Friday, June 17, 2011

17 June 2011

My Garden from Back Deck
Having spent the week first making strawbale beds and then having a pond dug on the 14th, Tuesday, I thought I ought to draw what it looks like now.   We had over 3"/77 mm of rain Tuesday night and Wednesday, and the pond is more than half full today (Friday)! 

Most of the strawbale beds have seedlings set out in the peat  topping.  The lower right one has bean seeds which I expect will burst out any day now.  The pond is just below the baby barn.  Those fenced-in piles are what's left of the mound of leaves piled there last fall. 

The rumply stuff on right near foreground shed and beyond the 5 blueberry bushes is silage plastic, pulled back to dig the pond and drop the diggings into raised beds at either end of it, and covering a new raised bed-to-be beyond the Blueberry bushes.  That area is perennial fruits, so I'll put in a strawberry bed.  Near the pond will be an asparagus bed with summer lettuces interplanted to get some shade from the asparagus fronds.  I intend to pull the plastic back over that bed so the weeds won't fill it up this summer.

13 June 2011

Fish Shacks & Poles, Parkers Cove

This week, I went cat- & house-sitting in Parkers Cove so I'd be closer to one of my favourite places to draw.  Unfortunately, it rained every day but my last day there, when I was mostly cleaning up and clearing out.  I did this on Day 1, sitting in a friend's van which she has fitted out as a studio on wheels.  I was very tired, having slept little the night before in my effort to bring the garden building project to a close before I left.  I notice fatigue makes me both unable to deal with colour and also unable to deal with anything other than being concerned with "getting it right", so another careful drawing of my beloved fish shacks.  I'd intended to do a loose painting of this, emphasizing the sheds and poles and probably heaving out that hill and road rising behind, other than whatever the poles might reveal of it...later, now.

7 June 2011

Swoopy Landscape 1, North Mountain & Valley Fields

I did a quick series of swoopy landscapes this morning, drawing what was in my head when I awoke.  Because I did so many, I used both sides of the paper, and the drawing on the reverse shows through.  Another lesson learnt.

Swoopy Landscape 2, More Valley Fields

Swoopy Landscape 3, View from Long Island, Five Islands

Swoopy Landscape 4, Long Island View, square format

Monday, June 6, 2011

5 June 2011 A Gardening Diversion

A page from my Projects Notebook

I've been flat out gardening, both preparing ground to plant and building straw bale raised beds for planting in early spring when my ground is too soggy to touch without destroying the soil's structure.  Next year I can get an early start in these raised beds.

Making a garden takes both brawn and brain.  The brain work I do in a scribbler, laying out on paper what will work and what will not.    I often have to rethink - and redraw - things; hence the red pen to clarify what is the intended information.  Drawing to think is so helpful; I can see how things will (or won't) work.

The size of the straw bales  determines the size of the cement block "wall" around them, so my plan could not be finalized until I'd laid out a set of bales and measured them.  The walls need to be of a size to surround the bales and also of a size that I can easily make row covers to fit, which means no longer than 8 feet, so all side pieces can be made of standard 8-foot stock.  Making their widths uniform (determined by the bales' length) means all covers can be used on any bed in this set.  The covers can be for spring shelter from the cold, summer screening for bug protection, shading lettuces from too much sun, or late fall protection from the cold again.

These enclosures will contain the straw as it rots, keeping the paths as paths and marking clearly where to add more organic matter (leaves, seaweed, or straw). Later I can lay a second tier of blocks, or just 2" thick solid topper blocks, but this is enough for now.  The blocks are set down without mortar so whoever comes after me can remove them if they wish - or I can change my mind if I so choose - doubtful after all the work of putting them in place!