Thursday, March 25, 2010

o the green things growing!

here’s a fun poem for my associate chlorophiles: “green things growing” by dinah maria mulock craik.

i direct-seeded part of my garden on sunday: one row each of beets, radishes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach and kale. we’ll see how they do...the weather in boise is so unpredictable in spring.

mirabelle plum trees are blooming...

and so are my favorite tulip magnolias.

the anemone i have growing out of a boot opened up yesterday.

my lettuce basket is doing nicely:

somehow a tomato seed made its way into the basket. i don’t know what variety it is and i don’t understand how it happened, because tomato seeds look nothing like lettuce seeds and i feel certain i would have noticed it when i was planting.

i’m trying to use entirely repurposed materials for sprouting seeds this year. all my tomato seedlings are in toilet paper rolls, most other seedlings are in plastic soygurt cups, and i set them in empty plastic and cardboard boxes to germinate. all of it would’ve been recycled otherwise, and most of it still can be after i’m done. the south-facing windowsills at my house are getting pretty full.

it was a weird coincidence, my friend andrea was telling me about these plastic apple containers from costco she’d used to start peppers and tomatoes last year, and it just so happens i’m using the same container to grow salad greens. it’s a sealing plastic palette-type thing that’s molded to hold 14 gala apples, but the molds form perfect planter cups and mini greenhouse domes:

andrea and i had a long, long discussion about gardening yesterday, and i think it left us both pretty fucking giddy about this summer. she grew a fabulous garden last year, but unfortunately she was forced to move a couple weeks ago and her new place has a shared yard. last year her kale went insane. she planted way too many, they grew enormous and wouldn’t die; they even started sprouting out of their stumps this spring. i hope my kale flourishes like that but i doubt it will.

this weekend is the 14th annual garden show at the grove AND a huge flea market at the fairgrounds. last year at the garden show i got some bulbs, an orchid and a praying mantis egg sack (ootheca). unfortunately the ootheca was eaten by birds before it hatched. i’ll get another one this year and probably hatch it inside, or put it outside in a very safe and secured location.

spring is the most goddamned exciting time of year. i can hardly stand it.


JJ Beazley said...

My house is Edwardian, so it has no window sills inside. They used to set the windows back into the wall in those days, so the sills are on the outside, and they slope. All I have is a rickety old greenhouse with two narrow shelves, which is one more than I used to have. So I'm limited. One does one's best.

And is the anemone that colour becuse it's embarrassed to be seen growing out of such a boot? Did you wear that once? Gosh. Brave!

Emily said...

haha yes i used to wear those boots. if you think that’s brave you should see some of the crazy (and often ugly) shit i used to wear a few years ago. handmade skirts of faux fur and corset tops, cfm boots, wild tights, tons of bizarre thrift store items...i’m still adventurous with clothes but i’ve calmed down a bit. the only reason those boots were sentenced to dirt duty is because they gave me blisters.

could you put little shelves up to your windows to create sills? or maybe use grow lights to sprout seeds? i’ve got quite the operation going, it involves much more than just windowsills...every light in the house that’s adjustable is bent down over a cluster of seedlings at least part of the day.

JJ Beazley said...

Don't you have any pictures from those heady days? As I observed to somebody else today, laughter is a vital life sign and good therapy. And the best of all is to laugh at yourself. That's my favourite sort.

As for the house, you'd have to see it to understand. It just doesn't function like that. Still, I did get more seeds planted in the greenhouse today, and moved the strawberries into large pots. And I'm planning to get the potatoes and onions out in the garden if it stays dry over the weekend.

Those first two pictures on this blog are rather good. You don't waste space, do you?

Emily said...

oh yeah, i have plenty of photographic evidence to condemn myself. i love laughing at myself but actually i genuinely like the way i used to dress--looking at the photos arouses slightly more nostalgia than amusement and self-deprecation. some of the outfits were absurd but i don’t regret any of them.

how big of a garden do you plant? and when are you going to post some pictures of it?

JJ Beazley said...

I'm sure you looked wonderful, Emily. Free dressers usually do.

My garden is big by British standards, a postage stamp by American ones. The main part is about 90'x40'. It slopes down to a quiet lane. The top half is lawn and flower beds, the bottom half was a wilderness when I came here nearly four years ago, but now has five small veg plots and an area I'm developing as a fruit an herb garden. Problem is, I'ver never been a gardener; this all new, and I'm the sort who prefers to learn by instinct rather than from text books. So it's slow going.

There won't be any pictures since my photographic equipment is all the old fashioned film variety, and I don't have a scanner.

Emily said...

that’s huge by my standards. my garden is much smaller, and it’s segmented...9’x16’ here, 2’x50’ there and so on. i have to work around a lot of trees and landscaping, it can be frustrating. but at least the places i do have to work with get the best sun exposure. the long, skinny strip is the bank of a canal, which makes watering easy.

i feel the same way about learning by instinct, with gardening anyway. i’ve only been interested in gardening for the last two summers, and both years i made a ton of mistakes...i especially can’t be bothered to do soil samples, and i’m just starting to learn about micronutrients and macronutrients and soil amendments and such. when it becomes more about chemistry than simple manual labor and enjoyment i lose interest.

too bad you don’t have a scanner, i’m so curious to see your garden, especially once it’s taken off. it sounds lovely.

JJ Beazley said...

But things are much easier for you. All you have to do is stand out there in your best free-dresser mode, and everything will grow in sympathy. I'm boring.