April 15, 2013
april garden news
posted by soe 2:08 am
I’ve had a couple weekends now to go down to the garden and some help from Rudi this evening, so things are starting to shape up.
It started out as this:
I cleared a bunch of weeds and we turned a lot of earth (Rudi is particularly good as sifting fibrous root systems out of the soil). I have four heads of lettuce that were sown last fall that are coming along nicely, and most of the herbs survived the winter. We planted a couple peppers, a dozen onions, and a half dozen bok choi and spinach seedlings; moved the thyme and a couple of chive plants; and sowed lettuce, chard, spinach, and sorrel seeds.
I still have to tackle the potato bed and plant peas and do some management of the strawberry section, but now our plot looks like this:
Oh, and here’s the first harvest of the season:
November 19, 2012
growing in the garden
posted by soe 5:04 am
When we went down to the garden today to see if we’d successfully grown any sweet potatoes, we discovered we’d managed to grow a pair of red back salamanders.
The one with the red stripe is hiding, but this leadback one woke right up when we shifted the bag of peat they were dozing under. (According to Wikipedia, they start hibernating around 50 degrees, which has been the high temperature recently.)
September 13, 2012
miss, neon blue, and evening at the dorchester
posted by soe 11:08 pm
I took today off (only my fourth day off this summer) and spent it out in the gorgeous late summer sunshine. I did have to run some errands, but I also stopped and ate lunch on a sunshiny porch at a local watering hole and watered the garden during full-on daylight, which allowed me to see this fine fellow hanging out on one of our pepper plants:
(Taken, by the way, with the camera on my new smart phone…)
Here are three other beautiful things from my past week:
1. We had a big storm over the weekend, which resulted in the weakening of a large tree limb in front of our house. It fell Sunday morning, shearing two street signs off their pole and sending them crashing to the ground. Luckily, a second street sign caught part of the branch, which saved the hood of my car from being crumpled beneath it.
2. John, Nicole, Rudi, and I head into a record shop/vintage clothing store during Adams Morgan Day. They pick up music, and I come away with a neon blue petticoat/tutu thing.
3. Susan and Phillip are very kind and invite us over Saturday evening to meet their beautiful, week-old daughter, Caroline. The rain forces us inside for most of the time, but we head upstairs to the building’s roof to allow their toddler to run off some post-dinner, pre-bed energy. Holden and I investigate the downspout and play chase, while Rudi and the proud parents take in a rainbow and what may be one of the most gorgeous sunsets I’ve seen in a long while.
How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week?
April 29, 2012
late april garden report
posted by soe 10:47 pm
We headed down to the garden this afternoon to plant see how our plants were doing.
We planted four plants I bought this morning at the farmers market (three tomatoes and a sweet pepper), as well as some seeds (lettuces, spinach, beans, and two types of squash). We also set some seeds aside for fall gardening, some to try growing from seed in my window at work (cucumber seeds and microgreens), and some to plant in the next few weeks (quinoa, more beans, and some herbs).
Lots of things were blooming:
Our chives from last year have turned into full-fledged spring onions this year and are growing these gigantic alien-like flower heads.
I like to cheat by buying tomato plants that have tiny buds on them. This one was planted two weeks ago and is flourishing. It’s a low-light tomato, so it’s toward the back of the garden.
The sage is covered with purple flowers, even after Rudi hacked half of it off a few weeks back.
The potatoes I planted two weeks ago were up above the ground. I added three types of beans to the bed — edamame, purple, and yellow.
The chard had gone a little crazy in our two-week absence from the garden and had reached knee level, so Rudi cut off a bag’s worth of chard as this week’s harvest (along with a spring onion). This is what’s left from the front bed.
We will have an excellent strawberry crop, which is comforting given how much of our plot we’ve given over to them. I expect the first ones to turn red in about a week.
This is our plot. Looks pretty and green, doesn’t it? Want to see what or where we’re growing? Click on the picture and that’ll take you to Flickr, where I’ve annotated the heck out of it. (Move your mouse over the picture and boxes will pop up.)
April 19, 2012
posted by soe 12:21 am
I meant to post yesterday, but our internet was giving us fits, so walking away from the computer seemed a far saner idea.
A quick update on things:
- I finished a book on Friday. It’s the first book I’ve finished since February. Pathetic? Yes.
- I planted potatoes at the garden this weekend. Fifteen starts each got chopped into at least two pieces, often more. I’m hoping that makes for a generous crop.
- We went to our first baseball game of the season. Rick Ankiel, the center fielder, had the most impressive throw home I may have ever witnessed in person. It was like he and home plate were having a game of catch. A throw to be remembered. Plus, the Nats won.
- Sock Madness round 3 has begun. That means I knit everywhere. As opposed to when it’s not Sock Madness time and I merely knit nearly everywhere.
- I watched the space shuttle fly past D.C. yesterday. A post about that is forthcoming. Truly and surprisingly moving.
- I wrote a blog post for work that I was really proud of. (I love having written something well, which, sadly, is why you get a lot of lists like this right now, because I don’t want to spend the time and energy required to write good posts. This is a reflection on me, and not on you.)
- My volleyball team won all four games last night. We found a groove and communicated well, and it just felt right. It was nice.
That is all for now.
March 29, 2012
state of the garden 2012
posted by soe 1:21 am
I reported a few weeks ago that Rudi and I made our first forays to the garden to assess how our plot was, to do some preliminary clean-up, and to plant some peas and some salad greens.
I stopped by late on Sunday afternoon to drop off the bags of dirt I bought. (No, it never occurred to me that people buy dirt either, but at my mother’s suggestion we did it a few years ago, and it really helped our little community garden plot’s productivity. We consider it money well spent.)
Thank goodness for wheelbarrows! Lugging four big bags of topsoil and soil conditioner by hand from the closest parking spot would have been an exercise in frustration, particularly as two of the bags had holes. (One had a hole when the guy got it down off a shelf for me, and the other got caught on the camping chair we keep in the trunk.) I can only imagine that I would have felt less positive about the expense of dirt if I had trailed half of it across the playing fields en route to the garden.
Nonetheless, bags of dirt safely ensconced in a corner of the plot, I still had some daylight left in which to admire what was growing already and to take some pictures to share with you all.
We have a healthy crop of violets. When we first got our plot, we dug up a whole bunch of violets that were in the middle of the plot, and planted them along the side. (You can kind of see them on the left side of the picture up above.) I remember Mia was horrified that we’d bothered to replant them, because she knew what we didn’t at the time: Violets are smart buggers. They have infiltrated our strawberry patch, and although I do my best to weed them out (they aren’t very attractive most of the year, after all), they know that I’m not going to dig up my strawberries to get at them.
But this means that in March, I have a very pretty wildflower garden.
I have two patches of chard that survived the winter/reseeded itself. This is the oldest patch, which I believe we planted three years ago.
My herbs did well. The sage plant in the middle of the top photo came with the garden and always looks a little peaky this time of year. The rosemary that’s taking over the forefront of the shot was a gift from our neighbors after our potted plant was stolen a couple years ago. It went from being a well-behaved little guy to the behemoth you see now. We lost our lemon thyme (and, expectedly, our lemon grass), but the English thyme is holding its own.
These are our chives from last year:
Yes, chives. Those little, grass-like fronds. Except apparently, when they don’t die off, they become gigantic, aloe-like creatures. You can see at least two of them are going to have flowers, which are edible, sometime soon. I’m not sure if we’ll need to plant some new ones to have the more delicate scapes again, or if these will create more for us. It might be a matter of waiting and seeing.
The first crop of pea vines are up and roughly 1.5″ tall. I planted two more varieties, including a warm-weather-friendly one, last week. I may try planting peas again in September to see if I can pull off a late crop. No one brings them to the farmers’ market, which makes me suspect it’s not likely a winning crop, but I like to try things for myself sometimes.
The first flower on my strawberry plants. If our crazy weather keeps up, it’s a possibility we’ll be able to eat our own strawberries on Rudi’s birthday in mid-May. (The markets usually have them by that point, but my crop is usually closer to Memorial Day.)
And, finally, I present to you my first harvest of 2012. On March 25. Just crazy.
September 19, 2011
posted by soe 12:33 am
I spent several hours down at the garden today, digging up fungi that had invaded from the wood chip mulch the garden uses to cover the pathways, weeding, planting some greens for the fall, and harvesting several pounds of produce (including a squash, a few more beans, and my very first cucumber ever).
While there, I took some photos so you could see what’s still growing in the garden:
May 12, 2011
mid-may garden update
posted by soe 1:10 am
What’s growing in this mid-Atlantic community garden plot in mid-May?
Our herbs are doing well. Rosemary and sage and lemon thyme survived the winter, to which this week we added regular thyme we picked up on our way out of the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. (more…)
March 21, 2011
the change of seasons
posted by soe 1:58 am
How did you mark the end of winter?
I took down our Christmas cards.
To celebrate the arrival of spring, I caught you a few pictures of flowering spring trees and bushes in the nation’s capital:
And then I spent the afternoon in the garden, which I neglected to put to bed last fall. When I arrived, it looked like this, which is pretty much how I left it, but covered with leaves:
(Incidentally, if you click on that last shot and go to my Flickr page, I’ve put in notes on the picture showing what plants came back/survived the winter. We were pleasantly surprised.)
A few hours later, Rudi and I had much tidier beds and had planted shelling peas, lettuce, spinach, chard, broccoli, broccoli rabe, and onions, but I forgot to take a picture to show you the difference. Next week…
August 19, 2010
fluffy pajamas, free show, and growth (and service)
posted by soe 9:46 pm
Did you realize there’s only one more Thursday in August after today? No, neither did I. Alas, it would seem that if you want to spend the rest of your summer soaking up the rays and eating barbecue, you’d better get out there this weekend…
Here are three things from my past week that struck me as beautiful:
1. Way back in the spring, Sarah and I went to a yarn festival, where we also bought some soap. Mine has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting for us to need a soap refill — a moment that finally arrived over the weekend. The scent I chose, Fluffy Pajamas, is mild and comforting and makes me extra excited to perform my daily ablutions.
2. Erin McKeown was this evening’s Millennium Stage performer. Since I would gladly pay money to see her (and have), I was delighted that I could get out of work and over to the Kennedy Center in time to catch her set. I’m even more excited to hear that she’ll be performing locally again in October. (Also, you can watch Erin, too, if you’d like in the archived version of her performance.)
3. As I was trying to get some unruly plants to stay in my garden plot rather than straying into the common paths, I looked down and found that one of my plants had grown this:
One of my plants has a baby peanut! I covered it up to keep it nice and toasty until harvest time in the fall.
ETA: I forgot one! I worked from home on Monday waiting for a perishable package that had been mis-routed to Little Rock and delayed. While portions of the experience were frustrating, I was highly impressed when the mail carrier telephoned me to say that she’d seen all the notes I’d left saying I was home but that I clearly wasn’t hearing her knocking on our outside door and could I please come sign for the box. Institutions may sometimes fail, but people come through in the end.
How about you? What’s been beautiful in your life this week?