Before and After

Despite the lockdown, life at Glen Villa has been, and continues to be, very busy. There is always a lot to do in the garden in springtime but this year, there seems to be more than ever. In March we started seeds under grow lights in the basement…

 

These seedlings were just sprouting in late March.
Before: seedlings sprouting.

 

… before moving them towards the beginning of April up to the greenhouse.

 

Tomatoes galore!
After: tomato plants galore!

 

It’s easy to show the ‘Before’ for these tomato plants but to show the ‘After’  I’d need to photograph them growing in the (newly re-fenced) vegetable garden. I can’t do that, though;  it’s still not reliably warm enough to plant them outside. The common folk guide in the Eastern Townships is to plant once the maple trees leaf out in full, which is usually towards the end of May. But by then, I plan to be photographing more interesting things, like flowers in full bloom. So you’ll have to imagine the plants in the garden and the all the juicy tomatoes they will produce.

In its own way, spring is a ‘Before’ and autumn is an ‘After.’ This year’s long drawn-out spring is unusual, and it is following an unusual winter when there seemed to be less snow but more ice. The inexorable movement of the ice following the underwater currents on Lake Massawippi destroyed both of our permanent docks, lifting the top boards and breaking them into giant splinters.

 

The ice melted not long after I took this photo in March.
The ice melted not long after I took this photo in March.

 

To repair the docks, all those boards had to be taken off, leaving only the sub-structure.

 

dock (1 of 1)

 

Now that the new top boards are nailed in place we have two docks that should last many more years.

 

A brand new dock, ready for summer.
The new dock is ready for summer but no one will be swimming anytime soon since the water is still extremely cold. Even so, the diving board and raft are now in place.

 

The docks weren’t the only thing that needed repair. A tree fell on the Magritte Bridge, knocking down the sign at one end and seriously damaging the structure itself.

 

 

more (1 of 2)

 

The ‘After’ bridge is much safer.

 

This bridge is not... A metaphor.
This bridge is a bridge once again, yet always and never a metaphor.

 

Warm-ish weather in early March took me up to fields high above the house. Near the sugar camp, I noticed these huge slices of wood from a pine tree we took down a year or two ago. They were destined for firewood but that seemed a waste. Yet what to do instead?

 

A little tweaking and this pile of jumbled stack could become an interesting sculpture.
A little tweaking and this pile of jumbled stack could become an interesting sculpture.

 

I briefly considered simplifying the stack and leaving it in place as a sculptural woodpile. But another thought occurred to me when I was walking the trail, wishing for a bench where I could sit and rest for a bit. So last week we loaded one big chunk of wood onto the tractor…

 

seats (4 of 5)

 

cut it into sections with a long-bladed chain saw …

 

 

seats (3 of 5)

 

 

… and created not one or two but three resting spots.

 

seats (1 of 5)

 

 

I spent the time while Jacques was chain-sawing looking around and soaking up the sunshine. Doing that, I noticed  some old apple trees nearby, a continuation of the orchard that used to be there. With growth only beginning to sprout, the trees weren’t hidden as they are in summer and fall.

 

This view is from August 2018 but it is the only one I have that shows a 'before' view.
This view is from August 2018 but it is the only one I have that shows a ‘before’ view.

 

 

And now, after an hour and a chipper made short work of the undergrowth, the view is quite different. And a lot more appealing.

 

orchard (1 of 1)

 

The new more open view is partway along the Timelines trail. Working on that is one of many projects I’m now in the midst of. So while I have to stay close to home, on bright sunny day, there is never a lack of things to do.

What’s keeping you busy in the garden? Any new projects underway?