Gardening Perfection

My raised garden bed is directly next to our driveway. Every single time I drive down the lane (slightly less than 400 feet to the street), I pass by that garden bed. Every single time I return home and bring my car up the lane and into the garage, I pass by that garden bed once more. The picture below is from a couple years ago. The blacktop driveway is visible in the background at top.tomatoes peppers 1

Whenever I drive by that bed of late, I am greeted with denunciations and scolding. Now the garden obviously says nothing at all, but each time I pass by, the voices in my head get louder and more abusive. (Oops … did I just admit I’m hearing voices? Just ignore that little slip, okay?)

The picture at left reflects a neat and flourishing garden. As I said earlier, this is an old picture. Today is the first time this growing season that I’ve actually worked to groom the plot. What was once a nicely-trimmed garden space has become (to my shame) once again entangled with weeds.

On the bright side, I’ve harvested some strawberries this season, but due to my battle with slugs, I’ve mostly harvested frustration and discouragement from that section this year. The slugs rarely consume an entire berry, but take a large chunk from one side! Also, the older plants are starting to die off, and even though new shoots are sprouting, I’m asking myself whether or not I want to continue with it. No one could ever describe me as a fair-weather gardener. I suppose I’m more of a first-Monday of the month gardener. Continue reading “Gardening Perfection”

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How Now, Brown Cow?

About one o’clock this morning, I came suddenly awake. My son had entered the bedroom, turned on a peripheral light and said, “Dad, do you know there are cows in the yard?” I’m not sure my Beloved did much more than roll over at the news, but I climbed out of bed.

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FROM: http://animalpictures.us/cow-brown-picture-id-311

Apparently, the dog (at the other side of the house) was barking while son and wife were upstairs lying in bed. When the dog continued to bark, son came down, let the dog out a back door and noticed other dark figures milling around in the moonlight.

ASIDE:  I need to issue a disclaimer here. I did not capture the above picture with my camera-phone. First of all, it was dark. I know the cows from the neighbor’s pasture … wandering in our yard after midnight … are brown cows. However, I’m not entirely sure if this is the exact breed of brown cow I saw. (There are 800 cattle breeds worldwide! Who knew?) Though I’ve looked at those cattle numerous times, I’m pleading ignorance; in looking at them, I guess I haven’t really seen! Give me some slack please − I’m a city girl. Continue reading “How Now, Brown Cow?”

Strawberry Yields Forever

All right, y’all! There’s strawberry pie for anyone who can get here before it’s gone! Yes, yes, I’ll dress it with whipped cream when you’re served. But you’d better get here soon because my grandson and his roommate were eyeing the pie before they left to see a movie. They’ll be back, and I suspect, will enjoy this as a midnight snack.

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Now don’t look too closely at the pie … in my preparation, I didn’t make the Martha Stewart effort to have all similar sized berries. And slapping the whole mess into the pie shell, well, that’s pretty much the way I did it. I’m generally a slacker when it comes to presentation, so it may not look as pretty as Martha’s, but I expect it’ll taste as good!

I don’t have a huge strawberry bed. The plants I set in 2009 have mostly died out, but I set in a few new ones every spring and they’re going like gangbusters. I’ve managed to keep the slugs at bay … so far.

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Here’s a picture of today’s harvest. That’s a fourteen-inch square box lid and the berries are three or four deep in the box. That’s the crazy thing about strawberries: it’s either feast or famine.

Because I’m not a natural gardener − I prefer the lounge chair or a golf course for my leisure time − strawberries are the perfect crop for me. I can enjoy a generous harvest without having to break my back tending and coddling the plants!

I also have a raspberry bush that’s beginning to display the promise of a generous crop (soon). After four years of cultivating raspberry plants and having them die every year, I was pleased that I could finally coax one of the bushes to maturity and it’s looking good. Like the strawberries, though, harvest appears to be a feast or famine. Last year, we managed to get about two cups full of dime-sized raspberries. I’m hoping we’ll do better this year, but time will tell.

Now listen, y’all. Two young men are going to see that movie (I think they’re seeing the latest installment of X-Men) and be back here in a flash. If you expect to get a slice of that pie, you’re burning daylight! Hope you make it in time.