Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gone Hiking!

Well, hopefully the garden will survive another week of neglect and weed-jungledom, because I'm heading up to Maine to hike and pick blueberries and sit on the beach. Yes, there is *one* sand beach on an otherwise rocky island, not that I object to rocks, klinker, or 50F degree Atlantic water. It didn't stop me as a kid, and it won't keep me from swimming now!

Thanks once more to the Duchess of 78A for agreeing to water my forlorn tomato plants. Goodness knows the potatoes seem to be thriving in spite of my neglect, as are the raspberries!

See you all in a week, barring a rainy day that allows me to post from the island's library...but I admit that's not terribly likely. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stealthy cucumbers

cucumber plant..., originally uploaded by Margo and George.

I just realized I have a tiny little cucumber developing, in spite of having been neglected, and shaded by the surrounding potato plants. I'm so hopeful!

What I do when I can't get to the garden...

cable knits..., originally uploaded by Margo and George.

It's true, I knit.

Since we've had so much rain over the past month, and because my community garden plot is over a mile away (I do not have the luxury of gardening chez moi), I've been having a long-term lesson in what can happen when every window of opportunity one has to get to the garden (post-work on weekdays, around other commitments on weekends) - well, I kept getting thunder and lightning and rained out. At least the plants got plenty of watering...

At least with the knitting, by the time I'm done I'll have something nifty to wear. Plus, I'm discovering that they're coming out with some really great soy/cotton, linen/cotton, bamboo/cotton blends that work well and wear well. And my wool sweater will be done (finally) in time for autumn. I'm learning more as well about the different types of wool that are being developed - think of it as the homespun / hand-dyed analog to gardening's heirloom varieties. Some of the hybrids of sheep, of goats, and even of the camel family, are being slowly developed down in Australia and New Zealand. Hmm... a friend of mine kindly offered to hunt down some samples...Hooray! Happy yarn dance!

For now, however, it's too hot to have a big hunk of wool in my lap. I'll stick to linen & cotton mixes until it cools off.

borage flowers

borage flowers, originally uploaded by Margo and George.

I'm too embarrassed at how overgrown my garden got while I was preoccupied with other things, so instead I will post these borage flowers and hope you don't notice! Ha!

Being serious once more, I really love borage flowers, because they shade from that beautiful muted blue, through lavender, to the only shade of pink I can tolerate. Just lovely, and spikey too! I admire plants with thorns - although technically the fuzz on the borage plants are not thorns - given the sheer mass of my borage plot, they amount to thorns at this stage of the game. All sight of other plants in that little bed are hidden beneath all those cucumbery-scented leaves. I can only hope Theo the toad is hiding safely under there.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This blog not equipped with Smell-o-vision, sadly

It's been a complicated month, starting with a complicated couple of weeks, what with helping my mom with her medical difficulties (she's doing well now, and resting). Over the second weekend, I stayed at my mother's to be available to help, and we had some quiet time; we also got some rain - which gave me the opportunity to re-experience the wonderful aroma that the ferns on the east side of mother's house give off after the rain showers. It made me realize that that's what I think of as what green smells like. Should green have a smell? I think so, and that's one of the smells, associated with the evening calls of robins. I should have taken a photo, but didn't think of it at the time.

I have since, however, become somewhat annoyed with the perversity of this month's precipitation. Every single window of opportunity that I had to get to the garden, I got rained out - no, not merely rained out, but thunderstorm-and-lightninged out. Did I mention the garden's on rolling terrain, in a meadow? So - not necessarily the smartest place to be during a lightning storm. Also, quite annoying for the seeds: it's not exactly smart to try to plant seeds in running mud, or into soil that's about to be pelted with big heavy drops so that they'll splash right out again. *PLOOSH*


Okay, so in the department of "making lemonade cause you got lemons" - I have been learning about all the nifty edible weeds that grow in my garden, instead of growing other plants I had been planning ... Photos to follow, but basically I've been making salads or stir-fries from the purslane, pigweed, and fat hen growing in the garden. Hey, I'm predating on the invasive species, what? :) Oh, and that's just one more use for that Sara Stein book. Ha!

Also, I still plan on getting seeds into the ground, and I hope my tomatoes and a couple zucchini seedlings that I was given have somehow prevailed, in spite of the vagaries of the weather. I will enjoy the cold-weather crops (more spinach and radishes - and hey! I have so many potatoes to look forward to!!!)

So thank you for enduring my unintended hiatus. Mum's doing well and we just had a family visit this weekend in Maine, chez Aunt and Uncle; who also nicely gifted us each with a couple of plants (again, photos to follow). Thanks!!!

Since I haven't been able to garden, at least I've been able to knit. A friend recommended I get involved in - a knitting and crochet enthusiast site that's in beta testing. Lots of fun - but addictive! Still, if you've been checking my Flickr feed and wondering why the heck there were so many photos of yarn and knitting instead of you have your answer.

I hope now to return to my regularly scheduled gardening, blogging, and maybe now I'll have to include a little knitting. That's the update, thanks for your patience, and now if the weather will just cooperate...