New Year, New Garden

It’s tax time again. It’s enough to take the wind out of the sails of even the most positive person. I’m all for rendering unto Caesar and all that, but as I was telling friends this weekend, I feel like I’m rendering also to Hadrian, Constantine and a dynasty worth of Ptolemies. I guess there’s no use crying about it too loud or too long. It doesn’t make a bit of difference.

It softens the blow considerably to be out in the garden with the children and Fixer, getting ready for the year. We cleaned out the strawberry patch, which was looking considerably worse for wear after last winter, and planted garlic. Fixer started pulling out sod for our relocated root garden and laid out the irrigation for the tomato patch.

After the haircut we gave the plum tree in February, it’s unlikely we will have any plums this year while the tree recovers. Frankly, that’s ok with me. We’ve been overrun the last couple of years and it will be nice to be able to focus my attention on the peaches this summer.  Those have been pruned up nicely the last two summers, so if we can stay up with the thinning, we should have some very nice fruit to eat fresh and to put up for the winter.

Last weekend, Fixer also gave the grapes a nice haircut, so I’m looking for a fantastic grape harvest this year.  The hops have recovered smashingly from what I predicted was a fatal irrigation failure last fall, so Fixer should be brewing like a champ once that harvest is in.

We planted a little over 100 lavender babies later than we planned last fall, so we allowed some weeds to grow up around the babies to shelter them from the harsh winter weather.  I’m pleased to report that it was an effective tactic and nearly all survived.

Probably the best part of the weekend occurred not many minutes ago when Lilliputian experienced her first run thru the sprinklers. It’s unforgivingly earlier for that kind of activity, but she had her little tongue poked out and her finger in the water, so when the sprinkler head rotated, she just stood there and smiled…until it soaked thru her Osh Koshs. So we shucked her out of them like an ear of corn and she went right back in for another round.  Classic.

The soap kitchen has been kind of quiet these last couple of weeks. Our line of soaps are now in stock at Balsamroot Boutique, a fantastic new shop in Cashmere, Washington specializing in high quality handcrafted goodies from the area.  The owner, Sherry, has been making fantastic jewelry for a number of years and selling at boutiques, farmer’s markets and art shows around the area. The brick and mortar  store opened last week.

I’m working on a line of candles which should be listed on our Etsy shop shortly. I also have massage candles and wax melts currently in research and development (doesn’t that sound important?)

The last thing that I’ve got cooking is a jewelweed salve and probably a soap to go along with it.  Jewelweed is used as an anti-pruiritic for poison ivy, bug bites and other skin irritations. The FDA won’t let cosmetic manufacturers claim those kinds of treatments, so I’m not, but I’ve got a bit of an irritation going on myself, so a friend sent me some  from her personal stash. I’ve currently got it packed in a mason jar infusing in olive oil for my next project.

The ornamental plums are about to bloom. I’m not 100% sure, but spring may be my favorite season. What’s going on in your garden?

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