Thursday, June 30, 2011


I like my garden in the evening.

I like that when the sun starts to sink, the green in my garden seems to grow greener. The flowers that have closed in the heat of the day start to open and it feels like the world is sighing in relief.

My garden is my solace. It is the place I like to sit in and just watch. I get squirrels and flickers and Anna's hummingbirds.  Sometimes I get the neighbor's cat or a Collared Dove.

I like watching the neighbors from across the street as they work on their raised beds on their parking strip. A sweet young couple and it is fun to watch as they come outside and sit on their own porch and just enjoy their garden. I like sharing a beer or six with my neighbors and talk about how different a pea tastes when just picked off the vine and how the sugars in potatoes start to decay minutes from the moment they are picked. How the flavours are different from the store bought.

I like my neighborhood and I like my garden.

Speaking of peas, I tried using some older seeds to see how viable they were. They are viable, but stunted, they are just starting to catch up to some that were planted at approximately the same time in one of my friend's gardens. The potatoes have gone insane and need another batch of compost dumped on them. The shallots are just about ready to pull.

The boyfriend and I have been eating an amazing amount of kale and my collards bolted very quickly for some strange reason. If they bolted so quickly I am loathe to collect their seed since I am not sure if this is a common trait of this variety. Seattle has not even gotten close to it's warmest weather yet and they should not have bolt so quickly. Once collards bolt they tend to get bitter so I will pull them and get some salad greens in the ground and that should keep us in salad for the whole of summer.

The tomatoes are short but growing. A friend showed me that pinching the new growth in the "V" or crotch of the main stem. This causes the plant to put more energy into growing the fruit than into growing the foliage. There is some argument about whether this helps or hinders the fruit production. Some say that this makes the plants look tall and leggy, others say that it keeps air circulating around the plant and helps them to resist disease.

I figure I will try pinching the lower parts which will hopefully help keep the lower branches from dragging and the the fruit from lying on the ground. This only attracts bugs, slugs and critters.

The chickens are getting closer to egg-laying age and I have been collecting egg cartons from friends. The boyfriend built a new nest box for the girls and I built them a better roost so that they are more comfortable in their coop. They should start laying in August... Meaning that they are about 17 weeks old and should start laying at anywhere between 20 to 25 weeks.

In other news, the boyfriend and I ( take that I figuratively since I did very little) took the engine out of my Vespa Primavera125 this last weekend! I bought it as a beater last year and am VERY slowly restoring it. Not garden related, but still makes me H.A.P.P.Y!

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