Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden Thursday

Just lived through a couple of episodes of Manor House with the kids, as a sort of antidote to Survivor, which is now over. I think Manor House will suffice. Like Survivor, it's filled with drama, naughtiness, complacence, strenuous activity, and outright idiocy. I recognize myself here - I like knowing protocol, habit, place. Richard thinks I only see myself in the Upstairs part of this lifestyle. Doesn't everyone? Who wants to be a scullery maid? Lower Butler?



Good one, Richard.

I don't have any garden pictures today - we've been out all day and now it's dark and I'm out of milk and worrying about my morning latté and can't be bothered traipsing around the garden snapping dark shots while there's a Potential Latté Shortage to stress about. I do have a lot of garden thoughts, though. We had quite the garden adventure today: we went on a Garden Tour with our Garden Group.

But first, I've been transplanting the fennel. Not that ornamental-mostly-for-the-fronds-and-seeds fennel - the real bulbing fennel. Looks the same at a young age, but needs far more room later on. I transplanted about 50 little plantlings all around the garden, unearthing and doing away with a brick path I know I'll regret, giving some to FDPG who will be surprised but thrilled, and leaving the rest at the top of the garden with the rogue potato plants. I have also decided to brick up the potato plants with the stray bricks I have as a result of the No Longer A Brick Path area, just to see if the bricks work well as a cage to enable the plant to create more potatoes. I will post photographs so you can see what I'm talking about.

Second, I don't know about you but I am all about the subterfuge when it comes to bugs and gardens. My father might be seeding his own but I had to buy them: stealth marigolds. I buy at least 3 six-packs each summer, to place strategically around the vegetable garden so that certain bugs won't smell certain vegetables. And if you make salves you can later use all the marigold flowers for your salves. Or be like my dad and save the seed heads to seed later. I do. I think I have enough seed heads for about 4 billion marigolds. Just wish I could remember to plant them...

I am finally figuring this green worm thing out, after - sob - losing all my blueberry blossoms to them. There might be a few blueberries this year but not many. Turns out that the BTK needs to be applied weekly during Worm Season. Sigh. Who knew that there was a Worm Season? Or that I'd be conversant with the term Worm Season? Pas moi.

Finally, at this Garden Tour I learned how to prune a fig tree. Did you know that there was a proper way to prune a fig? I didn't. Now I know. And as soon as I came home I hauled my poor maligned fig tree out of the soilless pot where it had languished all winter at the bottom of the Heap of Crap (Sheila cringes at her cruelty). Yes, I AM a torturer of fig trees. Hopefully this fig is like a labrador: friendly and tolerant of human stupidity. It had better not be like a cat or I am done for.

Another thing I discovered on our Garden Tour was that I want to grow oranges and lemons. We had them in California but I've never really thought to grow them here. After seeing one of the gardens on our tour I know it's possible because I saw them with my own opposable thumbs, err, eyes. It's possible for me, anyhow (read: Creepily Obsessed Gardener Level). We saw orange and lemon trees all over the place. Heck, we even saw paw-paws, guavas, olives, limes, and avocado trees.

This is my Next Step.

Okay, now that I've droned on about my garden, does anyone have any questions? Thoughts? No criticisms, please, because I am incredibly thin-skinned. I might cry if you tell me I should be a scullery maid. I don't like check aprons, you see. It really would kill me.


sheila said...

Honestly, you are SUCH a weenie pants.

Suji said...

Yes, a question...why don't you like checked aprons? (grin)

sheila said...

They make me look washed out and drab. Same with collared shirts - can't wear them. Never EVER wear collared shirts.

(oh no, I've just outed myself as a total weirdo, now, haven't I?)

Michelle said...

Are you planning to eat the oranges and lemons? They may grow, but they may not taste good. The oranges may turn out sour and the, not sure what would be wrong with them...maybe they'll be sweet.

-Michelle (who's ignorance is showing)

Cerwydwyn said...

What happens to the oranges, lemons, olives during the winter months? Must they be covered or do they overwinter w/o much drama?

sheila said...

You would not believe this guy's orchard! He's got all of the citrus either under glass roofs or in large greenhouses, but they produce and it all tastes amazing. He makes several kinds o f marmalade that he sells at Farmers Markets. He even sells the trees so I put in an order for some. When it gets really cold he has old Christmas lights that he has wrapped around the trunks and he turns them on overnight. He also wraps them up in Reemay. He must have 30 lemon trees and almost as many orange trees. He has a Theory about growing citrus here. He also has about 100 other kinds of fruit trees all growing as slanted cordons: cherries, apples, plums, pears, etc. It's quite a place.

Rebecca said...

I'm jealous.

I want a garden group.

(And I'd love to know how you managed to get to see this guy's garden...)

sheila said...

It's actually a kid group, but the adults are WAY more into it than the kids. At least, I am way more into it than my kids are. They are in it for the kid action. I like poking around farm gardens.

I think he does tours, you know. He has business cards and an email business, and certain times of the week when he has an Open House. You should call him - he's very friendly. A little deaf, but friendly.

Suji said...

I don't wear collared shirts too (unless the neckline is sufficiently wider)!! Glad to be a weirdo if it means greater comfort LOL. We are very lucky to live where (CA) the citrus trees overwinter without much worry. We just planted a dwarf blood orange tree (I'm SO excited!). Does anyone know how long that takes to fruit?

shaunms said...

I'm never letting my husband read your blog -- he might leave me and run away to Canada.

On the other hand, we are actually gardening this year, so I will be able to look at your garden photos with something more than envy and lust. Not without them, of course, just with something more.

ps -- my 7yo just got the Colosseum referenced in the post by your cat. Very fun. I trust the kids aren't playing anything *too* disturbingly violent.

Samantha said...

Can't Richard build you a greenhouse? Imagine all those lovely oranges, lemons, avocados and olives from your very own garden! I really think you need a greenhouse.