Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gardens gone by...

It is has been so many years since I had a garden and then beyond that a garden that was actually productive.  Have I changed?  Have my methods changed?  Both?  Who knows?  All I can say is that this garden holds the promise of time well spent.  I always loved gardens and admired those who could make things grow.  When I was little, my mother had tomatoes.  They were big and red and beautiful but I wouldn't eat them...yuck!  Luckily, my taste buds have changed over the years.  She said her dad (my Grandpa Claude) grew the most beautiful Big Boy tomatoes (I don't see that variety anymore) but hers seemed pretty wonderful to me.  That year though, the birds were getting in her garden and eating them up before they matured.  As you can imagine, she was not happy.  I was probably four or five and watched a lot of cartoons and then The Wizard of Oz and would see scarecrows out in cornfields to chase off the birds.  I decided to help my mother and make a scarecrow for her.  I didn't have any wood so I used yardsticks and made a sort of stick figure then stapled (I think, although I had issues with staple guns...that's another story) a paper scarecrow on to the yardsticks, stuck it in her tomato patch and proudly told her that my scarecrow would chase the birds off.  I'm sure she thought it was cute so left the yardsticks in her garden to humor me but it actually worked and the birds stayed away!  She ended up with lots of tomatoes...none that I would eat, of course, but I liked that I had a part in keeping that garden growing.  That is my first fond memory of gardening and I'm glad that it happened to be with my mother.

This past week was mulching week.  Grass clippings from the lawn went onto the beds.  All around the tomatoes and in between the rows of green.  Whoa!  Did things take off!  Some of the tomato plants already have fruit.  The radishes (first picture) have bushy greens.  The carrots required another thinning.  The cucumber and the squashes are vining and have blossoms.  I think I will be harvesting baby arugula in the next couple of weeks...can't wait!

The beets are a little slower to grow.  They probably would do a lot better if I could keep the critters from running through them.  I may have to fire Hooty, he is present but not consistent so yardsticks and staple gun may be next!   And we can't finish without a look or two at the tomatoes and a peek at the herbs.  See you next week!

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