As H. and I were walking through the garden and orchard this morning, we were taken by the sights, sounds, smells and beauty that were all there, at the touch of our fingertips.
The elderflower have the most beautiful scent, a lilac/jasmine/honey cross maybe? Not really sure. I just know it is captivating. The flower umbrels float on top of those long stalks, and branches, like ivory-lace clouds.
The bees were alive and well in the Wild Radishes clusters, aka as little Buzz Factories. The Radishes came in on the seaweed we brought in a couple years ago. We enjoy their yellow flowers, delicious little crunchy zings on the tongue, of both the petal and the fruit (?) itself. We have let them return, and they make pretty bouquets all around. I have been paying special attention since spring, waiting to see the honey bees. The bumbles arrived in spring, wasps too, but not many honey ones until recently. The noise can be heard about 3 feet away, buzzzzzzzz, buzzzzz, buzzzzzzzzz.
H. on the rampage. New backpack sprayer engaged, with a motherlode of Diatomaceous Earth ( AKA "D.E.ath Spray").
Organic. And Effective. Cherry Trees first, seems to be their fave. The spray we did during War of the Roses II (Rose Chafer Beetles that is), has kept up a decent barricade in the grapes region. The original sprayer gave it's last gasp towards the end of that long, weary battle.
The JB, (japanese beetles), were slower to descend this season, thankfully, while real jobs and research of and then arrival of the new sprayer delayed the Death Spray being dispatched. The foot soldiers arrived early last week and earlier this week the rest of these guys arrived.
Thankfully, H. is out there, before every leaf is skelatonized and berry usurped, sprayer in hand laying down some defense.
Somewhere along the journey of leading life as orchardists, we also became amateur bug sleuths, entomologists-in-training, and I for one, do not enjoy this new time-consuming occupation.
It leaves me with the willies, as I scroll through endless photographs in an attempt to identify new-comers, potential enemies in our midst. I remember the days of chilling at the end of the day with a glass of wine and a good movie. Now I'm scanning online, quickly as I can I might add, for a glimpse of the latest beastie after the evening walk through the orchard and garden.
I will post some of these discoveries once I am over my heebie-jeebies. For now, enjoy the good things, the visual delight of things a - growing, and at a distance, the naivete' of the newbie orchardist The awe. The beauty of nature at work. Remember, It is up close and personal that reality bites. Sometimes for real.
I am standing in a kitchen with about 50 beautiful frothy elderflowers and feeling inspired. I will try to take pictures of the processes, but could get messy.
Proof positive the diatomaceous earth is "da bomb" ! 50 quarts and counting!
The Rose Chafer's were defeated in their attempt to smite the orchard. We are ready for the Japanese Beetles once they arrive en masse.
Every fruiting variety of berry has produced blossoms, some already berry-ing. Next week we should be able to amble amongst them with delicious wafts of Elderflower all around.
I am T- the other half -of the dream-wrangler team, in the Orchard adventure.