For the first time in a long time, I'm really gardening. Veggies and flowers. Of course, every time I plant vegetables, I've been heartbroken. Despite the fact bunnies and groundhogs have decimated my veggies in years past, I still want to get out there and try it every year. And this year I've done it in a big way.
I know a lot of people are planting gardens because our First Lady has had a kitchen garden installed on the White House lawn, but I've been planting veggies for a long time -- not always with success. (See above paragraph. BTW, the above photo was taken by Frank last month when we were in Washington.)
My very first veggie garden was a thing of beauty. My Dad and I planted it at my first house and I had tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts. Guess what? That's what I planted this year, too!
I've tried to do my veggies from seed, but I don't have the proper lighting, etc., and no room to set up something like that (and stay married), but I wanted to try to do heirloom tomatoes from seed. These little guys are about a month old. I know--I know, they're way -- way late, and the thing is--the tomato I got the seeds from was downright ugly -- but I like that its an OLD tomato, like they used to eat generations ago. (How cool is that?) And, I all it has taken is my time. (And Frank has had to rescue the seedlings from my cat Fred several times. To Fred, they look like salad.)
The potatoes have sprouted. I grow them in a big blue container, just to make it easy to harvest my "crop." Of course, without a lot of room to grow, you don't get huge spuds. But I enjoy it and it's free. (Yup, I use the potatoes that have sprouted in my pantry.)
I spent a lot of time on Monday working on "my little patch" of the yard. (Frank usually does 90% of the garden, choosing the annuals and planting them.) Right now I've got what was supposed to be a climbing rose. It's been there at least four years and has not felt inclined to climb. It had a sister bush, but it died. I think it's returned to root stock, but it does put out one or two brave roses a year, so it stays. (Frank wants to rip it out and replace it.) Last year, I put a hosta in there, and it did okay. This year it said--whoa! I like being here! and has taken off. I was going to put an azalea in there, but decided it would look too crowded, so this year I put in about 40 gladioli (which haven't done anything yet--and probably won't until nearly September) and six begonias. Then I mulched the heck out of it. It looks nice and tidy, which it hasn't done for some time.
Here's a shot of the new bird bath. (That's my little pot of lettuce on the left, and a Japanese lantern my Mom gave me. Isn't it cute? That's the veggie garden in the background.) We'd been looking for a bird bath like this for at least six years. Nobody seemed to be carrying them. We thought it was be fun for the cats to watch birds up close (kinda like CAT-TV). Last summer, Wegmans had a little brass (or something like that) bird baths and, as we were desperate, we bought one. But we only saw birds use it once--in some kind of frenzy, and that was it. My mother bought one, too, but the birds didn't like hers, either. I drove around for about an hour with the new bird bath in the back of the minivan while I did other errands, and it wasn't until I got home that I discovered a wasps nest inside the base. Yikes! It's installed, with nice clean water. Now to see if the birds find it.
The yard is shaping up. Just have some mulching left to do (and get out the leaf blower to clean up the last of the arborvitae leaves that dropped) and we can enjoy our garden for the rest of the summer.
And I can get back to working on the book.