We first looked at this rambling pile of a house and land on Easter weekend of 2012. I’d responded to an ad that said “Farmhouse for rent with pond”. As we drove around the bend and up the hill, I spotted a tire swing and said “As long as there aren’t holes in the roof and rats running about, we’re taking it.”
That was seven years ago.
I wish I’d taken more photos of what it looked like when we moved in. I don’t think you’d recognize it now.
One thing I did notice, in between our first viewing and our moving in, was that all of the greenery around the border of the house had been obliterated. Our landlord has the typical (around here) farmer’s relationship with Round-Up…which is to say, it’s sloshed around with wild abandon under the premise of “keeping things tidy”.
If you’ve been around awhile, you know my feelings on the subject so I won’t go into it again.
There weren’t any actual “plantings” around the border of the house, but there were two large-ish shrubs — neither of which I’d identified when they were alive and so was faced with two burned and withered skeletons after we’d moved in. I consulted my gardening guru (my Grandad) - who just shook his head and told me to cut them back hard and they’d either come back or they wouldn’t.
Well, by the following summer, the larger of the two revealed itself to be a wayfarer tree (a native species around here) and proceeded to flourish in the years to follow — so much so that it has had two firm prunings to keep it from bullying the rest of the garden. The second, smaller shrub, I was convinced was a lilac although it was always a bit feeble and spindly and never came into bloom. By last year, I’d pretty much given up on it being anything but lanky and leafy.
Fair enough, it wasn’t bothering anyone. And it had been horribly traumatized so who could blame it?
Earlier this spring, I was pottering in the hugelkultur bed, pulling a few weeds and tying up my peas when I caught a whiff of something lovely. I assumed it was the lilac near the vegetable garden, or the ones I planted down by the chicken coops…..
…and then I stood up for a better sniff….
….and there they were….
…gorgeous velvety purple blooms!
I literally gasped.
Then clapped my hands.
Then whispered “thank you”.
I’m perpetually humbled by this land and its gifts….it lifts me up and brings me to my knees all at once.
And speaking of miracles…
My peas have finally started to climb…they were off to such a late start, despite being planted early. They seem like they’ve been going on forever.
Also…the pond-side shrubs who were decimated last autumn in our landlord’s version of “management”, are beginning to show signs of regrowth — which of course they would, as many people pointed out to me as I wailed about the injustice and cruelty of it all. But that’s not the point, is it? The point is that they shouldn’t have been hacked down in the first place. That it was a thoughtless act of violence. People just don’t seem to get that, though.
It seems we’re all about the spirit of resurrection around here this year.
Of nature overcoming man’s stupidity.
It gives one hope, yes?
Also a miracle — I finally got around to reclaiming the vegetable garden from the weeds and wilderness. This is the difficulty of plopping a cultivated patch in amongst the wild bits…boundaries become an issue.
Nevertheless, the tomatoes and basil are in…as are a couple of stray kales I found amid my seed starts. Potatoes will be going in this coming week. They’re my latest attempt at weed control and soil amendment, all in one tasty package.
Permaculture or lazy git?
Does it even matter? :D
Another bit of magic - Tofu (our turkey) began laying eggs this spring. It’s been a strange sort of experience…she got all dreamy and moony….drifting around the place, singing little turkey songs to herself. Many times I caught her just standing, head tilted to one side as if she was listening attentively to something. We supposed she was lovesick….pining for a Mr.Tofu. Then she spent about a week laying eggs…big ‘uns….before lapsing into a sort of depression. I was really worried about her at one point — that perhaps she’d become egg-bound or some other horror (we’re very fond of her) — but she seemed to rally and is more or less back to her old self. She’s a lot more mellow than she used to be…she’ll plop herself at your feet to be petted and made much of…which is very endearing and has a way of making outdoor tasks take far longer than they should. :)
I’m wondering if the egg-laying is a seasonal thing. There’s not a lot of information about turkeys on the interwebs, I suppose because they’re not usually kept around long enough for these sorts of issues to arise. :(
A quick bee snap for the road?
Have a lovely weekend and a magic-soaked week ahead, will you?