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Late Easter Greetings and catch-up

Dear gardening friends: Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We spent at
least a portion of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at church
celebrating this most Holy of seasons...I especially love our Easter
Vigil service, done by candlelight...so beautiful. Easter day was spent
in the garden once we got home from Mass...the weather was absolutely
perfect for working outside. The peppermint/spearmint dig up is about
half done after two weekends of hard work. We have decided that the only
way to get rid of most of it is to completely spade up every square inch
of soil in the garden down to a depth of at least 8-10 inches and then
with a hand rake sort it all out for roots/pieces. Arduous and time
consuming but it seems the only real way to get the stuff out. I do have
a happy observation to report for the group though...this particular
garden bed is the former site of a large (90') pine that several years
ago was ripped out of the ground by its roots during a severe wind
storm. The lost tree left a staggeringly massive hole in the ground and
we had it filled in with a large dumptruck-full of "fill dirt" which
turned out to be this horrible clay stuff. At the time we originally did
this bed,about six years ago, we amended the clay as much as we could
with vermiculite and compost burr (lots and lots of each) and at the
time it did not seem to help. We then covered it over with landscaping
cloth, planted it, and mulched. To my utter amazement, this entire bed
is now filled with a beautiful, rich black soil, ripe with the hugest
nightcrawlers you'd ever want to see. I guess I had assumed that this
bed would always be full of clay, so how come it's not? I mean, I know
the earthworms are hard workers, but doesn't that seem like an awful lot
of work for only six years? Nature never ceases to amaze me. One of the
benefits of hand digging out all this mint is that I have been able to
save all my gaura, purple coneflowers, and blue flax and replant it in
the clean parts of the bed as we go, so it's sort

of a revision project too. The blue flax started as three little plants
I received from the kids for mother's day about 5 years ago and now are
dozens of plants everywhere...yippee! This is one of my favorites.

BTW, Moses the cat is still around...no luck yet finding a home for him
but he seems utterly content where he is...he has now moved his sleeping
quarters to my compost heap area and has found himself a shelter behind
a piece of scrap plywood that leans up against the garage. Today while I
was resting my back a little and enjoying laying in the grass flat on my
back with my feet propped up on a nearby rock, here he comes and plops
down beside me, rolls over on his back and meows...he apparently likes
to have his tummy rubbed. I noticed he has a little sore on one of his
rear paws, so I figure tomorrow I'll probably load him up and take him
to the vet as it looks red and very painful. I take it this is the
beginning of the end, isn't it? Arrgh........I'm such a sucker! :-) We
never stood a chance, did we? My husband doesn't mind him sticking
around as long as he remains an outdoor only cat...and that is a huge
commitment for a man who says he doesn't want any more animals at all.
The sage continues...

Also, I heard from Janice, Tony's wife, today...Easter greetings and to
let us know she continues to miss him but is doing okay. :-)

Melody, IA (Z 5/4)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."    
--Albert Einstein

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