Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gardening: Very Funny

"Cool, damp fall," I said.

They're predicting temperatures of up to 95.


Image: By Brian Snelson. Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gardening: Fall

In less than two weeks, we've shifted from sticky summer to cool, damp fall. Not "countdown to freeze" fall, but harvest fall - the plants are still thriving, but without that desperate grab-some-water-and-growgrowgrow! air that they had just week before last. They seem, well, relaxed.

The rose next to the neighbor's garage is blooming - I can't remember if I've ever seen its flowers, but they're lovely double white things with an unsweet, peppery scent. Sir Thomas Lipton, over by the shed, is producing disease-free flowers for the first time in years. L. D. Braithwaite is producing big, slowly opening, relaxed red roses. Sally Holmes still has that frantic air, but she always did have more work ethic than is really good for her.

And the Japanese anemones are blooming everywhere. Oh, and the hydrangeas. And the butterfly bush. And the unnamed hybrid tea.

I usually declare that May is my favorite garden time, but maybe late September is winning me over.

Image: Mine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gardening: Winter vegetables

Autumn may have arrived. Or it may, as I said elseblog, be another of this year's funny weather jokes. But right now the garden is cooler and wetter, and my mind is turning to winter vegetables.

But I failed to plan ahead. I'm dismayed to find that it's already too late for peas, at least according to the local gardening guide. And from experience, it's too late for lettuce from seeds. And I didn't order the gray French shallots that I kept talking about - though it may not be quite too late. And the main vegetable plot doesn't get as much sun as a vegetable plot should, so there's really no space appropriate for any other onions - Himself is OK with shallots in the sunnier flowerbeds, but dubious about any other vegetables.

So for the vegetable patch, I think I'm down to fava beans, or lettuce from already-stocky seedlings. I like the idea of lettuce, so that may be the plan.

Unfortunately, it's usually only the idea of lettuce that works for me. Dense stands of ruffly or rumpled green and red leaves. Memories of the rampion in the fairy tale. Thoughts of crushed garlic and vinegar and really good olive oil. Little minced scallions - will scallions grow from onion sets even in not enough sun? Hm.

It all sounds good, but the reality is generally that the lettuce grows and bolts without ever seeing a salad bowl. I may try it all the same.
Image: By Buen Gastronomico. Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gardening: Flowers I wish I'd planted

This is the time of chrysanthemums and dahlias - big, bright, crazy flowers. I have no chrysanthemums, and my dahlias are languishing from lack of space and plushy conditions. So there are no crazy flowers. Right now, that makes me (slightly) sad.

In the spring, I briefly consider the fact that I'll want these flowers when fall comes. I eye the blank spaces in the garden or, more likely, the blank spaces that I could create by evicting something else. But in the spring, the roses and Oriental poppies and lilacs and irises are budding, and I'm certainly not going to evict any of them. And any existing blank spaces could be used for beans or tomatoes or nice stocky annual flower seedlings - things that will pay off sooner than chrysanthemums or dahlias. So the moment passes.

It's not as if the garden has no flowers right now. The Japanese anemones are in their prime, and they're my very favorite flower. And the roses aren't done yet. And our wisteria is still blooming, as it does all summer every summer. I don't know if it's sterile, or if there's no pollinating plant nearby, but I'm pleased either way.

But I like the crazy. I want Alice in Wonderland flowers, and right now I have none. Logically, now, when I'm feeling the lack, should be the time to motivate myself to clear out something else (driveway, Free sign - it'll get a good home) and plant some crazy-flowered hardy perennial chrysanthemum. But I fear that next September I'll be posting these same sentiments all over again.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rambling: Enabling the nonsense

OK, this is an old mystery, but, hey, it remains unsolved.

I can write about perfume. Incessantly. Without worrying about whether I make any sense, or have any expertise to offer; I just ramble happily. So the other blog goes rolling along, with many silly posts and cat pictures and the occasional coherent observation.

I can't seem to write about gardening - or, for that matter, chocolate or bacon or fried chicken or murder mysteries or any of the other topics that are on topic for this blog - in the same way.

Why is that?  It might, of course, just be practice. Maybe I need to write a few hundred gardening posts before I'm entirely comfortable writing nonsense about gardening.  And, yes, I think that  comfortably writing nonsense about gardening is a worthwhile goal at this point, because I have to be comfortable with the nonsense to have any hope of writing sense. I discussed that recently... in the other blog. In fact, come to think of it, the other blog also got the latest bacon and fried chicken post! That's not fair! This is the saturated fat blog!

Ahem. Anyway. The goal is to write just as much nonsense here, as I do there. So there.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.