15 May 2008
it's raining. it has been raining for weeks, it seems. i love the rain, and so do all the plants, but don't they need sunshine too? i found myself out in the garden today, in the rain, with a hat on, just standing around, looking everything over, thinking about the garden. most everything is planted now. i have some seedlings on the porch to plant when they get a little bigger, and some herbs i started in the garden that i plan to move around as i thin them. here's what i have going:
in the garden patch:
tomatoes (2 cherry and 2 "regular")
onions (white onions from sets, and purple bunching onions from seed)
lettuce (two kinds)
kale (two kinds)
i made another bed in a sunnier spot in our backyard, along a fence. i have 5 more tomato plants there, two heirloom varieties that i got from a neighbor at a plant exchange: cherokee purple, and brandywine. i also have two parsley plants in that bed, which i got as seedlings from the farmer's market. also along that fence, and in an established perinnial bed, are sage, rosemary, lavender, daisy and thyme.
cosmo and i planted some sunflowers against the house, and i put in a few daisy seedlings there too, but they seem to be struggling, for some reason.
on the porch i have two salad boxes filled with lettuce, spinach and purple spring onions. they are doing wonderfully. i also have more daisy seedlings, seedlings, chamomile and marigolds.
i have two containers in front of the compost, that hope will sort of mask it as they grow... we have zinnias and two kinds of cosmos in there. and i moved some brown-eyed susans around the edges of the bins (we have tons of these all around our yard).
inside the first compost we have some volunteers. i have identified a tomato plant, and several pumpkins. i'm not surprised about the pumpkins. we bought a pumpkin or two every week last fall, from the farmer's market. carl makes pumpkin bread, i make pie. i am actually thrilled that they came up, since the pumpkin i planted in the garden bed isn't really doing well. only one came up, and it looks rather weak compared to the ones in the compost. i think this is due to when i planted the seeds. it has been too wet, and a little chilly. i hear they need warm dry(ish) soil to get started. i'll leave one or two in there, and then transplant a couple to the spot i had planned for them in the bed. i think it will be ok in the bin. the vine can climb out, and onto the driveway, if it needs too.
i wasn't completely positive it was pumpkin at first. it looked like either pumpkin, gourd or some kind of squash or melon, but they can look pretty similar. i tried to find some photos online, but i wasn't sure until i just reached down in there, and examined one of the seeds that a sprout was coming out of. it was definitely a pumpkin seed. i was a little grossed out about getting my hand in there, and i sniffed it, expecting it to reek like rotten garbage. instead, it smelled of luscious, rich earth. undoubtedly a wonderful environment for the pumpkins.
in other news, we have had our first harvests already. first we thinned some of the onions, and had scallions on tacos one night. cosmo enjoyed pulling them up. then last week i harvested some baby spinach and lettuce leaves. inspired by a photo on the root, i arranged a couple of artsy salads for dinner. the store bought tomato was a disappointing addition, but the greens were incredible!
i realized the other day the positive effect the garden has on me. when i am out there, i feel an overall good feeling. just looking at the plants, noticing how they change from day to day, planning what to do next, it simply fills me with joy and a deep sense of satisfaction. i can't think of a better therapy for me at this time in my life.