Sunday, April 7, 2013

G is for Gardening

Oh that magical time of year! While I still have narcissus and white daffodils blooming, the cineraria are coming on strong in their shades of purple, pink and violet. My hydrangeas are budding and the roses look stronger this year than ever. I have apricots and peaches that have fruited. Can't tell about my cherries because some of them are still blooming. My Meyer Lemon bush is almost breaking itself it's so full.

Our hills are green (St. Pats is always the greenest day here), but recent rains have stopped the brown spots that sometimes develop on our hilltops in April. I have frogs I transported from our old house in Sebastopol some 26 years ago -- well, generations from those 6 little green frogs I put in a coffee can and transported here -- they are singing up a chorus. I don't mind it keeps me awake at night. Makes me think I'm in Disneyland or some other magical place.

I have planted my tomatoes and peppers, sweet peas that are now about 3' tall, as well as sugar pod peas. I have Tuscan Cauliflower (blooms purple blush on white heads) that turns green when it's cooked. We've had kale, broccolini and swiss chard in all the rainbow colors. My artichokes are doing
well, and my purple asparagus are just popping up from the ground.

Don's hops plant I tried to kill off last summer has come back with a vengeance from the heavy pruning. They're staked and we think there'll be enough blooms for his famous India Pale Ale he likes to brew.
Lavender is blooming, so is the pink and pineapple bottlebrush. Harvested some pine nut seeds to start new trees. I have volunteer green beans, hollyhocks and stubborn remnants of the horseradish I've been trying to get rid of for 5 years (ever since a worker rototilled them under instead of pulling them). Kiwis and grapes are bursting forth.

There just isn't any better time for me now that the days are lighter longer and the air is warmer. I get dirty every day in the Spring. Can't wait to bring in those fresh bouquets, and to start getting early squash and carrots, which should be here next month.


And when I garden, I think of stories. It is a form of meditation for me. I like to look at my vegetables in the middle of my flower beds, so when they go to seed, they have company. Days like this, I truly am grateful.

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16 comments:

  1. You meant real, live frogs! My first thought was the ceramic garden variety, until you talked about them singing! Mental shift. :-) The garden sounds wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, Judy. Yes, real live frogs. Cute little green ones (lime green) about 1" long. They have red eyes and some of them have stripes. I think they've attracted some of the local frogs who live in our creeks. I must have 100 of them or so.

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  2. Couple of years ago, a little tiny frog jumped out as i opened my shed door, i screamed that loud my neighbour who was just getting in the shower ran out wrapped in towel shouting if i was alright, i couldnt have been more scared if it had been a dinosaur. So i was very amused that you took your frogs with you. not fussy on the garden but you made yours sound so exciting with so much variety good luck with it all and i hope you come up with some marvellous ideas for more stories to write.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. You know that at the SEAL Museum, they have a T shirt that has a picture of a frog (we call the SEALs frogmen, of course) and they call it something like, "America's fighting force." I'm sure I'm getting it wrong, but you get the drift.

      Native Americans thought frogs symbolized transformation. At this time of year, I feel that more than ever. As the garden transforms into its beautiful self, my stories develop and blossom. Thanks for the good wishes. Much appreciated.

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  3. Oh to have such an abundant growing season! Lucky you. Love the raised beds (are those herbs?)I've had veggie gardens, but have cut back to container gardening.

    I like watching the gardens in the Spring to see what comes up. When we do our neighborhood walk, we check out what's growing (now-lilies, perewinkle,daffs, and tulips). The Frisco area has always appealed to me, and is another place I would enjoy living.

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    1. It is indeed a special place. Expensive, but special. I'm enough North of SF to have it be warm and tranquil. The City is exciting, but not my cup of tea. Too dirty. If I'm going to have dirt and graffiti, I want it in my garden!

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  4. Bet your garden is beautiful, too.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Getting there. The dirtier I get the prettier it gets.

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  5. Spectacular post. Love gardens and the ecology of home farms. Thank you for an insightful and entertaining post. Cheers.

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    1. Thank you, Nouveau. I actually thought of taking some of my own suits and making scarecrows out of them, like characters in my book...so you've started me thinking...hmmmm...Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Ah, you had me at the word "flowers". I love them and have a couple of flower beds I plant each year (well, my grandkids and daughter and son in law help me with them). I've had flowers in my yards for years. My most recent yard is here in Texas where I had to move three years ago, with the passing of my dear husband of many years. By the way, I love your spinning globe that keeps count of your visitors! Best regards to you. Ruby

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    1. Ruby, prayers for your loss. I can't imagine what that feels like. But the flowers make it better.

      Rod McEuan had a wonderful poem called, "People With Flowers" and I used to listen to him recite it every night before I went to bed when I was in college. Yup, I was a romantic way back then.

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  7. What lovely gardens. I miss my dad's fresh veggies.

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    1. Fresh veggies are wonderful, to be sure. The stuff of life.

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  8. :) We spent Saturday building our first veggie garden! I am SO excited to really get into the dirt (it's a raised bed and the dirt hasn't been delivered yet..). Glad we didn't plant anything yet b/c we knew we'd be having a snowstorm today. Hoping it will warm up by this weekend so we can get started!

    Happy 2nd week!

    AJ Lauer
    #atozchallenge helper minion
    Twitter: @ayjaylauer

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    1. I am thrilled beyond measure, AJ. Working in the dirt is one of the funnest things in life, other than writing/reading romance, of course! As me any questions you want.

      I usually get a mix like Mango Mulch or Mushroom Compost delivered from one of our supply places. Great thing about Mushroom Compost is that they sterilize it before they use it (Mushrooms are very sensitive creatures). Therefore, no grass "volunteers" or weeds.

      Good reason to start composting now, if you haven't started already. You can do it with bricks or get an old galvanized garbage can (if the bottom is rusted out, all the better) and add equal parts of food and compost scraps and soil. Any soil will do.

      Tomatoes and peppers love this mixture. You can also save your rain water and add compost and make a compost tea. We use an old broken Sangria jar (I no longer drink Sangria), and the plants love a little shot now and then.

      Good luck.

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