I’ve forgotten how to art (& the garden stuff as usual)

Posted on February 8, 2014

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This doesn’t look like much, and may not end up being much, but I am attempting, as a part of Tricia’s pin-along Saturday’s to stream things like this and am intending to embroider our dill flowers over the paint. My garden provides plenty of alternative fiber art inspiration, but the majority of my work with fiber has come out in knitting since it’s something I can follow a pattern on. I need to work more on the art forms that don’t require copying a pattern, but require a little bit more freehand and creative license.

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I was suggesting to some friends who homeschool their 3 kids that they have them survey their properties plants since they need to know what’s there that is edible, usable, and what needs to maybe get “weeded out” as they start their farm, and the idea I gave them seemed like one that would be good for me. Log plants, sketch them, learn about them, and keep a book of it. It would further my plant education where Nate is quickly passing me in leaps and bounds as his obsession with eattheweeds videos continues. Since I’ve been wanting to do more embroidery, I’m looking at ways to incorporate the botanicals into the fiber arts. We’ll see how it goes, but I’ve been throwing around some ideas for things. Needle felted large versions of seeds and seed pods or plant parts, embroidered botanical squares that could be sewn together and become a quilt top or pillows, etc.

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Ms. Princess Peach had a little of 10. We don’t think she nested properly, not sure if it was due to stress or the return of her ear mite problem or the fact that the cage we had her in when we first nested appeared to be privvy to visits from some roof rats, but she didn’t nest well and all the babies, despite looking fed for days 1 and 2, died. I hate to bury baby bunnies, but I’m glad that it doesn’t happen often around here anymore.

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We have some friends in town. They stayed with us a few days, are currently staying with some other friends, and will come back in about a week and stay with us again for the weekend. It’s true what they say about the fastest way to discover just how much of a control freak you are is to let children help with anything. Feeding the bunnies for the kiddo was picking whatever plant looked green enough, or whatever fruit looked within reach, and I had to try and set down some boundaries quick, mostly for my own sanity. I think only one or two plants that would’ve still made good people food got pulled up or trampled, but it’s the worrying about which ones might get uprooted that’ll get ya. Digging for worms for the ducks was great fun for everyone. Grabbing one worm at a time to toss over the fence for Rue and Poppy was a great dexterity exercise for tiny hands. I’ve been discussing starting a worm bin at work since there’s still now word on when the garden will actually begin and a worm bin is a great way to compost, and a great hands-on learning activity for kids of all ages (and probably all the adults who have no garden experience).

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The winter garden season is almost over here and it’s time to get things going for spring. I gave up a while ago on starting plants indoors due to the infrastructure it seemed to require, so eggplants and pepper will have to wait until the cool weather dies down a bit more, but there’s never any stopping the tomatoes.

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We’ve had to prune some tomato plants back hard, and we’ve both agreed that except for maybe a single plant each season, cherry tomatoes are just not our kind of thing. We end up eating some straight off the plant, but most go to the ducks, which they love, and the rest seem to ripen and go to the earth, also probably not in any way a bad thing, but something of a waste of space when we can grow varieties so good for cooking and eating. I tried using cherry tomatoes with my breakfast one day, but the Tess’ Land Race were so sweet it just didn’t pair well with the rest of my savory meal.

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And lastly, Allium ampuloprasum.
The giant onion! Called elephant garlic, but really it’s a large leek. We’re hoping it will do ok here and maybe actually multiply or perennialize. Not sure if it’s the right variety like H.E.A.R.T in Lake Wales has, but we’ll try anything for onions and garlic around here, and so far so good. It only took it about 1.5 months to make it through the ground! But if it made it through this pretty wet winter, I feel like it should do ok.

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Posted in: art, critters, garden