09 May 2006

she took a leek in the garden

leek babies by McBeth.

Ah, we've arrived.

The gardening days are here and, for once, I have the assurance that I'm more prepared than I have been in previous years. What turned out to be a long depressed winter spawned just enough creativity and gardening enthusiasm that all I needed was the slighted nudge from a friend about her garden ideas to get my own rear in gear. It got moving, that's for certain. The friend, who uses a wheelchair, had someone else helping her with All Things Garden last year was bummed about that helperfriend having moved to Arkansas over the winter and wondered if I might be interested in lending a hand.

Interested?! 'Hallelujah', I said!

This country mouse friend and her partner live, oh, 20 minutes outside of my fine city have a large yard, raised garden beds and oh-so-much room for vegetable garden planting, annual flowers, perennial flowers, rasberries, blueberries, cherries, fruit trees, and whatever else might tickle her fancy. I believe their home and surrounding land is called NIRVANA.

Jo and I have been busy these past few weeks out playing in the dirt but before we ventured out, she had mapped out the raised beds and read up on companion gardening. We want to make the best use of the space and to (hopefully) get the best results at harvest. We both have learned plenty of little interesting factoids about veggies; stuff I never thought I'd know or even have the slightest interest in. Did YOU know that kohlrabi are snobby? It's true. They only prefer to grow with 'like' veggies. Bee-leeve it or not.

Earliest on, we planted seeds that needed the extra growing time and that could probably survive a surprise frost if one arrived unexpectedly: IN went the radishes, two different varieties of peas and sugar snap peas, and two carrot hybrids.

Since then we've added quite a bit, both seeds and starter plants: three varities of dry beans (red kidneys and green bush), leeks, green onions, lettuce, broccoli, kohlrabi, collards, two different hybrid green peppers, plus six plants that will bear yellow/red/green peppers, strawberries and garlic to the 8th power.

Still to plant? Well, let's see... the red and yellow onions, tomatoes, the herb garden (hoping for both a kitchen variety and a healing variety), the zucchini, muskmelon, honeydew, pumpkin and whatever other mystery treats we *ahem* accidentally purchase from that crack dealer others politely refer to as the nursery supply store.

When not elbow deep in Jo's beds I've been working in my own home on bringing up the annual flower seedlings. Using the 2" starter peat pots I've planted enough seed (both in # and in variety) that if all goes according to plan I'll have some for my own flower beds and still have plenty to share with my sisters and friends.

The list of already-growing-in-pots includes five different Cosmo varieties (yellow, pinks, seashell, peach), two Sweet Peas varieties (lt. purple, dk blue/purple), two varieties of Morning Glory (a climbing blue & a mounding purple), Moonflowers, three varities of Nasturtium (maroon, cherry jubilee and scarlet), and two others whose names escape me at the moment.

Additionally, I started the seeds for the honeydew, the muskmelon and Jo's pumpkins yesterday and I hope to be able to plant the two melon in both our gardens. I haven't grown melons before but Jo tells me they require contant watering and she wasn't sure she'd be able to get to that daily @ her house, but if I manage to get a few planted in the bed behind my home I could probably handle the task and incorporate it into my own daily routine fairly easily.

I HAVE the seeds and supplies for a heap more but, um, I ran out of window room so plans for those will have to wait until my first starter batch can be moved out into the earth.

I'm so grateful for the warmer temperatures, for the spring rain showers, for the friends I've made through KD. I'm grateful for the inner peace I find while being quiet, just pulling weeds or hoeing rows. I'm grateful for being in an emotional space where I have been able to rediscover my gratefulness.

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