So once again, I cannot take a lot of credit for moving the garden from concept to reality – J has done the lion’s share of the seedling care & planting. I did go on a massive weeding spree this past weekend, so the gardens are attractive enough to be posted on the internet:
It has been such a cold spring that growth has been sluggish. Everything went into the ground the weekend of May 17th but it’s barely done anything. I know the heat of July will kick everything into high gear.
One crop that is doing well are the hops – J bought three different types a few years ago. The first year we put them in pots outside our sun porch, and ran them up a trellis. Last year they were transplanted out into a sunny spot in the area where the orchard is going to go, and this year he split them. Several of them are already higher than five feet:
Two years ago J grew barley, with the intent of trying to brew his own beer. The birds ate most of it, and Max napped in what the birds didn’t get. It was less than optimal, so we’ve abandoned barley. And beer brewing, truth be told. Turns out Sam Adams makes perfectly acceptable beer, and it is ten times easier to get it at the store. Go figure.
Finally, the back garden went in this weekend – this year, everything is being started from seed (watermelons, corn, beans, peas, pumpkins, etc.) so there’s nothing to look at here except exceptionally fluffy soil and beautiful rows achieved with the assistance of some John Deere tractor attachment that’s been cluttering up our basement. Meaning that it gets to live another year at our house, because there is no way I want to rake a 25′ x 90′ garden into parallel rows.
We have now entered the difficult time of year where everything’s growing merrily (particularly the weeds) and yet nothing is ready to harvest (except the lettuce, that’s still coming.) Maddening.
The back 40 garden looks good:
While we were away at Barbecue University, all the peas and beans came up, much to our delight, because it apparently rained really hard for that week. We need to focus on putting up trellises this weekend, and we’ll see if we’re still so pleased when we’re out there picking bushels of legumes in either the broiling sun, or the mosquito-infested twilight of August. Either way, likely to be uncomfortable while harvesting:
In other news, almost all of the seeds I sowed for herbs have come up. The dill has been a little difficult, but that happened last year so I’m not worried, plus I don’t use a ton of fresh dill in my cooking so what’s coming up will probably be enough. And another challenge is that I absolutely cannot tell the difference between the tarragon seedlings and the weeds. This should sort itself out in a few weeks, because the weeds will grow much bigger much faster. I think. I didn’t photograph it, because who wants visual evidence of their weeding incompetency?
I am currently reading The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden, edited by Thomas C. Cooper. It’s a series of essays by famous gardeners (not that I’ve heard of any of them, though) trying to articulate why they garden. Most of them can’t – they can trace the roots of their interest to a family member, or family tradition, or just an interest – but all of them are universal in their love for working with dirt and plants. It’s a mix of both vegetable and ornamental gardeners (and sometimes folks who are both) and an interesting read. Something to occupy my time while I avoid weeding the tarragon right out of existence.
The seeds arrived two days after we placed the order. We received a padded envelope, not a box, which was disappointing, but the potatoes have not yet arrived, so we remain hopeful that there might be a box in our future. It remains emblematic of how we overdo it with the gardens.
Currently all we are doing is scheming about a new raised bed, and waiting. Planting usually starts around the first week of March. I might push up the flower schedule into February a little bit, just because I am impatient and I want overflowing flower boxes closer to Memorial Day this weekend. While we wait for anything to get started (in our seed trays or on this blog) I leave you with an amusing quote I came across:
“Long experience has taught me that people who do not like geraniums have something morally unsound about them. Sooner or later you will find them out; you will discover that they drink, or steal books, or speak sharply to cats. Never trust a man or a woman who is not passionately devoted to geraniums.” – Beverly Nichols, Merry Hall