Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gardenage! We have achieved Gardenage!

Well am I ever happy this evening!! At long last we have started our garden!

It happened like this, you see. I went to the pots on the front porch to get sage and French tarragon on Sunday afternoon, and could not for the life of me FIND my French tarragon! This, my dears, is a disaster of EPIC proportions; I waited almost a year to get that plant, and I clearly remembered bringing it home and I was preeetttttty certain I planted it *doubtful look* well I must have planted it, right? Because it wasn't still in its pot, so it must have been planted....

.........but I. Couldn't. Find. It.

EPIC proportions. It kept me awake, fretting, for part of Sunday night. I mean, it's not like one can just zip out and get a new plant whenever. The season will end soon, the hardware store will sell out, and THEN where will I be? And you can't grow French tarragon from seed, because it's sterile; you have to buy the plants from a nursery. And it's already mid-May.

Did I mention the season will end soon, and the hardware store will be out of plants?

You might remember that we don't have a car. There aren't any nurseries on the bus route.

It was my only chance.

So Monday afternoon there I was, groceries bagged and in my Old Lady Shopping Cart (I love that thing!!), and I mosied on from the grocery store to the hardware store and riiight into the plant section. Now ya gotta know the plants are outside, and so here I am pushing my Old Lady Shopping Cart half-full of groceries (including perishable cheese, ooops, lol) in and out of every aisle of plants even though I KNEW where the herbs would be, just dreaming my way through the garden.

It was doggoned hard to walk away from a plant called Two-Row Stonecrop, a kind of Sedum. You see, I was wearing a green shirt and pink sweat jacket (with sequins, no less!)... and the Stonecrop was green with pink edges! The pink almost matched my sweat jacket!

Oh well, I was good, I walked away. Eventually, after much dreaming through aisles, I came to the herbs. Aaaaack!! They didn't have it!! But then I found the last two plants tucked away on the back side of the rack (see I told you they were gonna run out!!)...... and son of a gun, French tarragon doesn't look like I thought it did! It IS on my porch, snugged up against the lavender plant!

So I had been to the grocery store, right? And Gryph LOVES bell peppers, had asked specifically for yellow and red bell peppers, and I went to the produce section to buy some-------------and they were $3! *faints dead away* Can you imagine, $3 for ONE bell pepper??!!!!

And there, right across from the herb rack, are--ta daa!--bell pepper plants.

Well, you know what happened next. I pushed that Old Lady Shopping Cart home with four bell pepper plants, one each of yellow, orange, red, and (of all lovely things!) lilac. And two eggplant plants. AND four strawberry plants, because they were half-price.... all of them perched on top of my groceries. *cheesy grin*

The flower pots on the front porch are already full, yanno, and there are still three tomato plants left to pot up. What was I going to DO with four bell peppers, two eggplants, and four strawberries?!

So the back yard is newly fenced this weekend, and it's a giant thrill to the dogs to be allowed to run free. After I got the groceries put up I took them out and hooked up our new hose so I could water the rose bush and the mock orange... the BARE ground under the rose bush....

Here's the thing. No matter how disabled a gardener might be, if you hand her too many plants she is GOING to find a place to dig.

Here is the beginning of our garden. The rose bush is on the right. Monday evening I watered the ground (thoroughly, I thought), started weeding, and then dug four holes and planted the strawberries. That's when I discovered that all that water I poured onto the ground only penetrated half an inch, and also when I discovered that my soil--that I thought was the nicest in the yard!-- is hard clay! How the plants are rooting through it is beyond me, but root they do, ailanthus (I call it stink tree, lol), dandelion, grass and even a few violets.

Today I made a HUGE discovery. Gryph likes to dig!! Wooohooo! This very sore gardener was thrilled to turn the chore over! That's what you see in the above photo, the area that Gryph worked on, pulling weeds and tree roots, digging out grass, and then using the Garden Claw to loosen up that hard clay soil. I had watered again last night and then this morning too, and Gryph kept the hose available.

You can't see it, but there's much more than strawberries, eggplants, and peppers planted in that garden. I also planted seeds: Grandpa Ott morning glory, Tendergreen Burpless cucumber, Bloomsdale long-standing spinach, early white Vienna kohlrabi, melting sugar snow peas, and Oregon sugar pod snap peas. Then I watered everything in, really thoroughly. If any of them come up, I'll be thrilled, and if they all come up, well, they'll look like a little jungle and maybe the squirrels will leave them alone.

Or not. I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get a t-shirt that says "Official Squirrel Hater." But in the meantome, I have plans!!

See the bamboo lined out to mark the shape of the eventual garden? That's native bamboo, by the way, from a friend down the street. It's also called rivercane. When you read about a canebreak, that's this stuff.

Here's another pic. You can see that this side of the back yard is really a work in progress, and what a lot of work it is!

And here is my hero, the Digger of Gardens and Vanquisher of Weeds, Gryph. She was actually sorry to stop digging for the day! Am I lucky, or what?!

So now, from That Garden in That Yard of That House, good night. May you sleep well and may your dreams bring you happiness and peace!


1 comment:

  1. Cool job on the garden. Yeah the bell peppers are nuts price wise and think... all that farm land that got flooded, that won't produce for years after the water recedes.


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