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Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

As I moved aside the snow, the air was filled with the scent of rosemary and orange mint.

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More flowers bloom on the bell pepper plant, and I see about dozen new blooms forming. Its neighbor the shishito plant is nearing its end I think with perhaps a few more peppers to grow large but no more blooms and its once dark leaves are now light lime. In a neighboring raised bed hot peppers form and what a spicy bounty they are turning out to be. I am imagining how beautiful their red crescent shapes will be as we indulge in them throughout the winter. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes … they weigh down might thick stalks, a beautiful, brilliant green … but, oh, when will they turn red?! Bushels of basil. Not a bad problem. Can you ever have too much caprese salad or garlicky pesto on toasted bread? As for the Swiss chard … just two plants purchased on sale to please the neighborhood bunnies but they must have enough food elsewhere … nary a bite has been taken and the leaves are growing large … so now Steve will have to cook us a dish with that Swiss chard. All recipes welcome. 🙂

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pollinators

The goal from my far distant point was to photograph the purple flowers in the backyard. The unexpected magic was three different pollinators flying into view at the same time.

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My attempt at growing pots and pots and pots of different nasturtium have not been greatly successful. Nice blooms on occasion but small leaves and stems on the spindly side. Though my gardening has moved outside, I still tend to do what I did indoors which was to use the same soils, same watering times, etc for every plant. I need to learn more about soils and drainage and all sorts of stuff. Even so … what has grown and bloomed has been wonderfully soul-satisfying.

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The backstory is that Steve and I moved just as the pandemic struck the U.S. and everything began to shut down around us. Given that he is a cancer survivor and over a certain age that put him at high risk. But we still had to daily get from point A to point B, continue (luckily) to work from home, pack a mammoth amount of stuff (mostly books), navigate in a necessarily socially distant world … and try not to confuse shortness of breath due to anxiety with shortness of breath due to the virus.

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lemon verbena

We made our way into our new home where I immediately began ordering bookcases because neither of us realized that between our two book collections we could probably start our own bookstore. The previous owner had built out the interior of the home wonderfully but the back yard … hmmm … three plus months later we’re still waiting on a contractor to come in with a caterpillar to remove debris and put down loam and on and on … and all of that stuff takes time!

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thyme

Now I tend to come across as a rather calm person but I can be as anxious as any other human and one of the coping mechanisms I have found in my life is gardening. Probably goes back to childhood in Virginia being in the vegetable garden with my dad and helping my mother plant the flowers. Anyway in a time of such great chaos on so many fronts I was determined to have a garden. Steve’s only request was to plant tomatoes and basil.

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lemon basil

mints

spearmint and orange mint

We’ve managed to do that and a bit more. The neighbors must think I’m crazy because I’m outside almost everyday to peek at the garden and take photos, and even Steve has gotten into the habit of asking me each morning, “How’s the garden doing?” I’ve forced him … I mean invited him … to put so much hard work into it that even now he owns it.

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There is no rhyme or reason to the garden though I tried to be thoughtful at first. Keeping in mind pollinators. Keeping in mind bee-friendly. Keeping in mind full-sun, part-shade. Keeping in mind natural pest control. It became too much in this time. I just planted what would fit and tried to err on the side of edibility. The contractor is supposed to come next week. We’ll see … Chaos is still all around … in our personal lives, in the global realm … but for now there feels like space to breathe and to think and to consider planning. DSCN0515

I don’t feel like planning into the distant future right now but I can think about the seasons and what we might plant now to harvest in the fall and what we might plant now that will pop up in the spring. I think that’s good enough for now. 🙂

 

 

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tomatoes

… it should not go away because it keeps me away from my little garden and that lets the herbs and veggies do what they need to do which is simply grow. I do have to go out and snip this and that to encourage further growth, and thin this and that so that I don’t have plants competing too much, and I do have some more seedlings to plant, and some seeds came in the mail and I have to be strategic in what I do with them because I’ve got this plan, you see, to create a wall of vines, some that bloom in the morning, some that bloom during the day, and the ones that bloom at night. Whoa! I’m trying to balance gardening in support of birds and the bees while respecting that a certain person in the household who is digging my raised beds doesn’t mind beauty but he’s really into edibles, especially tomatoes and basil. But he does understand that my growing cardinal vines and borage (which is edible but he doesn’t like the cucumber flavor) will help get his tomatoes properly pollinated. In this wierdest of all years in my living memory, I’m not gardening for sustenance necessarily; I’m gardening for sanity. I know, growing up in Virginia, that my dad’s vegetable garden definitely put food on the table. I remember helping him plant seed potatoes, beans, squash, peppers, onions and he grew his tomatoes, too. He gardened to feed his family but I suspect he gardened to find peace as well.

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lemon basil

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spearmint, basil and marigold

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orange mint, marigold, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, oregano and a wonderfully empty red pot waiting to be filled

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It has been many years since I’ve spent considerable time outside gardening in a yard. And what I am relearning is patience … a watched seed does not sprout overnight. Even if the package says “full sun” sometimes you have to move the plants into the shade. Overwatered plants die. I need to wait patiently and let them dry out.  Squirrels, birds and rabbits and I need to find some common ground, and that will take time. I’m not going anywhere and apparently neither are they.

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YB1

A pretty perennial. That’s all I know. It is flowering next to the fence line and so every now and then I pick a stem and place in a vase in the kitchen.

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A new space with new angles of light presenting new opportunities for indoor gardening.

 

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