Saturday, May 31, 2014

Moving the Airstream

Yesterday Randall and I moved the Airstream to a new site behind the tin shed. This is ten years after putting it where it was. Things acquire permanence and this site had become fixed. And wrong. It was visually in the center of the landscape, and shouted travel, temporary, aluminum. The Airstream is an American icon, and deservedly so, but it needed tucking away.

"In 1931, Airstream began with Wally Byam’s dream: to build a travel trailer that would move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.Every inch of an Airstream has a function. Airstream is the most thoroughly tested brand in trailer history. Its engineering is the culmination of over 80 years of experience plus millions of miles on roads throughout the world. With Airstream, there is no planned obsolescence. Airstreams of the Thirties are still on the road today, sturdy and modern as ever. They are a lifetime investment in happiness."

The new site was chosen carefully. It now sits on a limestone pavement looking out onto a small sloping meadow, backed by trees. Its own corner. I am determined to make it a liveable space, getting at least cold water installed, cooking and fridge. Loo in the nearby metal shed, also tarted up as a general central campus facility.

Moving and mowing was in heavy tick country. Spent a long time since then tick picking.

The new location and space is one more fantasy of a place to write. It has everything plus a certain intimacy. Perhaps the cigar tube-type cylinder materializes in the imagination a kind of metal monad, a place from which to contemplate the world.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Map of garden

It seems so artificial! Isn't gardening supposed to be about getting your hands dirty, relieving the pressure on the brain? So why would one make a map of where to put the veggies? Doesn't that lead to armchair gardening? Well it's the same old story - sometimes you need to take a step back to solve a problem, and my problem was too many plants, not enough space. But if I look at the options of compossibility on paper, I can get a sense of the whole, and come up with a better solution than with boots on the ground.
This is what I came up with. The central column is not a bed but a list of plants/seeds/seedlings still in need of a home. I have annotated my hard copy so everything now has a destination.

Strange that my other current obsession is shaping a leisure garden in the area planned for the school bus. I crowd-sourced my friends (i.e.asked their advice) and this location is their idea. It took a while to sink in as a possibility. Now it seems obvious. Strange how that happens.
Breaking news: I made four bottomless pots out of roofing felt for some surplus tomato plants, and leaned them up against the outside of the greenhouse. This is how Grandpa used to grow tomatoes inside his Guernsey greenhouse. I still remember finding tiny hot sweet toms to gobble after the end of the season. The plants get half stripped of their leaves and then buried up their necks in compost. They send out roots all the way up and down the stem and grow huge. And the roots can go down into the soil.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The garden

Lots of seeds still germinating in the greenhouse. I'm late this year. Hard to believe how fast things grow in this hot weather, with a bit of water. Mowed the paths again today. And reconnected the water from the spring. So important to have constant water in the garden. Flow is a bit down - probably a clogged filter at the cistern. But the garden will again be overfull of plants. And overflowing with some 20 x4' of strawberries. A bit silly. They are OK but not the tastiest I have had. Perhaps try to grow from seed next year. Could I transplant these crazy runnering plants to somewhere wilder?

The Arches (more)

I took the small mower to the Arches area this morning, trimming around the trees, sculpting shapes - tunnels, paths, by ways. Its SO magical. There's something charming about the way these often brutal trees make such elegant forms. Next step - sketching with a chain saw. Perhaps a temporary bench.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our Nessie

OK now this is scary. Don't let young children see this. Yesterday, the lake monster showed itself, indeed sunned itself brazenly on the dock. Goodness knows how many local children he has already dragged down to a watery grave. He will have to go.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Arches

This morning Randall opened up the new site for the yellow BlueBird school bus - up the road and around the corner. It is a special space of arching osage orange trees, and in the evening light it is quite magical.