Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New plants

Newest additions to the plot: two kinds of parsley (flat and curly), "Black Beauty" egg plant, lemon verbena, "Celebrity" tomatoes, thyme, marigold, and mint. It seems criminal to pay for mint. In my experience it inevitably goes crazy and tries to take over the garden in a bloody coup. Once it starts sending out runners I'll need to pack heat to tend the herb bed. A few days ago I built a raised bed by the stakes that Babs and I thumped into the ground. Yesterday I finally filled it with dirt and compost and set up part of the bed frame as a support for beans. It doesn't look like a lot but my back tells me otherwise.

Last spring after I put in my initial plot at the community garden I realized my climbing beans needed support. Walking home I spotted the perfect item: a metal bed frame by the curb in our neighborhood. I watched the house for a few days, it was clearly being renovated and the bed was in the trash so I claimed it in the name of recycling. It's pretty heavy so Babs and I rolled it on its casters until the casters fell off. Then we just hauled it. It's amazing how distances seem to increase when you're carrying something heavy. What was a short distance seems to gain in distance proportionally to how heavy our load was.

There was a wooden bed frame too. Days later I was chatting with a fellow gardener and he and I went to rescue the wooden one. The renovators had placed a huge utility dumpster in the driveway so we climbed in, fished it out and carried it back together. Other gardeners have used the wooden one so I'm happy it's found a new purpose.

With the insane heat the beans never took off this summer. I have some bean starts for fall on my window sill. I have the perfect east facing window for propagating seeds and it’s right above my bed which is only fitting since I dream about the garden sometimes. I've a bunch of stuff started: basil (three kinds), two kinds of beans, two kinds of peas, swiss chard, "Roma" tomatoes and fennel. The fennel isn't doing much. It may have gotten too dry or I may have planted it too deep. Who knows? If I don't see anything in the next couple of days, it gets composted.

I also put in some hens and chicks. They're a favorite of mine. My grandma had a blue strawberry pot with them. Also I remember them in my best friend's mom's garden in Germany. I love it when they're tucked here and there so I started a little colony and we'll see how they do.

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