Around the Gardens – March 4, 2020 @goldenoakfarm

Big garden - east side started crop March 2020.jpg

On Tuesday my helper friend was here and it was pretty warm outside. He was to tackle the 42’ section of garden that’s 10’ wide at the east end and 20’ wide at the west end. He first removed as much of the grass and leaves as he could with a rake, then started to dig.

Big garden - 4' done crop March 2020.jpg

The leaves and grass had provided enough insulation that there was a good chunk of frozen earth under it. So he dug it up and left it to thaw. He got about 4’ loosened in this way, 10’ across, a very good start.

Big garden - bulbs1 crop March 2020.jpg
Star of Bethlehem, far left, daffodils upper middle; each row a different type bulb

Right next to where he was working, there was an area of bulbs. I have to do small regular walks so every hour or so, I’d wander out to the gardens. I noticed that there were green sprouts coming through the mulch, so he removed the mulch from the stones. It was still frozen in places so we (or he) didn’t remove the stones and screens yet.

Big garden - bulbs2 crop March 2020.jpg
Tulips up, 3 of them

These are the tulips from all over the yard.

Big garden - bulbs3 crop March 2020.jpg

This was the first bulb area planted, coming from the East garden. The grape hyacinth, center, have been up since October. The yellow ones are giant allium.

Big garden - sedum crop March 2020.jpg

This little sedum survived very well, next to the above bulbs.

2nd Fence - Cheddar pink and daffodils crop March 2020.jpg

Another wander later on showed many daffodil tips showing in the 2nd Fence garden. On left is a Cheddar pink that survived this odd winter.

New Herb - Row 1, wormwood crop March 2020.jpg

In wandering down the path by the “English wall”, in the New Herb garden, Row 1, I found the wormwood well started.

New Herb - Row 2, tansy crop March 2020.jpg
New Herb garden, Row 2, tansy just starting

New South - volunteer bulbs crop March 2020.jpg
A new garden, New South, with a couple types of bulb volunteers

When I dug the bulbs last year, I only saved the biggest ones. There were hundreds of tiny ones of all kinds left behind. When they took the top soil off they got all mixed in. I expected to find bulbs all over the yard this year.

These are the first ones we’ve found. They are in a VERY high traffic area along the south end of the living room by the end of the driveway.

South Herb - chives crop March 2020.jpg

Over by the front steps in the South Herb garden, the chives are up to 2½”.

South Herb - bedstraw crop March 2020.jpg
South Herb garden, bedstraw

Farther along in this garden the wormwood was doing well and the bedstraw.

West Herb - daffodil bud crop March 2020.jpg
West Herb garden, daffodil bud

Typically this garden on the west side of the house was the last to have spring flowers. But this weird year, it has the first daffodil bud, next to the coral bells.

West - snowdrops crop March 2020.jpg

At the far end of this area is the West garden and it has a very good showing of snowdrops.

West Shed - snowdrops crop March 2020.jpg
West Shed garden, snowdrops

As I did each one of my walks on Tuesday, I over and over was so thankful for my helper friend. He had gone out in the cold of late November and early December and cleaned off all these beds for me. Now I am able to enjoy the early spring flowers as they come up.

Layers snake fence half up crop March 2020.jpg

My husband was bitten by a tick and got a bullseye on his left calf last week. He was on his way to the doctor to have it treated when he ended up loading me into an ambulance. We finally got him in to be seen on Tuesday and he’s being treated for Lyme disease. He’s not been doing well at all this week.

So my son is coming out for a few days to help out on the homestead. His first job was to try to put up the snake fence for the layers. But he quickly discovered that half the area was still frozen, so he was able to put up only half the fencing.

We got a good rain on Tuesday night so that will melt some of it. Hopefully he can finish getting it up by Thursday.

Layers tree crop March 2020.jpg

Some of you may remember my first tree cutting at Christmas. My friend kept the tree up until nearly Valentine’s Day, and then she brought it out for my layers to mess around with. We tie it to the pole and it serves as another little distraction.

House from barn crop March 2020.jpg
Looking towards the house over the snake fencing for layers, typical April view in March

On Wednesday my intern will be here and we are going to try to get the 2 types of kale, 3 types of onions, and heliotrope started. My son will help with the heavy lifting to the 2nd floor. I also plan to make my first trip to the gym for a VERY easy workout, and have PT in the afternoon. A very busy day.


Y'all are having a rough go of things up there this early spring! Praying for healing and rest for both of you so you can have strength to tackle all the projects and work around the farm 💚


It's been a week, alright! I am slowly getting better, but husband, not so much...

Lyme can knock you out for a while, right? Some folks wrestle with itnfor years I've heard, and modern medicine is pretty far behind on lyme.

I've had Lyme since childhood, mostly un-diagnosed. Some people get REALLY ill, bedridden. It's a really nasty disease, and the reason it is not properly dx'd and treated is due to the infighting between 2 groups of infectious disease doctors, political rivalries, and misused of research funds.

Sounds pretty standard fare for the medical world. Disagreements and misuse of funds. Ugh, it's frustrating.

Do you think you could benefit from poke root tincture? I have some I'll send you if you think it could help. It's pretty strong stuff, using dosages of one to five drops in a drink for a week or so at a time. It can cause fairly severe acute issues if too much is taken, so I do advise caution and self education before use. It's supposed to be a strong and deep antibiotic and lymphatic stimulant.

If you look into it and think it can be beneficial, let me know and I'll send you some.

I doubt it would help me much as my Lyme is decades old, and my husband is also in end stage liver disease, so we have to be really careful about what he takes.But thank you for the offer!

Never seen stones used like this. Flagstones protect newly planted bulbs? Do you put them over expired bulbs from the last year too. Tell me how these are used in gardening normally in practice. Thanks.

The stones were to hold the hardware cloth tight to the top of the pots to keep the rodents out. All this in hopes of saving my bulbs until I have gardens to put them back into....

Stones are usually used as stepping stones in the gardens, as many gardens are 4' wide.

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