Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category


June 15, 2011

That’s what I bought my father for Father’s Day.  I acquired several bags of composted manure which I will deliver to him.  (It was a fundraiser for a local pony club/Future Farmers of America thing.)

I think it’ll make him pretty happy – him being a very serious gardener.  (I did this about ten years ago, and he was pretty happy. )  My siblings think there’s something wrong with me that I come up with ideas like this instead of, say, pants, or a nice shirt – but I think it is inspired.

Plus, I love the idea of giving somebody sh*t.  Especially somebody who, historically, didn’t take it from his kids.


first day of spring

March 21, 2011

It’s snowing again this morning. Gah. In related news, I’ve learned that J has a really, really limited happy span in which she will tolerate being dressed. 1.5 layers, pretty much. So after the undershirt, it’s all over but the crying and the throwing of self onto the floor.

It had been a nice weekend, relatively. W even pulled out the grill. (He spent a few minutes covering it back up this morning.) The kids played outside a bit.   You could see the bare ground in lots of places.  We found a couple of toys lost in the snow.  I was planning my garden. The compost was revealed and seemed like it was revving up. Oh well.  (Wow, does it sound like my expectations are low.  Honey, you have no idea.)

Happy spring, you guys. May you have sunshine and gorgeous weather, even if I can’t.


January 14, 2011

I came across the piece of info that real wasabi is really hard to grow, because it does best alongside rivers in Japan.  Apparently, wasabi in the US is usually a mix of horseradish, green food dye and some other stuff.   And me, always interested in wet and shady plant growing, immediately thought, “I live right near a wetland, I bet it would grow great here! I would be able to harvest right off our property!”

To which W commented, “Yeah, right. In 20 years our kids will be watching the documentary that points you out as the woman who introduced this terrible invasive species to this country.”

It was just an idea.

By the way, the tops of wasabi looks just like garlic mustard, which really is a horrible invasive around here, so even if I got any to grow, I’d probably just pluck it out thinking it was a weed.

Entry for May 16, 2009

May 16, 2009

This is a story of a single ingredient that became the basis for an entire meal, perhaps a future philosophy. It started, with an avocado. The avocado looked sort of terrible – and I was fairly certain that it would be mostly bad and only a little bit usable for the salad I was planning tonight. But I cut it open, and lo! It was perfect. So perfect, I was taken aback. This avocado was good enough for more than just sprinkling over a salad. It was time to make guacamole.

I don’t make fancy guacamole – smash avocado, a little lime juice, and salsa.

So, that’s what we had for dinner. Salad, which led to guacamole and chips, which led to tortilla chips and salsa, which led to cheese, which led to (oddly) peanut butter which was smeared on said chips. Which led to chocolate cupcakes. It’s not a natural progression – don’t worry if you didn’t follow. It started out so promising, so healthy seeming, and then kind of degenerated. We did finish off the last tomato, the avocado, the chips, and most of the cupcakes – so that’s good. I don’t like food sitting around getting bad. I also went and dumped the remainders into the compost pile – and that’s also good. (Even though there’s a tornado alert out – which is bad.)

Also added some dryer lint to the compost pile – just to see what would happen. As I learned some people add the lint to their gardens, so I’ll keep you updated.

Entry for May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009

Did some weeding yesterday and realized something terribly lowering. I wouldn’t necessarily want to be reincarnated as a cultivated plant in my garden – but wouldn’t mind life as a weed. Life as a weed in my garden would be almost as good as a cultivated plant – and as an added bonus, I probably wouldn’t get dug up for a long long time.

Spent time today digging thorns out of my sorry, unaccustomed hide. Don’t know why it can take a day or two to even realize the full extent of being all stuck. Maybe it’s just a very slow nervous system. Also got bitten up something good – ah, the pleasures of living right next to a serious wetland.

Why do I even go outside? It’s crazy. But, I did spend a great night sleeping – so the sunshine and wind did some good.

2nd Entry for May 10, 2009

May 10, 2009

Today was Mother’s Day. My second. W let me sleep in a little bit (until 8!), and that was awesome. He told me on Friday that he hadn’t gotten me anything, and asked if I wanted anything, and I replied in the negative. So I guess he felt a little bit bad and did all the cooking today. This was also awesome – and I was surprised at how much more time I had today to do things. So this is what it must feel like to have somebody else take of things. That’s a pretty good life.

I did a bit of weeding, which made me feel better. I have no idea how real gardeners feel about their gardens – I can’t keep on top of the weeds, never mind the planting, transplanting, pest deterring, mulching, fertilizing and on and on. It’s so much fricking work. It boggles the mind.

W and Henry and I also went out for a bit of a walk following dinner, which was very nice, even though it was pretty cold for May. (In the morning, it ran to about 45deg F, and only went a little bit higher in the afternoon.) I had just washed Henry’s winter jacket and was about to put it into storage, and then, here I go, pulling it out again. This is one thing about Upstate NY weather I wouldn’t miss if it magically went away. Still, it was a very nice day.

edited to note that this was my second Mother’s Day as a Mother. I’m not two years old, for heaven’s sake. I just sometimes write like I am.

Entry for April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

It is freezing here. Literally. It’s Easter, and the temp is 32deg F. And windy. I find this is the sort of weather that discourages gardening. And composting.

I’ve been working on this compost pile, in an incredibly lazy way, for the last year. The compost frame came with the house – and it’s a kind of nice, home-made thing with one side that’s removable that I just only started using last summer. I’ve been trying to add vegetable table scraps, and a couple of times I’ve added ashes and soil, and tried to avoid anything with growing roots, but that’s about it. I haven’t added hardly anything over the winter, mostly because it’s cold and I was afraid everything I added would just freeze, but I’m a little guilty about it, if that helps at all. So when the snow all melted, I was really interested to see what would happen.

Well, what do you know? A fair amount of stuff disappeared over the last 5-6 months. Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the whole pile. A whole cantelope (I had sort of forgotten about it and when I opened it up, it was all soft and yucky and I was really sorry I wasted the food) was gone – except for some of that brainy-looking outer rind. It’s wild.

I’m afraid I won’t be completing the circle – this compost will not end up on food that I will then eat, but that’s because of the crazy amount of deer around here. They eat everything – including a bunch of flowers that are supposed to be ‘deer proof.’ So, nothing truly edible will be grown in my garden until I can figure out a way to keep deer out, and hopefully, do it in the laziest way possible. My father suggested ash-water (1 part ashes in 10 parts water) but it seems like a hassle, and weirdly smelly. Besides, I don’t know if I believe it.

However, the compost will at some point end up on the perenial gardens I’ve got around the house. (They too came with the house. I apparently lack the ability to start anything on my own, but will continue things if it doesn’t require very much from me.) Of course, this will be when I get around to turning the damn thing – so don’t hold your breath on that one.

I am terribly excited about the bulbs in the garden – crocus are out and lovely, snowdrops, my glory-of-the-snow in the lawn which are stunning, and the exciting wait for the tulips, daffodils, and crown imperials. I’ve also got some roses, some dahlias which I hope come back, some peonies, lilies, and gladioli. Am wondering what else to purchase – because, I find, my tastes are very expensive. Maybe iris.

I am going to move some of the gardens around – they’re scattered around the house now. There will be some consolidation of plantings, and the return of some areas to lawn. (See my own personal laziness for this move – plus, I think it will look better.)