Thursday, May 17, 2007

My hands are dirty

Thought I best update the gardening news (given the name of the blog & all- wouldn’t want to be accused of false advertising); things are growing J (sorry- it’s the smart aleck in me). The garden is looking pretty good right now- the front bed still looks a bit like the Luther Burbank Test Farm (one of everything & little design scheme), but with the exception of the groundcover, everything seems to be thriving in spite of the intense wind & hot spell we had last week. It has become a pleasure to drive up to a greeting of flowers & greens; the only disappointment is the progressively sorry state of the rest of our neighborhood. Many new people have moved in since last year & they don’t bother to keep up their yards- weeds & garbage cover more than half of the lawns. *Sigh* that is one the greatest drawbacks of living in a rental community- there is little sense of responsibility toward or pride in the properties- I’m embarrassed to have people over because of the “ghetto” appearance of the rest of the area. I’ve been seriously tempted to go out at night with the lawnmower, weed-whacker, & garbage bags to clean up the worst of it- but to be honest, I’m scared of some of these people & worry they would take pot shots at us.

Remember these things that followed me home in March?

This is what they look like now- I’m quite happy with the results.

The vegetables are going like gangbusters; the 3-inch tomato plant we brought home from the hardware store is 5 foot high & already threatening to bust out the cage. We’ve been eating lettuce for a month or so, have picked a dozen sweet snap peas, & while weeding the carrots, I found a lot of thick, orange tops, so I think we’ll be harvesting some soon. I’ve also been picking a few strawberries that came up in a planter box I was given last fall; I just set the dirt-filled box out next to the house, planning to recycle it in the spring. Imagine my surprise when a healthy ever-bearing plant came up- I’ve been picking 3 to 6 berries a week for a while & it’s still putting out flowers. Unfortunately, the blueberries aren’t doing as well; they put out tons of flowers in March, but it doesn’t look like any of them were pollinated & they have all fallen off, though I noticed a few new blossoms this morning. The dwarf Meyer’s lemon is again covered with small fruits; I believe we ended up with around 30 matured lemons altogether last season, picking the last one in February. I also planted a new variety of squash- a Mango Squash, which is already putting out blossoms- in one of the big barrel containers I had tulips in- I’m planning on caging them to grow vertically, alongside an upright cucumber bush & my snap peas. There is still a large patch of raised bed- about 6 X 4 foot- that we haven’t put anything in yet; I’m not certain what I want to plant there- Chris suggested another squash or some melons, but they take up so much room, I’m hesitant- any suggestions?

I don’t know how much I’ll be around in the next few days; we have a particularly full, but fun, week coming up. Saturday & Sunday are the 4th annual Livermore Highland Games, which is our club’s second biggest event of the year, so Monday & Friday evenings are committed to rehearsals for our demos. Tuesday, I take Daisy back to the vet for her first 12 hour blood-sugar monitoring, to see if we have her insulin levels balanced correctly; she seems to be doing fairly well- she’s eating well, keeping her food down (Thank you Lord)- & doesn’t seem to mind the twice daily injections, but beyond that, it’s hard to tell since her natural activity level is so low. Wednesday is the Celtic Women concert in San Jose; Chris & I are both taking off work early that day, so we can go to dinner beforehand. I had Chris take a couple of vacation days, since he is about to max out his accrual, so he’ll have a long weekend to enjoy the Games & chauffer me around- the “Check Engine” light came on in my car this weekend, so we’re dropping it at the shop Thursday for servicing (ironically, I just received a postcard the day before, warning my that the factory warranty was about to expire- how do they plan these things? Not to worry- we bought the extended warranty & I’m planning on trading my car in later this summer for a newer model) Last, but certainly not least, Sunday afternoon Sam has his next Karate belt testing (which we will miss) for his First Class Brown Belt- next step (in 6 months to a year) will be his Black Belt. So as you can see, sitting down in front of the computer (other than at work) will probably be difficult to do for a while- any “free” time will be spent on the baby quilt, eating, or sleeping- I know, I really need to work on my priorities.

In closing, I would like to share this- I don’t usually quote (or even read) poetry, but this spoke to me; Spring is my favorite time, & May has always brought special things to my life.


Now the bright Morning star, day's harbinger,

Comes dancing from the East, and brings with her

The flowery May; who from her green lap throws

The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose

Hail! flowery May that dost inspire

Mirth and youth and warm desire.

Woods and groves are of thy dressing

Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing

Thus we salute thee with our early song

and welcome thee and wish thee long.

John Milton ~ MAY SONG ~


Charity said...

Love the flowers, Meg! Very pretty. :0)

Mrs. G said...

love that blue flower with the coleus! a combination I would have never thought of, but it looks so good :)

Tammy :):):) said...

Dearest Viscountess Meg the Dissolute of Piddletrenthide on the Carpet:

You're flowers look absolutely beautiful! How did the Lily of the Valley fair? We have a small garden again (yeah for us)... M's bean teepee has 3 or 4 inch bean plants now.
Love John Milton's poem.
You are back in busy, aren't you? And to do all of that for your cat.
Enjoy your Highland Games!
And sorry I haven't made it by your msn spaces... and all of the others I like to visit... it seems msn is constantly having difficulties that keep me from being able to visit. HARUMPH!

suzee said...

Patience pays off! Don't you love it when the flowers all come together to bring visual joy like that?

Have fun at the games.

Texas Mammie said...

Great pictures! You really have a green thumb.
Sounds like you have your dance card full for the next few days~have fun and take pictures!


~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

What a lovely flower combination! Very pretty - especially that bright blue ~ really pops out of there! Your vegetable garden sounds wonderful & makes me wish I had planted more - another trip to the nursery on the list!
Sounds like you have a full week planned - have fun!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so envious at your seemingly natural talent in the garden. I love All Things Green but that affection doesn't flow both ways. *sigh* I could kill a cactus. Each spring I get that itch to add more plants around the house and each time my husband starts to get nervous. He knows what I'm capable of. ;)
Highland games, eh? How were they? We had some out this way a couple of months back but I couldn't make it out. I'm so desperate to go. The last time I went was many years ago when I was stationed in New York.
Have a fantastic day!

ann said...

Your flowers are beautiful! I haven't done much gardening at all the last few years; fortunately for me the shrubs we have just get huger (is that a word?!) all the time so it looks nice anyhow. My two favorite plants were brought to me by passing birds...a Virginia Creeper that I bought an arch for, and some very sweet strawberries that threaten to take over. They're yummy!

John Kaiser said...

This is my first full season gardening. I couldn't have known how much it would do for my lack of patience.

Tulabell said...

I'm envious. It looks as if you have a lot more choices than we do here in Utah for planting outdoors. They are awesome!