'Tis the season for doggie raincoats, it is! It's usually hot and sunny in Central Texas by now so maybe I am out of order with all the "Tis the season" jazz but there is nothing quite as refreshing and hopeful as a good spring rain. I like to pretend it is a common occurrence. I imagine the roots of my tomatoes and peppers all swelling with delight and happily absorbing copious amounts of nutrients. They look happy out there. In fact, they look so happy out there that I had to go see what all the garden hubbub and murmuring was about.
I felt like I was in a multi-patient delivery suite. The tomato mamas are all pushing their babies out. I see round little crowns peaking from below the leaves on every tomato plant back there. The Azoychka pulled a fast one on me. I thought she would bear large yellow beefsteak fruit but instead it looks like her offspring will be just slightly larger than cherry-tomato size. The Cherokee is, once again, putting all the other ladies to shame. Her fruit is large and abundant and nearly ready for the table (sorry tomato-baby, don't be too scared).
The rain has washed away enough topsoil to reveal the zinnia seedlings. They've sprouted after just a week. I'm already regretting not having planted more. Tomorrow maybe. And isn't that how gardening goes? There is always tomorrow and it's going to be beautiful when it gets here. Here's to your tomorrow, may it be ever fruitful and abundant. May your tomatoes thrive and your flowers bloom. Have a good weekend!
It's World Donkey Day which begs the question, have you kissed your ass today? I didn't know about this until, oh, five minutes ago, so yeah, I'll admit I'm coming a little late to the party. On behalf of all donkeys everywhere and to their human counterparts, those of you with even a hint of a mulish streak, to those of you that carry a burden and slog on through, this is for you. Happy World Donkey Day.
In the days before the plague hit (last weekend, the common cold), I was able to get a bit of Spring Cleaning done. My porch feng shui was all out of kilter with dust everywhere, bbq paraphernalia here and there, and old dried gourds wham bam bammed by squirrels. I swabbed the deck, so to speak. Cleaned the ceiling fan, wiped down the front door, purchased a new welcome mat, installed a mini water fountain and strung lights.
The lights were a birthday gift from a friend and a much needed addition to the porch. We're contenders now. We haven't succumbed to the daily grind by letting the house slip away by degrees. It all started with a burnt out light bulb. It reminded me of going to my dad's house years ago and finding an oven that didn't work, burnt out bulbs and stacks of and stacks of accumulation - mail, magazines, the detritus of daily life. When the light above my stove blew out, the memory of my dad's house flooded my memory. There is life here in this house and I was living as though we didn't care about the quality of it.
I'm going to back up because, now that I think of it, it all started a week previous, on a Sunday. I washed my car after years of not washing it. Years. I did it because I thought there was a very real possibility that the grime from the trees had actually fused to the rooftop of my car. It was gray-black and thick. I scrubbed the hell out of that car and again on Wednesday. The exercise wasn't for naught.
I thought about the cats that come to the clinic in filthy carriers. Those are the ones that are usually always the worse off. The owners have just given up; thinking, perhaps, that things will work out all on their own. The pets aren't worth the effort anymore. They've lost their value over the years. I don't want to be that person. I needed to remind myself of what I have and remember how much I appreciate the things that I've worked for. At one time, my car was a new car and someone was excited about it. It's seen better days but it's still serviceable. It was the same with the house and the porch.
It's all dolled up with new jewelry. I'm still playing with Photoshop so please bear with me through this stage of unconventional photo processing. Ironically, using Photoshop doesn't make me want to take more photos, it makes me want to start painting.
Her wings were still new to her. She tried so desperately to escape the far corner of the coop that she gave the appearance of having been injured. I lifted her gently, checking each of her fragile parts - legs, neck, wings - then placed her into the
quarantine kennel where she sat atop the straw, blinking and stunned. She rested and gathered her resolve. When I unlatched the door next, she judged the opening correctly and quickly flew past me, the tip of her wing brushing my cheek ever so lightly as she lit upward. She kept aloft at
about shoulder height, enough to make it into the criss-crossed
branches of the trees where she rested again for a brief moment before moving
Sunday, April 28th. We want to remember that date. It's the day that I planted the watermelon seeds in the center of the big bed. It was a risky endeavor, one that I didn't take lightly. I planted the Moon & Stars variety last year to great disappointment. We didn't get a single good watermelon. I think only three formed and one was edible. At least the chickens found it edible.
The thing about watermelons is that they take up space, both in the garden and in the shopping cart. They demand it. Have you ever had one of those things rolling around in your cart as you navigate through the market threatening to crush the bread? You have to anchor it between a half gallon of milk and the toilet paper.
As far as space goes, I have little of it to give away. I went back and forth this year whether to plant the melons in the big bed and forego the squash or give the melons an entire 4x4 to themselves. Two years ago I grew cantaloupe in a 4x4, the one nearest the house. The cantaloupe vine grew beautifully and the melons were delicious. I am hoping that these little Sugar Babies produce at least one unforgettable summer melon.
Decision making in the garden never gets easier, no matter how many springs and summers come to pass. I still have a 4x4 reserved for either cucumbers or basil. I'm leaning towards basil with a few zinnias planted in the center for height. But that means just saying no to pumpkin and zucchini and eggplant. I need more space which means I need a tiller or a stronger back. I need to dig and sift and amend. It's a lot like life, the garden. Work it out there, in your garden beds, and your good to go.