May 28, Sunday – Plant terraces at Skylands

I watered the mandevilla on the sun porch. Despite the fact that it’s been in the 50s they are doing well and I see new growth. So there’s that.

May 29, Monday – Watch parade in Northeast Harbor

I decided to bake a Memorial Day cake. The zebra cake in the May issue looked so tempting, and I wanted to see if I could make those cool stripes just like the ones in the photo. A few notes on this cake – the recipe says to keep layering 1/4 cup of the chocolate batter onto the 1/4 cup of vanilla (alternating) – but I had more chocolate batter than vanilla. So I added a heavier layer of chocolate towards the end and I think I would start with chocolate next time, and a larger base. But that’s assuming I make this cake again, which I won’t. I’m sorry Martha, but this cake was mostly flavorless, and dry. It was fun to make though, and now I know how to make stripes.

Last year for the 4th of July I made a red, white and blue cake, which took a lot more math skill than I anticipated but was tasty. I think I might make it again this year, but I might stripe one layer like the zebra cake….

May 30, Tuesday – Plant beans, pumpkins and gourds

I don’t think I’ll plant beans, pumpkins or gourds but if we do get around to building the raised bed for vegetables I plan to have tomatoes, Thai basil, traditional basil and maybe eggplant (Japanese). I think that sounds like a good start.

May 31, Wednesday – Scrub porch ceilings, walls and floors

Such an ambitious task for the day, it made me tired just thinking about it. My fancy vacuum cleaner has attachments that help me reach ceilings, walls and of course the floor, maybe that’s close enough. If anything really needs to be scrubbed though it’s the roof on our sun porch, which might be plexiglass (I know, it sounds very high end, doesn’t it. Before you judge, the clear roof is AWESOME, it lets in the sunlight and at night in the summer we can look up at the stars without being eaten alive by mosquitos). So no scrubbing but I did vacuum. I needed to too because when the lilacs overwhelmed me in the kitchen I put them on the coffee table out on the porch, where they then shed little bits of pollen and I’m not sure what else in piles.

June 1, Thursday – Cover garden paths between beds with salt hay

First of all, what is salt hay? That’s what I wondered when I saw this task. A quick google search and I learned it is hay harvested from a marsh. There are a lot of marshes near me, with what might be hay, but I don’t know if we’re allowed to harvest it, and I’ve never seen any for sale. What does it do in the paths? Prevent weeds? I don’t have paths between flower beds, I have lawn. I don’t think I’m a candidate for the salt hay.

June 2, Friday – Wash and groom cats

Now this task made my husband get a horrified look on his face. I’ve never tried to wash our current cat although I have washed cats. I just brushed the cat instead, thoroughly. Lots of hair came off, and then I vacuumed the floor. It’s a two part task.

June 3, Saturday – Turkey Hill garden talk and tour to benefit Positive Directions

Today I was outside all day, weeding (well, really digging up Bishop’s Weed, which isn’t really weeding, it’s a war). I measure successful days in the garden by number of barrels filled with yard waste. Today was a 2 barrel day. I made some great progress.

I think my garden could be part of the annual garden show if they added a category for “suburban neighborhood gardens without swimming pools, ocean views or granite features.”

I’m ready to lead a talk and tour at a moment’s notice.

This week’s tip from Martha: Salt hay as garden mulch.

Basically it’s like carpet for your garden.