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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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Now comes the rain

The dry spell broke with a vengence. On Monday night (21st) a severe storm line barged through the area and watered everything. Here there were only some high wind gusts which brought in leaf litter and small branch debris. To the west and north there were straight line wind shears and a small tornado which damaged homes, vehicles and property. No reports of injury, but lots of power outages. David found the south side of Pittsfield completely dark as he drove home from the local community college at 10:30 pm.
The rain has continued sporatically and is forcast through Thursday. Once the sun shines the lawn will grow about 3 inchs!!!
David has been busy moving 10 chords of wood by the wheelbarrow full and coding a hometown website, thus not here keeping his promise to Blog more often (ah well...).
And of course there were three garden tours in the last two weeks. David has pictures, but has been too lazy (opps, busy) to size them, upload them and describe them. Someday my prints will come....

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Posting Dry Spell

Been over a week since David typed for the Blog. Why is that? Well, the dry weather means lots of watering which is an early morning job, which is when Blogging sometimes happens. Then in the evening, the other good blogging time, he is busy coding some new web site and forgets about the thousands of blog followers who are anxiously awaiting the next boy gardener post.
So, here it is:
The past weekend Sally, Jeanne and David went on two garden tours. Saturday was the Lenox tour of Williamstown gardens, the first time they had been in north county. Some beautiful gardens and spectacular views. The Lenox club seems to favor those who have large properties and hired help. Pictures and descriptions should appear on the visit link at top of this page within a few days.
On Sunday the same crew again headed north, but a bit further to the east, to Ashfield area. Here the Franklin Land Trust tour featured more farms and business oriented sites, with emphasis on how the owner's lives influenced their land. There were organic gardeners and an Ashfield stone artist, a Tibet influenced weaving place, and a few just gardens. It too will appear on the web site soon.
Meanwhile here at the ranch there was an infestation of some rose eating bug. Sally and David squished a few hundred of them, mostly on the white rugosa hedge along the eastern border of the bank. A few were elsewhere, but only a few. They get in the blooms so every one has to be examined. Where only one or two bugs, they and individually squished. Where more than two, the whole bloom is collapsed in the hand, cut off and stomped/squished and cursed.
So, there you are. David worked last night so he got up late and is already behind, so off to eat, then water the veggies who have been skipped three days now with all the tour stuff. Containers were paid attention to, but not the poor vegetables.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Dry Spell

No more complaining about the rain, now complaining about the lack of it! Feast or famine time. Seems we have hit quite the hot and dry spell, so everyday involves a few hours of watering, being as there are many containers around here and the vegetables are coming on strong. This year the kids are keeping the weeding under control in vegetable land and David has been putting 3/4 inch black plastic pipe in the ground here and there, and then bringing up faucets in key areas, thus eliminated the dreaded hose all over the place. The goal is to carry around one 20 foot length and quick connect to nearest faucet. Getting close to that out in the vegetable garden and heading now past the cottage porch.
There have been guests in the house for the last three weeks and the last of them leave this morning, so that Sally and David can get back to normal (whatever that is). Diet and time use have been way off kilter here at the ranch. And Wimbledon finally got over. David taped during day and then watched at night as possible, but even then missed major stuff. Hey, it's only tennis.
David off to work for a small install job up at Williams College, part of a four man crew putting new speakers, conduit, wire, rack into a gym up there. Should be fun. Off to pack a lunch and get going now....

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Free Birds !!

Four of the five baby swallows nesting in the woodshed took off into the great world this morning. The runt remains, wondering why there is so much room and nobody sitting on him. The babes are seen on the roofs, nearby strung cables and flying about with their folks. The cat is indoors for awhile.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Happy July !!!

Finally dry enough that farmer neighbor Eddie mowed the hay to the East last evening. It has gone to seed and probably is a bit too tough to get the high price he hoped for, but this is farming, and it ain't nohow easy.
Since Blogger has been changing a lot lately, David finally read thru the happenings there and then changed the template and added titles, starting with this post. He may toy with the colors a bit later, but for now, this looks fine.
Meanwhile the two old farts are puttering away at it. Lots of maintenance this time of year as the weeds have snuck in everywhere and need harvesting and hauling. Sally has had some "special days" with the grankids and there seem to be several decent movies around these days (Winged Migration, Spellbound, etc). And there are guests dropping by to tour the place too.
David got a new lawn mower a few weeks ago, a rear bagger which makes it much easier to keep seed and debris off the beds. It is one of those Toro Personal Pace jobbies, which goes whatever speed the user goes by a clever little handle design. Starts well, mows well, and sure fills up that bag!
Should be out there today getting some good pics so you can see the state of the gardens. Guests coming for a week later today, so a bit of house cleanup and shopping is in order.
And then there is Wimbledon anytime one thinks they have too much time on their hands. Too bad Andre lost yesterday.