and we’re back!

April 12, 2012

Spring, yay! Endless, hard garden chores… no so yay. Nevertheless, it is the resurrection time of year, and we do well to remember it.

Some winter renovations: we severely pruned back the grape vine in February when it was dormant:

Last summer, as you will recall, we began to feel the grapevine was getting out of hand. It not only grew all over the place in my yard, but it began to colonize the next door yard, and it grew all over Mateo’s garden and into Crest Garden Center (they did not manage to sell it, however). After consulting with some of the Italian sages in the neighborhood who have beautiful grape arbors, I learned that you want to prune your grapes way back in the winter, leaving only a few longitudinal branches. I’m not yet confident of my efforts, but hopefully the vine will come back better. This is how much stuff we pruned:

This is the stuff after we broke it down and bundled it up (hard task. took two mornings’ chore time!), and yes, that is the blackberry vine leafing along the fence:

The perennial garden is coming back – some of the thyme made it, but some didn’t. That lovely blue plant on the far left is phlox. And look at how big the lavender is getting on the right:

The tomato beds are finally cleared of grapevine debris and weeds and should get planted pretty soon:

Here is what happened to the broccoli that I never got around to picking, oops:

 

fall planting

September 1, 2011

I’ve never planted a second harvest before, but this year I decided to give it a try because 1) Crest is currently flogging some fall vegetable seedlings that look really cute in the container they planted; 2) the purple beans pretty much gave up in the heatwave last month, so I decided to evict them and see if someone else could put out for me. Compared to my trauma over the potential loss of the grapes, this strikes me as a more robust attitude towards death in the garden.

Having consulted, of course, with Guru Vincent, Guru Regina, and Guru Clark, I decided to try some broccoli and brussels sprouts here, in the former purple-bean-bed:

The bigger brussels sprout plant towards the front is one I grew from seed this spring. I’ve never had luck with brussels sprouts from seed, and really this one isn’t all that much farther along than the new seedlings. Obviously, it was a mistake to try seeds in the spring when they’re really a fall plant. It remains to be seen if there’s enough heat left in the season to grow these guys.

I also got one of the felt containers from Crest and used it for some kale (center) and collards (ringing round).

This is also the time to get your out-of-bloom perennials on sale. I took a Culver’s Root plant for the perennial garden, to give the center a little height next summer.

And a Pagodatree bush, which I put in one of the cool pots I got on sale at Paley’s this summer.

Otherwise, the late planted potatoes seem to be on track for a late fall harvest:

The tomato beds are chaotic and wild:

Those basil seedlings are looking good:

But some of the creeping thyme (mostly the wooly thyme) has not thrived, boo:

It’s pretty close to where I tore out the beans, so maybe it will get the hint and shape up. If not, I have plenty of other creeping thyme wot I will transplant over there. Hear?!