I still tend to run light on flowers in the garden. I’m slowly learning when to sow what where. I know each year I can count on one prolific bloomer to feed the early bees and it’s a sunshine-yellow reminder to ignore the boxes we so often try and think within.
From soil to seed to pan to freezer to pot to pile to soil.
There’s now a “stock bag” in the freezer as a permanent resident. Carrot tops, onion skins, garlic butts, celery ends: they all go in the bag as they depart from their meatier bits that are bound for the pan.
When the bag is full, it goes in a pan to boil and salt, salt and boil, until there’s the most lovely green broth with which to base a soup.
The simmered remnants go to the compost pile, where they transform into soil to feed the future harvest of carrots and onions…
When you pull the thistle before it blooms (and before it chokes out the dill) only to spot lady bug eggs on the underside…
Back in the garden you go, little larvae buffet.
The only kind of blooming onion I like.
Not every common name makes common sense. (What even is a moonglow tomato?)
But this chard, Perpetual Chard, is aptly named. This is a perennial in my garden. Come caterpillar or cold weather, leaves spring forth a-new from the ever-increasing girth of the trunk.
I take the leaves for scrambled eggs.
I take the tree for dinner.
I take the side shoots for quesadillas.
And then I give the bees their turn.
And they, in turn, give me next year’s start.
Buddha is happy to remind traipsing bipeds of the budding asparagus.
Their first night in the ground always leaves me apprehensive. Lone beacons of fresh greens in an open plain. The earth is awakening and there are empty bellies roaming.
Their pot homes become cloches. Their new beds make up an anchor for their hats. Sleep well, little starts.
Until the morning…
Now where to plant the 18 or so tomatoes still in pots…
My chuckles at the “gardening is cheaper than therapy” shirts. My body’s whisperings (and sometimes its loud insistence) that running isn’t on the list of options most days these days. My back’s reminder that I sit a lot during the day.
If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then perhaps I won’t admit it as a problem. A discovery, let’s call it.
I need to dig.
My mother-in-law wants to seriously expand her garden this year. My father-in-law confessed he wasn’t looking forward to the load of compost in the driveway. I confessed that if he didn’t call me over when it arrived, I’d be finding something else to shovel anyway.
Like a few weeks ago when I decided my pathways were too wide and my center bed too small.
A bit of therapy here. A bit of exercise there. A bit of soul-filling-earth-bliss in the side and I have more room, easier access, and found some sweet potatoes to add to breakfast scrambles in the process.
The right bed already has three rows of corn sown in the center. It’ll get melons on a trellis on one edge, I think. Maybe on both sides… The left bed is going to try a stagger of peppers and tomatoes… I’ve had promises of sturdy, homemade cages this year. He knows the way to my heart.
June, the plum tree, has four varieties grafted to her dwarf trunk. This branch has yet to set fruit in the years we’ve had her.
I’d yet to prune her in the years we’ve had her.
This picture was Friday and then DH and I left the little loves at home (with his folks) and set off to a resort up the road a smidge. It was our fifteenth anniversary last week (what!?) and so we celebrated with a night of (awful) sleep, a fine dining (delicious) dinner, and an old favorite action movie playing on cable. It was splendid.
Today, the branch is ensconced in blossoms and I’m hopeful the fruit will set before the next storm unleashes downpour. And I’m hedging my bets we’re done with freezing (last average frost is a week or so away and the ten day forecast looked promising. I put out beans and corn today…)
Or perhaps this branch never fruits precisely because it blooms too soon in the spring and the rains take away any chance.