Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Walk Through the Garden, May 20th

We have been spending a lot of time out in our garden lately (though you can't really tell, what with all those weeds... yikes!). There never seems to be enough time- or daylight- to get it all done, but we plod along. A few minutes to pull weeds in the morning, a few minutes to tie up some tomatoes after lunch, a few minutes to dig up more grubs and feed them to the chicks (oh, the grubs!) before bath time.

My, how things have changed since our last official visit! When I look at the photos from that last walk compared to now, I'm amazed at how much everything has been growing! Speaking of growing, I've been meaning to spray down that sprawling grass in the paths with distilled white vinegar for weeks, but now I'm trying to talk myself in to embracing it and just settling on keeping it from sprawling into my beds. Hmm...

If I'm being honest with myself, though, there really is a whole lot more sprawling going on than just some clumps of rogue Bermuda grass...

My "bush beans" that have curiously sprouted vines...

It makes the kids so excited to walk around (and through) the sprawling plants and point out the squash flowers, radish seed pods, and green tomatoes to anyone who will venture out there with them. It's thrilling to me to watch them.

I try to take mental notes, too, while we're out there... things to do, stuff to replant, stuff not to replant... right now, my list includes:

-do not save seeds from/seek out a second time this "slow blot" cilantro; it bolted before it got 5" high, which is laughable compared to the kind I had in my old garden. I'll have to dig around and see if I saved any seeds from that gorgeous 4' tall herb and try it again when the weather cools down.

-do not let so many radishes go to seed the next time around... seriously, I will be swimming in radish seed for many seasons to come if all these radishes make it to the finish line.

-plant more parsley. Lots and lots more. I totally shorted myself in the parsley department this time around.

-plant more garlic chives.

-plant the pumpkins in a bed at the end closest to the chicken coop next time, so it'll have somewhere to go!

-no more rocket/arugula. Kids and hubs do not like it (sigh).

We've found a few surprises as we've worked in our garden spaces, too; happy surprises like a few patches of wild volunteer purslane popping up where some basil seeds failed to germinate, or the rapidly growing baby wrens stuffed into their notch in the gate. Frustrating surprises like the overwhelming number of black and orange beetles and their bountiful black-and-white-swirl eggs, or the wild Texas persimmon trees sprouting from the incompletely digested fruits lingering in the composted manure we used to amend our soil. It's always something, isn't it?

One thing's certain, though...

...it doesn't take that big of a payoff to keep us coming back, despite the frustrations. After all, what kind of fulfillment would we get out of this process if it were effortless, right?

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