Posts Tagged ‘Gardening’

“You Can’t Buy Love or Homegrown Tomatoes”

May 11, 2010

That’s what Jamie said when I told her about my list. Well, guess what?! You can plant and nuture them, and that’s the plan. I’m so excited!

A couple of Sundays ago, Steve and I went to a local nursery to buy the flowers for our window boxes.  Our tradition had always been to get them for Mother’s Day — which in Upstate New York (lower upstate, for those of you in the North Country between Watertown and Plattsburg, Central and Western New York for the locals, and somewhere in God’s country for the people in The City) is soon enough to have a large selection, since the danger of frost extends until Memorial Day in that part of the world. Finally, after 13 years here, we have learned that you have to buy your flowers before the Apple Blossom Festival the first weekend in May.  While we were getting the flowers (pink impatiens for the windows this year and cascading petunias for the front porch), we also picked up some tomato plants.

On Mother’s Day, while it was snowing in Syracuse, I reluctantly joined Steve in the backyard to plant the tomatoes.  You may recall that he is the family gardener, and I certainly don’t want to usurp his position!  But growing enough tomatoes for a whole year is on my list, and Steve thought I might want to get my hands dirty in this project.  He was wrong, but I couldn’t find a way to gracefully refuse to help.  I found some garden gloves that Laura won in a bingo game this winter, and set out to pull out prickly weed.

A word about being prickly.  It really is a good defense, but it doesn’t make you very likable.  Just a little lesson from the garden.

We worked together, side-by-side in the garden.  I don’t think we’ve done that for years and years.  It was really fun, just talking, deciding where to put the tomato plants, each of us just doing our own job….just like when we worked together in admissions! I had almost forgotten that Steve is my all-time-favorite-ever-co-worker.  We planted one Sweet 100 cherry tomato plant, three Early Girls, six Romas, and two heirloom varities, Cherokee purple and Mr. Stripey.  I watered them when I got home last night.  It rained all day today.  I hope they are getting acclimated to their new surroundings.

So, I am hopeful about the future harvest and really glad to have the chance to nuture homegrown love and tomatoes in our backyard garden!

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What’s Bugging You?

March 22, 2010

So far, the most important thing I’ve learned in my gardening class is that most bugs are your friends. If you leave them to do their buggy thing, they will help your garden grow.

Of course there must be a life lesson here. Is it that you shouldn’t let most things bother you? Or that the pesky experiences, people and events you encounter may be the pollinators necessary for your growth? Or that you need to take a good look when something disturbs your peace of mind to determine if it is one of those rare bugs that needs to be squished and discarded before it kills your tender new buds and leaves or eats the fruits of your labor?

Oh! and a fun thing to learn:  xeriscaping and xerogardening!! “Gardening in way that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental irrigation,” according to Wikipedia, by using plants that are native to a region.  I just might need to plant some native flowers!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

February 23, 2010

Although I can feel a little like Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary when it comes to bugs and the outdoors and such, all signs are pointing toward success in the grow-your-own-tomatoes (and-maybe-green beans) category (#3).

Note the following:
1) The YW is offering a gardening course for beginners, and I am signed up to take it.
2) Steve thinks it’s a good idea, although he is worried that somehow he will get roped into this project –with cause, since that, of course, is my intention. He is the gardener in the family, after all.  And I am pretty famous for getting someone else to do the work after I come up with the brilliant ideas, although this was actually someone else’s brilliant idea.  I am just using my talent to develop the plan to make sure brilliant things happen.  I think we should all make the best of our particular gifts.
3) Chris says she’ll help me can my projected bounty for a share of the crop. We’ll be like pioneers! It will be so much fun. And we’ll have yummy, homegrown tomatoes all next winter.
4) Southern Living came today and there is an article titled, “Grow the Best Tomatoes.” Directions! I love directions! And they write about a variety called chocolate cherry tomatoes! That just makes me feel happy.
5) And the cover article is about Charleston, which is on another list, Places I’d Like to See. Maybe Steve and I will be inspired to go there — between Jack’s baseball tournaments that look like they will take up most summer weekends in places like Palmyra, which are possibly not on anyone’s list.

Wow! It feels like summer is flying by, and there is still a foot of beautiful snow in the garden.

Hey! I just realized something! Last winter, when I had the cancer, I didn’t make plans for the future. It feels good to make them now.