Plans Postponed and Plants

This year has started off badly for 2020 brides. Having worked on a handful of early Feb and March weddings, everything stopped once the state quarantine ban went into effect.

I have 4 dresses hanging here with the postponed dates also hanging in the air. Lord knows what happens for the 6 June brides I have already booked in…things may be delayed for them as well.

So as you already know, I have switched over to cranking out masks to donate to medical facilities and rest homes. But I have discovered since my 70th birthday came and went 2 weeks ago, my body does not like to sit at a sewing machine for 5 hours straight attaching binding and wires to those little masks without kicking up a fuss the next day. Mr. Mole reminds me that even though I think I am still 50, my body knows different.

I have had to make myself go out into the garden and get to work transplanting, building new netted cages and move established plants like asparagus plants into new beds along with planting new seeds and seedlings into newly fortified beds. Mr Mole has started all our plants this year from seed and we hope to be totally self-sufficient all summer into the first frost in December. Last year, the butternut squash lasted all winter on his workbench in the garage and we just finished cooking the last one last week.

A wander around the back yard and inside the garage might give you an idea of what we have been up to the last month in lock-down.

First up…harvested Swiss chard from under cover:

Spinach plants started outside from seed last Fall and the asparagus bed:

Two new walk-in cages to stop birds and squirrels from eating cherries:

Third new cage to keep critters from eating the tomatoes and a back bed for climbing beans and the familiar raspberry bed:

Swiss chard planted outside from seed last Fall with more seeds planted this week:

The small wooden greenhouse overflowing with squash plants and tomatoes:

Plastic covered greenhouse filled with climbing runner beans, more squash and tomato plants:

In the garage more beans and squash plants and a sad pepper plant that survived the winter in the garage hoping to make a recovery once it is planted out:

One sunny afternoon I was able to organize the potting shelf according to size:

A view from my sewing room window…the new blue fence that was supposed to be stained dark grey by our handyman…hmmm…Mr. Mole says it looks Mediterranean…he also says it will fade…OK.

To compliment this whole venue is the piece de resistance, a simple plastic bag filled with non-toxic fly attractant that you keep filled with water. Normally this is sold to owners of horse stalls but we keep one hanging at the back corner of our garden to keep pesky flies off our patio. The bags come in two sizes…20,000 dead fly capacity and this jumbo 40,000 fly size.

Believe me, at the end of the summer this bag will be filled to the top. As we are the only people in our neighborhood to not have dogs and the droppings that attract flies, I feel this is a necessary item to keep germy insects off my drinks and body.

Not knowing how long this self-isolation will remain in tact, I will continue to make much needed masks and wait to hear from any brides who will risk it all. Our schools will be closed until September and so far we have only 50 cases of the virus under mandatory lock-down.

Our governor responded quickly with restrictions which has proven to keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed with virus patients so it has been worth a month to refrain from dining out, getting haircuts, massages, facials  and the occasional fancy coffee. Bookstores are closed, National Parks closed, theaters and wineries…anywhere folks gather to enjoy good weather and conversation.

I hope that you are staying safe and not going stir crazy…one good thing I saw reported today was the fact that so many animal shelters have run out of adoptable pets…that is something to cheer about!

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32 Responses to Plans Postponed and Plants

  1. Robert Kahan says:

    Thank you for the lovely post! Great about the gardening! Very good also about the masks, and pet adoption! We are near Montreal, and in quarantine. I am sewing (UFOs), and other new things. Taking courses on-line (Happiness Challenge), and my dance class on-line. It snowed to-day. We go into the garden for fresh air. Stay safe. Love your posts! Cathie!

  2. susew says:

    That’s a big garden to take care of. What a delight the fresh home grown chard must be. Into the 5th week of stay at home orders, but I get to go to work as an essential worker that cannot work at home. Still have another 3 weeks of it – as tedious and hard as it is our number of cases is much less than early predictions.

  3. Nancy Figur says:

    I feel so bad for those brides. Hope they aren’t doing what lots of people I know are doing during quarantine – eating. You will have even more work to do on those dresses. I agree about the sitting and doing the masks being rough on our not as young bodies.

    I just started taking a wedding gown apart for a Christening gown. Christening has already been postponed so now I am making it in a 12 month size which is not my usual. It is a Winnie Couture gown which is one I haven’t come across before. It is synthetic fabric but it is one of the nicest gowns I have worked on if you judge from the inside. The inside construction is amazing. The outside is lovely also but not out of the ordinary. The amount of support inside the bodice was amazing and I am wondering if the Winnie Couture people put it in or the person doing her alterations did it. I know the dress was altered but it is hard to even tell where until I take it apart.

    I love your vegetable cages. We gave up the vegetables because they would just get eaten, we have enough trouble keeping plants not eaten by the bunnies.

    • mrsmole says:

      Are they your bunnies or wild ones? I love looking inside dresses to discover the history, don’t you? I have shown some real crap alterations in the past after opening a lining and shaking my head…”OH NO” and then figuring out how to make it fit.

      • Nancy Figur says:

        They think they are our bunnies but they are just wild ones.

        I will have to take a picture of the inside of this bodice to show you. So much there that I want to replicate when I am making theater costumes.

  4. Michelle Tothill says:

    Love the photos of your garden. I looked out at my Cherry Tree and thought nope, no netting or cage for you. It is over 50 years old, the trunk is so big I cannot get my arms around it, the drip line is at least 40 feet in diameter.

    I feel for your brides. A friend is a wedding planner and we live in an area of wineries that host many weddings. One winery has their sparkling wines on sale as they have lost a great deal of their wedding business.

    I hope my garden does well this summer. I will also be subscribing to a CSA to augment what I cannot grow.

    • mrsmole says:

      One of my neighbors gets those produce baskets so when I want to dump squash on her doorstep, I have to remember what day she gets her basket. I can’t imagine such a huge cherry tree!!!! WOW! Do yoiu eat them all or freeze them or make pies?

  5. Wow that is an impressive garden! Glad to see you are both keeping busy and well. We too were locked down quickly and although I only work part time, I am able to work part time from home so I am very happy about that! Otherwise, I’m keeping busy sewing, planning out my next bag pattern and enjoying our yard with my husband – it’s not as plentiful as yours though! As I said before, I’m glad you are well!

  6. Trish says:

    Your garden is amazing Mrs Mole! It must must be great to have fresh vegetables so plentiful, particularly now.
    In Australia we have restrictions but not total lockdown as yet. We are allowed to leave the house for essential food shopping, medical appointments and exercise, but not permitted to gather in groups of more than two (except for families living together) and are expected to stay home the rest of the time.
    I’ve suspended my business for the moment, as it is impossible to practice social distancing (of 1.5 metres) while fitting clothes!
    On one level it’s relaxing not to have the pressure of sewing deadlines, and I can find plenty to occupy myself without needing to go out.
    The hardest part is not seeing my children, grandchildren and friends. Thank goodness for FaceTime and Zoom, which at least allows you to see and speak to them online. It would feel very isolated with those wonderful means of communication. 😊

    • mrsmole says:

      We really are lucky to have so many forms of communication aren’t we? I think some grandparents are seeing and talking to their kids and grand kids more than they would have before the virus shutdown.

  7. Anne in Melbourne says:

    Mrs Mole, your garden is spectacular and I am sure you will enjoy the delicious produce. Do you compost the flies when the bag is full? Best wishes, and thank you for your blog.

    • mrsmole says:

      Some years I have cut the bottom out of the full fly bag and dumped all the fermented insects into the compost. It depends on the smell…how strong it is and how close I can get to it without passing out!!!

  8. upsew says:

    your garden is beautiful and such healthy veg. rather envious of your asparagus patch, I currently dont have room for one. I did manage to get a better frog pond built this month so I am hoping this will encourage the frogs to continue their slug patrol!

  9. Hilde says:

    What an amazing garden you have, it’s wonderful! I actually love the blue fence, it does look Mediterranean. Hope it grows on you or fades quickly :-).

    • mrsmole says:

      The other alternative is to slap some trellises on the fence and grow vines and climbing things up to cover it up. The garden started small but it has taken over and next year we may remove some of the lawn to have more raised beds…Lord help me!

  10. JustGail says:

    Your garden is looking so good. I thought once established, asparagus doesn’t like to be moved? Let us know how it goes, I’d love to move our whole garden closer to the house. With raised beds. And water, electric and a greenhouse… maybe a new garden tiller and weeder, preferably one that looks good shirtless :-O not asking for much am I? 🙂

    All the postponements and cancelations… it will be interesting to see how many go ahead with the ceremony with only immediate family and party later, have the whole doings later, and how many are permanently cancelled.

    • mrsmole says:

      It’s a crazy year for sure!!! Good thing I didn’t know the rules about moving asparagus…ha ha…we needed to re-do their original bed and I had to move them somewhere…we always feel that whatever we do is an experiment…if they die or thrive…it is up to Mother Nature.

  11. shoes15 says:

    I hear you on the mask making – developed tendinitis in my right knee from all the foot pedal action. And I AM 50! Be well!

  12. Susan Hart says:

    Love the cages over spinach…are those store bought or handmade…I need those and love the green tunnel over your swiss chard…where did you get that?

  13. Kim says:

    This is really changing life for everyone – it will be interesting to see what sort of permanent effects it leaves.
    Your garden is looking wonderful. You will be enjoying the produce from there for a long time. Lucky (but hard working) pair!

  14. raquel from jc says:

    what a wonderful garden! My cherry tree is just a wee little tree, actually is the second one planted in the same spot (we call it Cherry Lou II). I wish you the best, Mrs. Mole!

  15. LindaC in AZ says:

    Love the pictures of your garden. Your walk-in cages are a good idea and something we could use for tomatoes because the birds get at them. They are difficult enough to grow in the desert. I really like the blue fence.

    • mrsmole says:

      The color is growing on me…calming? Squirrels ate our big tomatoes last year no matter what netting we put over them so this year…had to bring out the big guns and try again! But you can grow limes and lemons and we can’t!!!!

  16. Susan Hart says:

    Hi again,
    Was curious how you cook your swiss chard? Saute? Or in a salad?
    Also was wondering how Mr. Mole stakes up your tomato plants. I’ve used both wire cages and constructed bamboo supports.
    Thanks! Stay well…😉

  17. mrsmole says:

    I have to laugh about cooking chard. I gave a bag to my neighbor and she is quite the cook and foodie and asked if I saute them with bacon and onions etc…and my reply was, “if I can’t cook them in the microwave, they don’t get cooked”. All I do is wash the leaves, don’t dry them, just put them in a Corning wear pot, add a pat of butter, top with a lid and hit the timer for 3 minutes. No matter how much you cram into the pot, it melts down to nothing.

  18. Cheryl Designs says:

    Hi 🙂 Isn’t life interesting at the moment? My business is down to just a few odds and ends of sewing jobs. I am ‘open’ just because my studio is in my home and there is NOBODY here except Bear (my 14 yr old black lab) and me 🙂 Ohio tackled this problem EARLY and HARD and I am grateful. We are a LARGE state (11.7 mill?) and we have relatively FEW cases and deaths for our size 🙂 I MISS my prom girls 😦 I MISS my brides 😦 Not just financially although that is a huge loss for me but I shall survive 🙂 It is usually so busy here in April and May I basically LOSE APRIL and MAY, they go by so FAST 🙂 🙂 35% of my yearly income is made in just those two months 😦 Not for 2020 😦 POOH 😦 I miss my people 🙂 Bear adores me, I adore him-I adopted him 4 years ago at age 10. Even he is a BIT bored with just ME 🙂 Day after day after day 🙂 SUMMER brides are WAITING for alterations because they just don’t know if they can have large gatherings of people 😦 I have a feeling FALL is going to slam us with business.. ALL of the wedding related businesses. We’ll see 🙂 I donated masks to my small- area grocery store-38- employees. I am a legal, tax paying business. I was worried about potential LEGAL problems (if someone became ill or was hurt) so I didn’t sell them OR donate more of them 😦 A customer, attorney, said GOOD CALL. Even if a lawsuit is FRIVOLOUS a person still has to pay an attorney to FIGHT IT 😦 I don’t have $ OR time for that ‘stuff’ 😦 If it wasn’t for the loss of income I would be GLAD this happened 🙂 I am keeping up with my yard/housework 🙂 I sewed for MYSELF 🙂 Heck 🙂 I have TIME to send you this note 🙂 Be safe. Be HAPPY 🙂 This shall pass 🙂

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