Saturday, April 21, 2012


Thanks for your good advice and tough love, Natalie.  You're right -- the Zambian Greens have bolted.  Pretty yellow flowers though! 

I'm reminded of all the fields of a different variety of this plant in North Dakota (and maybe right across the border into Canada, yes, Dad?).  I think the fields smell bad, but the mass of yellow is very pretty.  If I'm not wrong, they make canola oil out of some part of the plant.  Dad, I'd love all the corrections you may have to my lies.

This is the only plant that hasn't gone to seed, and I suspect it's because it was accidentally chopped off sometime last year.  So my strategy was to chop all the rest of them off too (I couldn't quite bear to dig them up, Natalie!  My constitution isn't strong enough for all this.)

And speaking of Dad, let me mention that the potatoes seem to be growing, however humbly.

Quite a slug.  (Right?)

I still haven't planted the peas or anything else.  My structural arrangement isn't set up quite right, meaning:  I lost my key to the storage shed where the pea seeds reside and I keep forgetting to ask Ken for it on days when I have time available to plant.  Those days have been few and far between, so maybe I really am just a summer/fall gardener and not a spring gardener after all.

I also want to dump a bunch of dirt on top of the lasagna so I'm trying to figure out how to make that happen with both good dirt and cheap dirt.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Setbacks, Disappointments, and Fears

I acknowledged to myself this week that I hate the lasagna garden.  (Sorry, Melanie!)  It stresses me out, it's turning my gorgeous Zambian Greens into sad, pale, lifeless weeds, and it makes me sort of scared of the garden because I don't know what to do with it.


I'm also not sure what to do with my long-standing greens from last year, which are still producing but seem to be going to seed.  I keep pinching the seeds off, but somehow they keep coming and I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing.  I think I might actually chop down all the stalks and just let them be little again.  How in the world do gardeners make decisions?  I'm bad at making decisions in general, but this trait seems to be magnified in this garden.

Other setbacks:  we had a very windy week, so all the Zinnia seeds Io planted blew over and likely died or blew away.  Back to the drawing board.  (This after I actually first sowed seeds in the front lawn where the seedlings will ultimately be placed, but I sowed them one hour before the management company came and plowed over them with a big industrial mower.)

And finally:  neighbors.  I have great respect for my neighbors and I've felt bad all winter long because of the eyesore I created with the lasagna.  But frankly, my neighbors are very nice and they've stuck with me.  All but one:  the lovely gentleman in #101.  This is the guy who never liked us to put the stroller under the stairs in the hallway on the first floor when Idris was a baby, so sometimes when I would have to park it there and carry Idris, sleeping, up to the third floor to our apartment, and I wouldn't be able to move it until Idris had woken up from his nap, this lovely neighbor would carry the stoller up the flights of stairs to the third floor so he wouldn't have to look at it.  So then when I'd need to leave--with the baby--I'd have to magically carry both the baby and the stroller back down to the ground floor.  It's lovely living with this man.

The most recent example of our wonderful relationship came on the day I finally took the Colleus plants my other neighbors (thanks, you two!) and I had been keeping alive all winter in our apartments, and transplanted them to their outdoor hanging pots along with some new Creeping Jennies.  I did this at about 5pm and it was supposed to get a little chilly that night, so since transplantation can be a little traumatic for plants, I brought the two hanging baskets inside for the night.  One hour later, when I had to run out for a minute, I noticed that the pots had been hung up outside.  That's strange, I thought.  I had half an idea it was my lovely neighbor not wanting them to be under the stairs, but I figured he must have just misunderstood what I was doing, so I took them back inside and put them under the stairs again.  The next day when I got home from work I noticed that they weren't under the stairs.  And they weren't outside.  And they weren't anywhere.  So I banged on Mr. Nice Neighbor's door.  And I didn't realize he's a Vietnam Vet so he must have freaked out when he heard the banging and he called the cops.  So the cops came to question me about the banging but they found Ken and Io outside instead, so they all had a chat while Mr. Nice Neighbor hurled cuss words about me at the cops in front of my daughter.

Did I mention that I'm simply trying to make this ugly little shithole look a little nicer?  Damn me.

So this is what my hanging baskets look like now.

[sigh]  Tomorrow is a new day, and I'm going to dare to plant the peas and maybe even some spinach or something in the dirt part of the garden so that I can refocus on life and growth and beauty, and I can get over all the negativity of my week!
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