Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

It’s that time of year


Yes, it’s that time of the year once again.

Quick! Look now! No weeds!

Time to prepare to plant the garden. My husband, son, and I took advantage of the glorious spring evening to lay out the garden, since my husband had tilled it the night before. You can barely see them in the upper left corner–that’s my son in the light shirt and jeans. It’s so nice to have a 21 year-old to do the muscle work!

This year hubs got enough chicken wire to go all the way around the garden. That’ll teach those damn rabbits! Unfortunately, chicken wire won’t stymie the chipmunks for long. I’ll have to set live traps again; I know we have chipmunks. I saw one taunting me from the metal pile.

We’ve been getting asparagus now for a week. It’s one of the best spring treats–fresh asparagus from the garden. My patch is looking a little sad, though, so I’ll have to plant more. Maybe next year.

The raspberries are, of course, out of control. And of more concern to me is this:

Creeping Charlie, the green plague

When we bought the place, there was no creeping charlie anywhere. Stinging nettle, giant ragweed, burdock, even cheeseweed, but no creeping charlie. Then we bought a project property in a teeny town about an hour away. At some point, hubs brought home some garbage bags of lawn clippings from that property, not sure why. And that’s when the plague started. Until this year, it’s been a safe distance from the garden. This patch in the picture is on the south side, and probably 20+ feet from the original patch. Not sure how that happened. It’s only a matter of time. Sigh.

No planting quite yet since the weather geeks are forecasting some nasty storms this weekend, and I really don’t want to go through all that and have to redo it all because the rain drowned it. So, maybe next week. Or next weekend.

And of course, the post wouldn’t be complete without the blog mascot:

Now, hold still so I can catch you!

Have a great writing weekend!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, six chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

23 thoughts on “It’s that time of year

  1. There’s something so elemental, isn’t there, about getting the garden ready. It’s a really soul-filling sort of thing to do. I’ll bet it’ll be beautiful, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so hard for me to imagine you are just beginning your garden for the year. Down here in Florida, trying to restore our once-beautiful garden to its pre-hurricane glory has been going on since February. (Could have started earlier, since winter is primo gardening time down here). Even though we are still hauling big containers of trash and dead plant material out of the backyard, the roses are blooming, along with patches of coreopsis, agapanthus, iris, and other flowering perennials. And of course, weeds that ran amok while we were working on the house are everywhere. But this will likely be my last big push of the year, as temps are getting too high for me to do any heavy yard work.

    I love that your garden and nature are muses! Mine is very restorative, when it’s not being so difficult to get going again. I’ve not had a vegetable garden in many years. What do you usually grow in yours? And I don’t know which is more beautiful, your header or your big, yellow kitty. (Two of our four are are very similar in color.)

    Enjoyed seeing what you’re up to, Julie! A great post to start my day. Hoping no rants show up in my browser. THIS is much better! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, since February?! We were shoveling snow then πŸ™‚ Flowers are just starting to bloom here, especially my favorite, lilacs. Love the smell of lilacs. Unfortunately, the rabbits did a number on my lilac bush again this past winter. Grumble.

      I usually post about my garden a few times during the summer. My garden standards are tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, and if I’m lucky, spinach. I’ve been growing kale and brussels sprouts, to. This year I’m going to add kohlrabi–it’s been a few years since I grew that. I like to do something new every year, but this year I’ve managed just enough energy to plant. I’m getting tired πŸ˜€

      Enjoy your weekend, Marcia!

      Liked by 1 person

      • SO late responding to your lovely answer, Julie! Health issues (mine and a couple of our animal’s) got in the way of my computer time. Your veggie garden sounds wonderful. My only edible efforts in recent years involve herbs, which I love growing for garden scents, as well as for culinary efforts. (They make a Stauffer’s frozen casserole almost gourmet fare. Okay, not really, but they’re fun! πŸ˜€ ) I’ve tried growing tomatoes but the squirrels get them every time. Last year, they got all my loquats before they even started to ripen. The trees are still worth growing, but I hardly ever get a plum to call my own. And now, I’m officially inside until fall. It’s all I can do to avoid a faceplant walking down the drive to the mailbox! 😯

        Hope your garden is thriving, and ALL of your Muses, as well. πŸ˜€ Happy Independence Day! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re garden looks so ready, Julie! Wow. So much for going smaller this year. Ha ha. And the fence should help a lot. Nice job.

    I planted last weekend, and some of last year’s chard never fully died, so we’ve already started harvesting! Gotta love the mild winters here. But that “never fully died” applies to weeds too. I’d suggest a blow torch on the creeping charlie before things dry up. If you’re only dealing with a few patches, it works pretty well at getting to the roots. It’s something we do out here to de-weed the patio.
    Happy Gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh, I know. I would have made it smaller, except I’m planting potatoes and onions this year (last year my onions got drowned out and I didn’t do potatoes). Great advice on the creeping charlie–thanks! Hubs has been thinking about getting a blow torch for weeding. I’m so glad we have the chicken wire around the entire garden this year; last year we only had enough for one side plus a little.

      Enjoy your weekend, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So no blame on your husband for bringing the plague to your yard, right? Sounds like something I would say. “I don’t know why he thought to do this, but this is what happened as a result and it’s evil incarnate.” The irritation with him is left unsaid but implied.
    I look forward to my son providing muscle. I have a few years to go. I just showed him Zoey’s pic and taught him her name. He can say it now. They’d be fast friends, I’m sure. If he can catch her from running away from him, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do know he brought some bags of clippings home, and the creeping charlie showed up after, so yes, I keep chastising him about introducing the nasty. It does have tiny purple flowers, and it chokes out some other weeds, like stinging nettle, but it’s showing up in more and more places. And I hate the idea of it choking out the clover. I love clover (bees do too!)

      Heh. Just think, Joe will be old enough pretty soon to ask for a cat for his birthday πŸ˜€ !

      Have a great weekend, Betsy!


  6. Julie, a great job tiling the soil and getting it ready! That’s a lot of work, as is keeping up a garden. Good for you! I have memories of that in my kid years living in Maine! Fresh picked vegetables, the best! Have a lovely weekend. Rain, rain go away! πŸ“šπŸŽΆ Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! There’s nothing like a tomato fresh out of the garden! Everything tastes better from the garden. My son–who amazingly has started (finally) eating more vegetables–even asked if I was going to grow green beans. I was speechless for a moment. Wow. Then I had to cheer inside, because he’s finally developed a taste for something other than raw carrots and broccoli with ranch dressing πŸ˜€

      Have a great weekend, Christine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yay for your son! And for you growing your garden! I liked eating the carrots best. Pulled them out of the ground and swished them in the grass! Love veggies today because I was raised on them! πŸ“šπŸŽΆ Christine

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your garden looks all ready to go! So great you have all that help, too. Rabbit avoid us, but the gophers find my gardens. Then there’s the blackberries that take over and are hard to get rid of. I wouldn’t mind so much if we got a berry or two from them, but the bears strip them. My weeding includes little trees and ferns. I got some work done on my garden, too. I put the seedlings in our greenhouse, because we are still getting winter blasts…like this weekend. Happy gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t had a problem with gophers, but even though the rabbits will be kept at bay by the chicken wire, I worry the chipmunks will have no qualms about climbing over it. No bears here, so in a good year I get enough raspberries to make jelly.

      Have a great weekend, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your garden looks amazing, even in pre-prep stage. Add all that ground around it? You must have an amazing property, tucked out in the country away from the hustle-bustle. I’m envious.

    Gophers have already eaten the blooms off my pansies. How sad is that?

    I’m going to stick with flowers this year and skip the veggies as I seem to have little luck. For living in a semi-urban area, we have a ton of critters.

    Hugs to Zoey and happy gardening!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have 8 acres about a mile and a half out of town. True farm country, since every side of the property is bounded by farm fields. I love the quiet, and the trees of the grove, and in the spring before the nettle and ragweed rise above the grasses. I don’t like the neighbors and their spraying the fields every year, and planting corn in the same fields every single year. Our neighbor to the north does rotate his crops, so sometimes it’s alfalfa, or corn, or peas for the canning plant, or oats, but he’s not an industrial cash crop farmer like the other one.

      Hugs to Raven! Have a great weekend, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds like a wonderful place to live (even with the neighbor to the north). We are in a very small subdivision–just two short streets–surrounded by farm fields, but I have only to go 2 miles down the road to hit a grocery store, dry cleaner, hair salon and more!

        Hugs to Zoey and happy weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah! πŸ˜€ Julie, I’ve been waiting to read about your garden! The tilled land looks rich and ready … and great that your son can help out too! Oh, lovely to see the soil weed-free but how they grow so quickly. At least we don’t have chipmunks to contend with. Enjoy the planing and hope the Charlie weed does not invade the allotment area! Happy Gardening! 🌺🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annika! We got 3-4 inches of rain this weekend, so we’ll have to wait for things to dry out a bit before we plant anything. Hoping we can get stuff in the ground before the weeds invade, although they’re pretty easy to get rid of when they’re small πŸ˜€

      Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was talking to my grandsons just this week about food that winters over and comes up every year and of course asparagus and raspberries both were part of the discussion. I had an asparagus patch once and let it go (life got in the way). How I loved it! I can’t stand to eat asparagus transported to stores from miles away. Hoping to get some fresh spears from a local farmers market. We finally have a nice gardening day today! So much rain and cool weather this spring. Happy Memorial Day weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you! Every year we wait impatiently for the asparagus to come up. And no, the store-bought stuff is nowhere near as good. The patch is getting kind of scrappy, so I think I’ll try to plant more next year. Or this fall. Not sure when it’s supposed to be planted around here.

      On the bright side, we’ll have two–two!!–sunny, dry days this weekend (I almost forgot what the sun looked like over the past couple gloomy weeks), so I think I’ll put in at least the potatoes and onions, and maybe the kale and brussels sprouts. Crossing my fingers they don’t rot from all the wet!

      Happy Memorial Day weekend, Molly!

      Liked by 1 person

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