Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

My Poor Garden….

Sept 25 garden 004

….completely abandoned this summer. I lost all interest in it what with my obsessive, desperate fight for you-know-what, and now that September is knee-deep in leaves, I’ve been looking out the window at the weedy, shambly, out-of-control mess, and feeling despair. In a fitting sort of symbolism, the tomato harvest was ruined by an infestation of some sort of pest, worms most likely, judging by the holes in the fruit. I went out there to find the culprits, but they must only come out at night.

Part of the fun in gardening was how much interest the kids showed in it. I loved being able to give them the satisfaction of pulling carrots right out of the ground and eating them, and I never minded that I was the one that did all of the grunt work. They’d help with shoveling, or planting, when the mood was right, or else they’d go about their own work of the day, playing games deep in The Secret Garden that is the bottom, wilder end of the yard. It was enough for me to know that they had a sense of what I was doing. I was happy to have something to do outside when they were out there, so that we could all be busy together.

Now, when I garden, it’s by myself, and it’s going to take a little getting used to. I corralled Big Boy R when he came home from classes this afternoon, and asked him to help me yank the tomato plants. He’s nothing if not agreeable, so he came out and made a show of helping, and we had a nice long discussion about whether athiests like he and I could ever be theologians. He’s taking a class on the historical investigation of the bible as a form of literature, and is finding it fascinating. I was happy to have his company, the sun warm on my back.

I harvested all of the basil plants, and they were kind of holey and moth-eaten. Completely gone to seed, too. So I snipped the flowers off, and put them in a glass of water and now the house smells quite pungent.

Sad little garden.

Next year will be better.

Sept 25 garden 001

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I just love my spinach. It was the first of the veg to come up, and it looks like a poster for itself, sitting there in neat little rows all leafy and green. I can hardly bear the thought of ripping off any of those leaves for salad.

Most of the planting is done now, but I have to say that it always takes longer than I anticipate. It’s one thing to say I’m going to stick the tomatoes in the ground this afternoon and quite a different story when you’re actually having to dig the three foot hole for each plant. Using peat pots made things a bit faster, as did the fact that the kids are all old enough to either help or leave me alone, but it still took a fair bit of time. We even skipped knitting this week to take advantage of a sunny day in the garden, just so that I could get everything in the ground.

What We Planted 2008

  • spinach
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • red leaf lettuce
  • old-fashioned leaf lettuce
  • beets
  • mustard greens
  • garlic
  • white onions
  • Spanish onions
  • basil
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • dill
  • hot peppers
  • sweet peppers
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • zucchini
  • broccoli

I’ve got some seed potatoes still to go in (they’re not exactly cost or space effective, but L begged for them because she loooooves new baby potatoes) and I still haven’t gotten around to planting the peas and beans, but we’re on the home stretch. Now it’s just a matter of weeding and watering, weeding and watering.

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I’m Worried…

..about my tomato plants. I planted them two days ago, when it was gorgeously warm and sunny. It is now windy and cold. Last night the temperatures plunged precipitously close to freezing, and I covered them with sheets. They don’t look terribly happy, poor things, and the next few days are forecasted to be cooler than normal. Darn it all.

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Team Effort


It took 4 kids 3.5 hours to move 3 yards of soil from the driveway to the newly built raised-bed planter. I helped them at the very beginning, but once it became clear that they were more than capable of doing the work without me, I took the opportunity to transplant some very tall, thin and straggly tomato seedlings. It was a terribly productive day in the garden, and it gave me a renewed appreciation for how hard those kids can work.
Interestingly, once the job was done, Tee took off into the house, and I didn’t hear a peep out of him for the rest of the day. I guess after several hours of hard physical labour he felt the need for some solitude. Not so young Jay. The shoveling just whet her appetite for work. She and I spent till suppertime planting carrots, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, dill, oregano, and parsley. Then we watered all the newly planted seeds and took the laundry off the line. When we went into the house I wished and wished that dinner would magically make itself, and as usual, it didn’t, but I did still have an eager little helper, so at least I didn’t have to peel the potatoes.

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The Final Harvest

Oct 29 harvest

Goodbye dear garden. See you next spring….

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