Friday, May 29, 2015


Spring (detail)      Jacob Grimmer ca.1525-1590

Garden 2015 is finally underway!
There have already been a couple of nice surprises.

First, I happened to arrive at the feed store
just after they had set out all their plants.
I may have been the first customer to see it. 
Row upon row, table after table,
and not a gap anywhere.

There were a few gaps when I left, though.

I treated myself to perennial flowers.
Not just one or two, as usual, but a dozen!
Some are potential dye plants I've been hoping to find.
Others were unfamiliar, but chosen because
they can tolerate partial shade.
Like this Milky Bellflower: 

The image below clearly demonstrates what gardening is like here.

See that little yarrow plant?
See that pile of rocks?

ALL those rocks came from the hole dug for a 1-quart yarrow.
It's like some kind of freakish twist in the law of nature:
every hole I dig produces a greater volume of stone
than the volume of the hole.
I cannot explain it.
But I live it.

Several plants went into one of my existing garden beds.
But five are in a new spot, along a path
I walk several times each day for chores.
Flowers along the way? A very cheering prospect!

A second surprise:
I was invited to take a plot at the community garden in town.
This idea had never once occurred to me.
I thought community gardens and allotments
were specifically for people who have no land.
(But now that I've typed that...
in this rural town, I'm not sure who those folks could be.)

Then I thought about what a battle it is to garden at my place.
My land is composed almost entirely of stones,
with little bits of rusty soil in between.
And direct sunlight is at a premium;
it's always a challenge to decide what I might squeeze in.

So, maybe I should try adding a garden in town?

After waiting a week in case any landless soul needed the plot -
- there are only 8 in total -
I inquired and found there was one space left.
Already rototilled.

Ha! I still managed to get the only spot with shade!
But just in the morning.

With this extra plot - about 20 by 25 feet -
I suddenly have more options, and much more direct sun.
And for the first time in decades, I can plant root crops.
This is thrilling! I use a lot of root crops.

Yesterday, on the way home
from a doctor's appointment an hour away,
I visited a couple of feed stores and bought a few seeds:

Does that look like a lot?
Am I being too optimistic?

At least I can count on Piper to help with the planting.

Lots of work ahead, but it's an exciting experiment!

So tell does your garden grow?