Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Flu Has Ended, Bring Forth The Garden!

After suffering from the flu for two weeks I felt pretty damn good this morning. That, coupled with the recent good weather (it was 64 degrees somewhere in the southwest the other day), made me aching to get in the yard. I haven't done much in the yard since Fall, so there has been a bit of pruning and clearing away of random crap, along with planting (the best part).

All in all it as very productive. I planted my onions next to the garlic I planted in the Fall. We had a strangely warm Fall (one day in October was 80 degrees), causing the garlic (the spindly looking green shoots in the back) to begin growing too early. I hope the garlic turns out, it is my first time Fall planting it. It may look like a small plot, but I put 18 onion sets into the area in front of the garlic

I started my tomatoes, melons and cucumbers indoors, in order to get a jump on them when it warms up enough to plant them out in a few weeks. I planted five varieties of tomato: silver fir tree (from Russia, and known to produce REALLY early), hillbilly potato leaf (big, orange fruits), Jaune Flamme (small, orange variety that dries well, I hear), cream sausage (a pale yellow, almost white, roma tomato; I am looking forward to white-tomato soup), and a currant tomato (very small, very sweet). I also planted a cucumber called Crystal Apple that looks like a pale green and white apple. The melon is a small melon called Queens Ann Pocket Melon. It is very small and yellow with orange stripes. It is supposed to have a 'lovely fragrance,' which is where it gets its name: women in Victorian times used to carry them in their pockets, in order to smell nice. I am growing them for their smell....they supposedly have no flavor.

Above, you will see some pots, along with my panty-mobile. I planted arugula (which the Brits call rocket, because the French word 'roquette' is what they try to emulate), cress, lettuce mix and spinach in these pots. I plan on salads in about 4-6 weeks! The site they are sitting on now will eventually be the home of two large tomato bushes, but not for a few more months. Since it was such a nice day I decided to dry my laundry outside for the first time since October. I like the difference between my colorful socks and the drab underwear hanging behind them...I will have to work on changing that.

You can see the two green bags full of yard waste from my tiny garden in this picture. For some reason I am now writing underlined, I have no idea why or how to change it, so enjoy the underlined goodness. To the right is my octagon of death...I mean of drying. I found that joining my two drying racks into an octagon prevents them from falling over, a common problem I had last year. The camellia tree is in bloom. Two notes on that: 1) I am not sure if that is a camellia, but I think it is, and 2) I like that tree from now until next week, when it will start to drop leaves and dead flowers faster than a than is humanly possible to clean up after it.

Another view of my backyard. While I was working today our new neighbors were moving in. I didn't talk to them, but from what I gathered (by eavesdropping), they are a young couple who will be getting married soon. I think they may have a dog! While I was gardening I listened to my audio book of THE BUCOLIC PLAGUE: HOW TO MANHATTANITES BECAME GENTLEMAN FARMERS, AN UNCONVENTIONAL MEMOIR. It is the story of the two guys from the TV show THE FABULOUS BEEKMAN BOYS: a gay couple buys a farm in a small town in upstate New York, and hilarity and heart ache ensue. I kind of love that show.

And finally, my laundry/strawberry line. I strung this line up last year when I needed more room to hang out clothes to dry; it now does double duty as a line for my strawberry baskets. That wall gets a good amount of sun, so I figured suspending the berries from the line made good sense. To the far right of the picture, on the fence is a netting I strung up today. It is too fine to see, but trust me, it is there. I planted peas at the foot of it and hope the little buggers will climb the netting, thus thriving and providing me with a delicious accompaniment to my mashed potatoes.

I will be adding zucchini, beans, more peas, more lettuce, cabbage and whatever else I see for sale at the garden center, into this garden. I am so excited.

Like usual, please excuse spelling and grammar errors: I am in a rush and don't have time/don't feel like going back over this. Love everyone!

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