These past few weeks have been a whirlwind…
Marmalade has been helping to decorate her playhouse,
which is still under construction, yet now functional.
And we’ve been working on painting the house.
And catching up on laundry, and getting groceries, and spring water.
And harvesting armfuls of produce from the garden:
spinach, onions, snow peas, mustard, cilantro, fennel, and purple broccoli!
And I planted an insane number of flower seeds during last Flower time.
Hollyhocks and morning glories over by the bamboo fence.
More morning glories in cork planters around the house.
Calendula in the garden, and in little flowerpots,
as well as lemon balm, Mexican tarragon,
and cinnamon and Genoese basils.
And seeds for more sweet peas and sunflowers,
and over a dozen seeds for purple lupines,
wild-collected and brought over from Austria.
And over by the flooded part of the road,
I scattered seeds for magenta-blossomed “Springkraut”
(which literally translates to “jumping herb”)
an Austrian invasive flower from the Himalayas,
similar and related to the touch-me-knot.
We’ve been seeing the fish more frequently when visiting the pond,
at least the three bright-colored ones.
Most especially the bright orange and silver one,
who seems to seek me out as much as I seek them.
The two dark ones are much harder to find,
though the dark goldfish is often in the shadows near the golden one,
but the dark and yellow speckled koi is so elusive
that it hasn’t been seen since their release.
While over at the pond,
we noticed that one of the wild bulbs
we transplanted has begun to bloom.
Turns out that I was mistaken and they’re not wild irises,
although their leaves are flattened one-dimensionally,
their blossoms are very, very different.
Nonetheless, it is nice to see them bloom!
And while over by the bamboo fence,
we noticed that many of the hollyhocks have sprouted,
and some of the morning glories have come up as well,
so the flowering of the fence is off to a good start.
At the beginning of the week we planted two roots of Lantana,
pollinator-friendly flowering bushes given to us by the Sebastians,
so we got those in the ground into previously neglected areas of our yard.
And then during these past few days of Root day,
we’ve worked a lot on the outdoor kitchen area,
digging holes and adobe cementing in bamboo supports,
that are being interwoven into the support for the pergola.
Aside from the wisteria, and a volunteer honeysuckle,
we plan to plant the area this year with six cucumber plants:
I’ve started trellis-climbing small lemon-yellow organic cucumbers,
that supposedly have so mild flavor that you eat them like apples.
So we’ve been working on their planting holes and climbing poles.
Otherwise, we went nuts at Aldi and bought irrigation hoses, sprayer nozzles,
and a small 1000 watt electric pump that will hopefully work with our artesian well,
once we get a couple more solar panels to run it.
We also started working on our bathroom renovation again,
and then went to a hardware store and got the cement
so I can begin making glass bottle mosaic panels
(within wooden fruit crates) to fill in the area under the tub.
Tomorrow begins Flower time again,
and tomorrow evening begins transplanting time again,
and Monday is the mercado in São Teotónio,
where we most likely will be buying more fruiting bushes and trees,
so another whirlwind awaits us.
But I’ve been leaving something out…
recently our whole world has opened up before us.
We took out our bicycles after all our visitors left,
and started biking along our little river
around the Bamboo Parque trails every day.
We had hiked the loops near our house frequently,
especially when foraging for fungus and firewood,
but never continued further until recently.
The paths remain relatively flat along the river
(unlike the huge steep hills that surround us on our dirt road)
so we can really explore far and wide.
It has been calming, refreshing, rejuvenating even,
and not just the heavy doses of fresh air and exercise,
but the freedom and adventure that exploration bring.