Cement is not essential

Except it is for me…  I need it.  But here in lockdown level 4 the local shops aren’t selling it.  All I can hope is we nip this thing in the bud – and all signs show we can, and we are, so as soon as we drop a level, I can race out to the hardware store and contactlessly grab some cement.   For many folks, the level drop means takeaways, but nope – not for me. 

The end of the road
Finally I got to end of the path. It was so satisfying to get it finished.  This project as certainly been a labour of love.

I’ve been working on The Palace Garden.  I’m not sure there is a need for cement in the veggie patch, well not at this point.  But the efforts up there in The Palace haven’t really come at the expense of time spent in with the veggies as I’ve tried to be diligent and stick to my plan.   I say tried as it hasn’t been complete smooth sailing. 

Fennel the Cat
Fennel the Cat is already making the most of the space I have created, doing what I intended should happen up there… relaxing.

Last Monday was snarled up with bad weather and computer gardening and I barely had time to set foot out there.  Yesterday – another Monday, I did set foot in the garden, but thought I would quickly sow the next batch of seeds – the cucumbers, zucchini and pumpkins and then get onto sector one.  But some of the earlier seedlings caught my eye, they were calling out to me like a kid with shoes one size too small.  They needed transplanting into bigger pots.  Well, I couldn’t ignore them.

Seed sowing
This was the last major push in the seed sowing sessions. I expect there will be a few more seeds sown for non starters and the inevitable forgotten ones.

It turned out there were quite a few that benefited from an upsize to a new home and I was there a lot longer than I expected to be.   It is all very well when sowing seeds to think – oh a couple more won’t hurt.  But when you extrapolate that across all the seed varieties you sow, you end up with an awful lot more seedlings to tend to than you had planned for.  Another reason to hope for a lockdown level drop sooner rather than later, so I can pass on my excess seedlings to good homes.

So, sector one is still in desperate need of a weed and a bit of love.   

transplanted seedlings
This is the first batch of seedlings stretching their roots. I’m going a little easy one the potting mix though for fear of running out before the lockdown levels drop.

Today – the 2nd Tuesday since I turned my focus away from projects and towards the routine of the garden, is rainy.  But not to be foiled – I took care of sector 2 last Tuesday and it looks spick and span and good to go for the new season.  I also managed to sort out Sector 3, but this happened across the Wednesday and the Thursday as it was bigger than I thought, and I had overdone things a little and needed to take things easy.

Seeds and seedlings
The ever expanding greenhouse bench is filling with seeds and seedlings.

But this meant Sector 4 missed out on Thursday, but it is a small sector so it shouldn’t be too hard to catch up on.  And Friday ended up being another take it easy day as it is always important to listen to your body and when it is telling you with everything it has got, to stop and rest, I’ve found in my experience it is best to listen.  But I was ok with this because there are still at least 6 weeks before the garden gets fully planted out and with 40% of the garden good to go, then there is no need to panic just yet. 

Sector 2
Having whole sectors sorted and ready to go makes it all feel good.

Saturday rolled around and while weekends are generally no-garden family days, lockdown seems to have thrown the calendar right out the window and it can be hard to tell which day is which – probably why I need a good routine with my sectors, so I know where I am.  “Weeding the garlic – oh it’s Wednesday!”  But besides – having everyone home 24-7 means we already see a lot of each other, so we spent the day doing our own things. 

Father's day breakfast
Adding edible flowers to Hubby the Un-Gardener’s Father’s day breakfast is like sprinkling it with love.

So, I made a good push on The Palace and finished the path.  Well mostly finished.  I came up with a design that would stretch the bricks I had to make the path as long as I wanted it to be.  This meant a series of large holes in the middle of the path.  My intention was to fill them with cement paving stones to finish it off.  But I don’t have any cement and can’t get any.   I did toy with the idea of planting a footstep tolerant plant, but it isn’t part of the plan, and I wouldn’t have been happy with that.  It would have bothered me.  Although I have a deadline looming, I am going to push on with the plan and hope we drop a level in time. 

The beach
I love the beach at lockdown – it feels like we’ve got it to ourselves. Although it isn’t like it is normally crowded.

The new focus up in The Palace is the planting.  But the weather this week has a wind warning so maybe the windbreak should come first.  It makes more sense, but the plants are much more fun and have been in their pot’s way too long…

log on the beach
I love the pattern on this log we found on the beach. I am so grateful for the teen lads who lugged it all the way home.

We did get some family time.  The calendar jumble lockdown brings meant we almost missed Father’s Day.  Hubby the Un-Gardener did get his bacon and eggs – with fresh asparagus and garnished with edible flowers to make it feel special.  We took a long walk on the beach at the front of our place as family and one of the teen lads ended up lugging back a lovely bit of wood I found and maybe one day will do something with it if I get the time.   Hubby the Un-Gardener didn’t get any gifts as the opportunity for shopping was lost, so we promised we’d do it all over again when it was possible.

The garden view
At this point seeing so many empty beds is a good thing – it means they are ready and waiting. Soon enough they will be bursting into life.

So here I am with the week stretching ahead of me with a weather warning, but exhausted from what gardening efforts I have achieved, and a little anxious of what has still to be done.  But that is probably how it should be after the first week of spring.  I’m on the right track.

A rewarding end to the day
There is nothing better than sitting on the swing seat at the end of the day with a chilled drink as a reward for all the hard work. I suspect more days will end like this as the season progresses.

Come again soon – let see how much I can do with limited resources in a soggy week ahead. 

Sarah the Gardener  : o)

15 thoughts on “Cement is not essential

  1. Your garden is looking amazing and I’m happy you’re listening to your body and taking some easy days. Your hubby’s Fathers Day brekkie looks so yummy, and I don’t eat meat 🙂

  2. Hi Sarah. That log your lads brought home from the beach would make an awesome stencil on your circular cement pavers you are planning. That way a permanent reminder of lockdown Father’s day for the Palace. I’ve seen them done with gunnera leaves for a pattern, but that log design would look awesome. Glad you listened to your body ❤️

  3. Things are looking good! And of course, you can always trust a cat to make the most of any relaxing opportunities that are available!
    We’re in Level 2 here this morning, but a concatenation of circumstances mean I’m waiting on the school holidays to get my raised beds set up. Can’t be helped, and I dare say worse things happen at sea!

    1. I do envy your ‘level 2 ness’. There is loads of time to get a new garden bed up and running for safe planting and the holidays aren’t that far away. You’ll be gardening in your new beds before you know it! : o)

  4. Sarah, spring is a invigorating time, isn’t it. Everything is fresh with new life. I’ve begun my fall cleanup here in Nebraska. The frost date is about 49 days away but my mistake of planting seven cherry tomato plants buried me buckets of luscious little treats. I tried giving them away but after a couple times, friends and family would groan when they saw me coming with a harvest of cherry tomatoes. There was no need to continue the torture so I pulled them out. I still have full sized tomatoes that I have on sandwiches and will continue to eat those until Jack Frost kills them.

    The raccoons got the corn again this year. I didn’t get the electric fence or the cage built in time to save it. The potatoes are looking good and starting to dry up so harvest isn’t too far off. My strawberries that I planted this year are looking really good. I did harvest a few from them this year. I know I should have pinched them off to let the plant establish itself better but I just couldn’t help myself.

    I so like the activity and working in the garden from spring to fall but by the time the first frost hits, I’m ready to settle in for a couple months of rest and just dream and plan next year’s garden. It always looks so good in my mind. So for at least a couple months I can enjoy the weed-less perfect garden in my mind. The best Christmas gift I get is always the first seed catalog for the season. The circle of life begins all over again.

    We here in Nebraska haven’t had a mandated lockdown yet. Other parts of the country are having an upsurge in Covid and have put restrictions back in place. I don’t think there’s any where that has total lockdown. It could be coming before the winter is over. Viruses seem to thrive more in the winter. I hope the lockdown lifts so you can continue to finish your garden projects.

    Have a great time playing in the dirt with seed starting and soon planting out.

    Nebraska Dave
    Urban Farmer

    1. Sometimes the thought of a garden that doesn’t go year round with a winter break sounds lovely. But I’m still in the honeymoon period for this season and have every hope and expectation that this will be the best one yet.
      We are in a lockdown – our area is in a strict one and the rest of the country is mostly free with some restrictions, but they seem to be getting on top of it so we should be free again soon enough. Thanks so much for your comments they are both inspiring and encouraging. : o)

  5. I never get tired of looking at that gorgeous greenhouse dome. It’s a thing of beauty. Fennel has the right idea (cats generally do) when it comes to relaxing. No one would guess that you made that stone from scratch if they hadn’t been following along. It’s all looking lovely. I hope you’ll get some rest and spend more time with a cold beverage. I am very sorry to hear about your level four lockdown though. New Zealand had been giving me so much hope. So many opportunities have been squandered here. I shake my head in dismay.

    1. Thanks so much for all your kind words. I am amazed myself with how well the rock turned out. It is just like I imagined.
      We are beginning to see an end in sight for the lockdown as our actions seem to be bringing it under control. I feel blessed to have the government and the community we have here keeping us all safe. Especially with everything we see overseas. I hope you continue to stay safe. : o) x

      1. I’m relieved to hear the good news, Sarah. I’m proud of California. We are a state of 39 million people, yet we currently have the lowest number of cases. The evidence is pretty clear: get the jab or risk a miserable or deadly case of COVID. I love New Zealand.

        1. We dropped a lockdown level this week. It is still quite restrictive but we can now buy more things and get takeaway food and coffee contactlessly. More people are able to return to work, but only if they can do it safely. The kids are still doing internet school. The signs are looking good that we will drop another level in Early October which will be great. Our ‘Team of 5 Million’ have really taken this seriously so we should be back to some kind of normal before we know it. I’m pleased you are in a safe area. : o)

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