils are alreay in bloom in just the few days since this picture was taken.

This is the roadside bulb bed before.it was attacked by a mad weeder!

The weather reverted back to it's old ways (more below). We had a nice warm up for several days. David got all the willows cut back or rooted out of the stream banks. Near where the new cart and foot bridge will go, he was especially industrious and got most of a really deeply rooted one out. This was necessary due to proximity to bridge site. Also fashioned the first spanner (2x12x8) into an arch 7 inchs thick all thru. Now off to store to buy two more. Meanwhile Sally continued cleaning beds out and is constantly tending seedlings, transplants, trays, etc.
But this morn brought snow showers and 30F and wind. Uckkie! David finishing up the wainscotting in the woodshed and Sally back in her studio to create critters until this cold, damp weather blows by.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

We had a couple of cold ones, dark, damp, penetrating cold. No more digging with ones hands in the bulbs.
But today was great ! It got warmer in the night, then really heated up nicely thru the day. There was shopping in the morning and then work after lunch. David found great pleasure in finishing the grass removal in the bulb row next to the road (pictures soon). It is hard to describe the deep feelings one has when pulling a 10 inch long witch grass root out of the newly loosened soil. David touched each and every bulb at least once. Running fingers thru the dirt to feel those roots, then clutching and pulling them, almost felt like a chicken or something primitive. Goes right to the spine. Brings peace to the soul.
Meanwhile Sally got busy doing Easter decorations. There is much to see and tomorrow promises to be a picutre taking kind of day and sharing is in the cards. Lamb chops and squash coming soon to this kitchen. Um !!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Another very warm day. We made it to 81 here in Hinsdale but didn't check the TV, so no clue if another record, but suspect it is. David has almost finished weeding the bed along the road. Got another 5 hours in today, then the hands got too sore to continue, so switched to less demanding tasks, like writing PHP which exercises the fingers in a different way, but one feels it....
Later in the day the temperature began to plunge and it looks like below freezing tonight. Hope all those daffies and early lilies can handle it, cause no covers from the kids to help out.
Lots of frogs croaking their heads off out there. Blue heron flew over again. More field swallows. Tons of robins. Had a cardinal for several days, but not a peep the last two.
All the wood is in and lots of raking done. Sod divits replaced and obstructions in the brook removed. Busy day.
Sally felt better and worked dressing a fabric rabbit.
Life is good.

It pays to read ones own blogs! David spent a few days working his part time job with his boss and the tentative steps towards php/mySQL proposed for his site have developed into a committment. What that means for here is that development will stop for now.
However, David just painfully published April the old way, then noticed in a posting below that he had managed to develop a php version of monthly pages and forgot to use it. Let's hope he can remember to do it for May !!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

What a day? Started out warm and got warm enough to break the record set in 1941 in Albany. It was 86 there. Here in the Hinsdale hills we only made it to 78, but that's the way it is in the hills.
Spotted the first field swallows today up back. They get here quite a bit before the barn swallows which nest in the woodshed.
David spend lots of time weeding the grass out of the roadside bulb bed. Got about half done in about 4 hours. Tedious stuff, the grass wrapped around the sprouting bulbs. Lost about 10 all together out of a few hundred in harm's way.
Sally is a bit under the weather and didn't get up or out much. Hope she feels better soon.

Monday, April 14, 2003

We finally got some great weather here on the ranch. Last week David was in NYC working, so it was quiet here in webland. Then, once he got back it was catch up, seemingly forever. But finally, he got the rake out and cleaned the front and back, re-sodded the lawns (they take a beating from the plow), got most of the wood up off the driveway (finish tomorrow), broke up most of the remaining ice, cleaned up the roadside piles, spuced up the basement, installed some floating row cover over the spinach which has arisen from last year and will be ready to eat in a few weeks. Meanwhile Sally planted peas, moved the collapsed wattle house roof and spruced it up as a wall hanging, planted a bazillion flats, transplanted from older flats to pots, went to a garden club meeting, ..... and they both collapsed.
And David is busy learning PHP and mySQL and developing some software for work, which will allow people to schedule sound equipment rentals on das web. Speaking of which, he better get to it right now !!!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Well, this April is turning out killer. First of all, no lamb arrived from March. 2nd, the last 4 days have consisted of one or more of the following:
snow, freezing rain, sleet, high winds, snow plows, accidents, birch tree tops kissing the ground.
And the row of sand raked off the lawn along the road has now been redeposited on the lawn! And the forcast is for another wet low to come up the coast and hit the cold and do the same thing for another three days. We are down into the low double digits at night. The faucet, just turned on, is already burst from incautious draining (who knew!). In short, this sucks.
And with all the war news, nobody is reading the papers or watching the tv in the house, so the spring ahead time change was a suprise this morning. First hint was the auto clock VCR seemed to know. Then boot up here on computerland and it too knew all about it. So David set the microwave, coffee maker, kitchen clock, other two VCRs (older and dumber), the car, his travel alarm, the living room and will do Sally's soon.
Off to NYC for a 3 day visit to complete a hotel sound system installation. See ya!

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Well, the big snow never happened on Sunday. We got less than an inch. Seems the temperature was right, but most of the moisture must have gone somewhere else. So Monday most of what fell melted, even with no sun. Then big winds came though and last night we got a little over an inch and this morning bright sunlight for now.
On the development front, David didn't bother with joins, but rather wrote the first garden month page which is a php page instead of html. It actually gets the text and links to images from a database. Now today the trick is to figure out how clicking the thumbnail passes info back to php to generate the image page. Work,,,work....work