“… and the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down”
“… in rushing, rising riv’lets, til the river crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet’s!” Awww, I love that song. And Winnie the Pooh. And Piglet and Tigger, too.
Anyway… so with our grand plans of yester’evening, we woke up to wet, wet, wet. Not pouring rain, but seeping rain. No big huge wet splatters – you can totally walk around and miss all the raindrops – but if you put a pot on the porch and come back 20 minutes later, there’s an inch of water in it. It’s THAT kind of rain. Persistent. And…wet.
After considering the many bits of advice and how-to stories I’ve found on sites like The Labyrinth Society and this video, which is totally awesome and time-lapsed, I decided that it might be a good idea to start small and maybe in chalk on the driveway to see how big and how much work (kinda) it was going to take. Unfortunately, chalk and rain do not mix well, so we opted for an indoor masking-tape labyrinth on the schoolroom floor. It’s not perfect, and it is small – very small for an adult to walk, but the kids love it, and truthfully, so do I.
I think when we built it outside, we’re going to make at least 7 circuits, and it will need to be much bigger than this – I would like to be able to sit in the middle. This one is 3 circuits, and is about 5 or 6 feet across.
I drew it out in dry-erase marker on the floor and then taped the lines out. It took about half an hour or 45 minutes – not bad, I think.
Despite the rain, I was itching to be outside. We donned our … well, nothing special actually – just flip-flops and play clothes, and gathered our gardening tools and started preparing our new veggie/flower bed. I have had these plastic “wrought iron” garden border fences for the longest time. I’ve occasionally toyed withe the idea of planting a flower bed and ended up not sticking with it (warning you now that it’s highly likely that this same scenario will play out again with this new gardening endeavor). I think I had alligator eyes before though and planned out way too much for such a novice. This time, we’re doing a small (SMALL) patch of ground right at our porch. Small enough for me and the boys to at least get our hands good and dirty – and boy, did we!
IN the slush and mud, we picked pokeys (sweet gum balls) out of our space. Our ground had a lot of clay in it, so I wanted to make a raised bed of sorts. I’m sure we’re going about this all wrong, but it’s done now. We marked off our space and filled with (mostly decayed/ing) leaves.
On top of that, we added a layer of newspaper to help hold the new soil we were laying. We added about 3 inches of soil (not deep enough, I know) and some coconut husk planter liners to start seeds in with an organic seed starting mix. I added some petunias and marigolds and started some tomatoes, bell peppers and green onions and the boys started pumpkins, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe and radishes. I know, I know – too late to start some of that – it’s not like we expect this whole big eatery to bloom in our yard. But we’ll see what comes up! It will be fun to keep an eye on. I’ll add more soil to the bed and when we have sproutlings, we’ll transfer them to the main bed and start new seeds. Here’s a peek at what we accomplished (and you can’t see it, but it’s raining):
This was our science and history lesson for today. We’re still doing ancient history; talking about how people started farming and building settlements. I have a pattern for a tee-pee that uses PVC pipe (Butterick #B4251) (similar to this one:)
We’re going to do a re-make of the shelter we built last week and see if we can make it more stable and permanent. I have several pieces of trim that we’re NEVER going to put up in the house, so I may try to use those for the supports. I need to drag the sewing machine out anyway and work on those quilts!