Bees and buds

I've taken somewhat of a hiatus from the world of blogging in exchange for spring break: working a landscaping job, bbqs, potlucks, and watching movies. Now I'm playing catch-up, and I just finished reading this post, "What Makes a Good Gardener" by Gayla Trail. It heartens me to read such sincere advice as spring unfolds and the fantasies of last fall and winter, while building beds and pouring over gardening catalogs, turn into the necessity of action, observation, real work, real failure, and real success. 

Meanwhile, bees arrive in less than a week, and we still need to build the hive. A practice hive was built but not completed due to some flaws. Last week, I bought myself a bee suit, gloves, bees wax (to help attract the bees to their hive), and a year's supply of honey. My friend, a property manager, called and informed me that one of his properties has honeybees living in it by the thousands. I gave him a phone number for people who remove swarms, but no one is willing to go into the building and remove the colony. We're at a loss as to what to do.

The chicken coop is almost done. We just need to paint it and reinforce it in a few spots. The poults are getting a bit too big for their britches inside the house, resulting in dust and messed up sinuses and chicken poop on the floor and general stinky-ness, with one or the other of us calling out every now and then, "We live in a barn!" We did have them spend one night outside under the heat lamp which surprisingly resulted in feeling "empty nesty." But it was nice, for a minute, to have a clean project room again. Fearing cold, we brought them back in for a day, only to come home to a floor covered in pooh. So they were shipped back out again. The heating lamp is secure, and we're confident that they're staying warm.

Echinacea, butterfly weed, basil, and bergamot have all germinated, and most of my other seedlings are doing well. I'm a proud mamma-gardener. I'm thinking of throwing some sort of pagan May Day party, a celebration of the official start of the planting season, with body paint, poi, hula hoops, and a seedling exchange.

I found rose buds today.


  1. that is a great post, nice dose of reality. i was getting a little discouraged earlier today when i discovered white mold on some of my planters...i sprinkled cinnamon on them and put them in the sun and it mostly cleared up, but still, it’s annoying when you work so hard at something and things still go wrong. a lot of aspects of gardening irritate the control freak in me. have you read trail’s book, “grow great grub”? it’s pretty fantastic.

    oh and welcome back...sounds like a fun spring break.

  2. I didn't read Grow Great Grub, but I read You Grow Girl last year, which helped kick-start me. I'd recommend it for anyone getting started. I'm going to put Grow Great Grub onto my library list!

    Does cinnamon work for white mold? I've had that problem too. I find the challenge with seedlings is moisture, especially once they're too big to be under their little plastic domes.

  3. it seemed to work pretty well. i read a few different remedies and a lot of conflicting advice about white mold...one of the things i kept coming across is that you should spray the soil with diluted hydrogen peroxide, but that seems really harsh. a chamomile infusion was also suggested--probably a good idea but i don't have any on hand. i like cinnamon though, i dusted all my plants and containers with it, even the uninfected ones, just as a preventative measure so hopefully it won't flare up again. i also couldn't find definitive info on whether the mold is harmful to plants. some sources said it falls under the umbrella of damping-off diseases, which horrified me, and others said it's nothing/don't worry.