Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Garden Miscellany, Including the Bean Teepee/Ziggurat/Tower of Wisdom/Crudely Constructed Twig & Twine Support Structure

The weather has been warm and wet--sunny days interspersed with severe storms and heavy, soaking rains. In other words, it's been PERFECT weather for ensuring that our gardens are flourishing. The peas have tripled in height since my last post--every morning, it seems as though they've grown a few more inches.

I spent several happy hours yesterday digging and edging a circular bed and knocking together a fairly organic-looking bean tower for my Kentucky Wonder pole beans. Behold!
Since the beans are going to be growing straight up (theoretically), I've sown a border of calendula all the way around the bean tower. Double your fun!

Our first "harvest" (two Ozark Beauty strawberries) was DECIMATED by a hoodlum robin I saw hanging around the strawberry patch when I got home from work. I ran over to discover that two ripe berries had been torn from the vine and each given a sound peck. Jacob and I ate them anyway, despite the fact that they were sullied and shot through with robin spit (do robins even salivate? I'm not sure...). THEY WERE THE BEST STRAWBERRIES I'VE EVER TASTED. Hands down. There are about 40 more fruits on the vines at the moment, and if that robin thinks it's getting so much as a lick (do robins even have tongues? I'm not sure...) of anymore of MY (errr...OUR) delicious strawberries, it has another thing coming to it.

The tomatoes (all 10 varieties!) are coming along beautifully, as are the eggplants. Cukes, pumpkins, melons, and squash are all sprouting in their Solo cups, readying themselves for installation into our wading pool beds. Yes! We bought cheap-o wading pools from Wal-Mart (quick! spit in your hand and make the sign against the evil eye!) that (I've heard) are PERFECT for growing plants like watermelons, squash, etc. We shall see!

Jacob built another raised bed, which brings our total to three. This one will be the corn & bean bed. With his handyman skills in full swing (not to mention his almost indecent love of his new staple gun), Jacob also constructed a pretty swell compost bin. Now, instead of tossing my food scraps directly into the yard/garden like a redneck, I can dump them into the compost bin, which somehow makes it preppier. I will, however, forever and always dump my bacon grease in the grease dumpin' place (a patch of dirt/gravel in the backyard). That is, of course, if I'm not dumping it off into the Mason jar in the fridge. :)

Finally, we took a guilty break from small-scale farming operations to beautify our front yard today. It's a north-facing yard and much of it is in deep shade for the better part of the day--not ideal for clandestine front-yard veggie gardening, so we had to take a more traditional route. After spending our life's savings at Lowe's, we came home with some columbine plants, two "peppermint twist" hydrangeas, two French lavender plants, two giant urns, two hanging baskets, some New Guinea impatiens, and an 8-pack of some rather harried looking verbena. We dug two shade beds--one on either side of our porch steps--and planted the columbine and hydrangeas there. The lavender went into the urns, which I'm using to flank the entrance to our sidewalk (this gets sunlight). The impatiens went into the hanging baskets, and the verbena went into my little seashell planters on the front steps. All-in-all, an afternoon's worth of elbow grease COMPLETELY transformed the front of our house. I'm considering adding a couple of azalea bushes, as well as a circular bed with a birdbath or sundial. The wildflower plot on the "verge" has started sprouting, though to be honest, I don't remember at ALL what kinds of seeds I tossed out'll be a surprise! Hopefully, all that color and loveliness will offset the fact that our neighbors have now broken out all of their front windows (and replaced them with trash bags!) and that they have now taken to sitting on their porch, chucking trash out into the yard. Class act!

I'll try to post a picture of the front of the house here in the next couple of days. We finished up just as a storm was rolling in, so no time to get a decent pic.

I hope this finds everyone (and their gardens!) flourishing. Until next time...

Green blessings,


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