Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garden Update -- posted by Mom

I don't know why this picture turned out so light and dry-looking, because the garden is currently a luscious green, not the crackly brown thing we end up with in August. Maybe once this is posted and can be clicked to enlarge it'll show up better. This picture also showcases the great job James did (leading the little boys) by cutting down and stripping tall saplings to stake more awesome pinwheels from the dollar store. Oh my gosh just the sight of them spinning makes me not only psychologically cooler, but also makes me feel like I'm at some kind of crazy-fun carnival garden!

This picture shows part of the container garden we planted in food grade buckets. Most of the buckets were free from restaurants and also Walmart and Sam's bakeries. We have a couple from Lowes that are food grade which cost about $4 but we like the price of the free ones better. Plus those from the bakeries smell like butter cream icing! They smell much better than that icing tastes actually.

James and Spencer made this huge, sturdy trellis since we are growing squash, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, cantaloupes, and honeydew vertically this year. Even though I've seen videos of folks growing watermelons vertically, I chickened out and planted them to spread out in the back garden.

We mulched our garden this year by laying down wet sections of various business journals and The Wall Street Journal (from guess who), and also USA Today (from the hotel Guess Who stays at on business trips), positioning them on the sides of the rows.  Then we spread straw over them to hold them down. We're experimenting with different organic methods, and no, they no longer put metalics or toxins in the ink... perfectly safe, and it breaks down to compost fairly quickly. We had one copy of Free Times (local pinko rag found in discarded newspapers) and I'm keeping my eye on those poor beans. 


Macchiato-ing it up.


This is the vining red-stem Malabar spinach we bought at the zoo plant sale.  It's one of the few leafy greens we can grow in our hot climate during the summer.  We also have the regular green stem.

Mrs. Derrick taught us how to easily turn compost-- just let the chickens do it for you!  When all of them are in there together they scratch and dig like mad.  She said we'll have compost in a couple of weeks with this method.

Here's George, our tongue model, demonstrating how rich with pigment black violas are.  Despite the bottom picture, they don't taste bad at all-- he's just hamming it up.

John The Garden Slave can be seen slaving away.

This is a papyrus we bought at the plant sale at the zoo.  It's not edible; we just bought it for fun since we've studied it in our ancient history studies.  It is an annual here unless you bring it in during cold weather so that's why we have it in a pot.  To propagate it, you just snip off that Dr. Seuss-looking pom-pom when it bends over like in the bottom photo, and then just plop it in some water head first.

Here are some more edibles.  These are mixed impatiens with a rainbow of pigments.

Here's one of our julep gardens.  This is sweet mint, I think.  The chicken wire is to keep the cats from using the bed for a litter box.  As the plants spread, we remove the wire.  It's placed in there in removable pieces.

This is peppermint.  We also have chocolate mint, orange mint, and spearmint.  They shouldn't be planted together or they will cancel out each other's flavors.  That's why I said julep gardens, plural.  They are everywhere!  I can't find pineapple mint though... in case anybody needs a Mother's Day tip.

Many thanks to poor Sarah Grace who took the photos but also crashed her computer in the process... or better said, experienced a computer crash while dealing with my photo request.  Sally Girl, you may have my computer while Will fixes yours, or until we get you a new one if he can't. :*(  I feel just awful about it.  Maybe I should go for a stroll in my CRAZY-HAPPY PINWHEEL GARDEN!

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