Quilly’s Garden

My garden is growing quite contrarily! My pepper plants stopped at 4 inches tall and that’s that. They aren’t getting enough heat in our 67 degree Summer.  My broccoli flowered when it was only 2 inches tall!

Everything else is doing great.  As you know, I planted most of my garden in window boxes.  They are absolutely perfect for the deck and I have them out in rows just like a regular garden.

The window box with the lettuces in it has already provided us with several salads and some yummy L for our BLT sandwiches.  In fact, we were enjoying them so much, we planted a second box.  That’s the one you see in the picture foreground that looks like it is mostly dirt.  Just give it some time and it will be salad.

If you ever give any thought to planting a container garden I highly recommend window boxes for your lettuces, herbs, and green onions.  Our dill is going strong.  I already picked some of it for our salad the other night.  I used a little of my fresh cilantro to dress up our salmon & cracker hors d’œuvres. It looked great but was a little over-powering flavor-wise so we ended up picking them off. Alas.

The Transformation

Do you remember my post about that patch of ground I cleared out by the end of our driveway? You know, the one with the 4 foot tall weeds and the big green transformer box?  Here — let me remind you:

Above you see the tangle of weeds and thistle.

Below you see a clean patch of dirt.

If you recall I left those two little rocks there because the 4 year old next door explained that they were very fragile and had to be handled very gently.  I am certain he got the rock message mixed up somehow, but I wasn’t about to be the one to correct him and then have to explain about the broken windows to his parents.

Well, when D wasn’t looking I gently heaved those two rocks into the middle of the vacant lot next door.  Then I got the shovel, the hose, a few bazillion dollars worth of flora, and I created this:

collage

Now every day is a life and death struggle between the slugs and I. I did not plant these beautiful flowers so they could have fresh salad. I bought some Sluggo and it seems to be working. There are about 8 daisies hidden among this splendor that were reduced to stubs, but I see they are rallying. I hope that means they will bloom before the season ends.

Thou Shalt Not Covet …

But I do!  Oh, I do!  Please don’t tell Amoeba, but I have found a multitude of garden planters online that just might want to come and live with us.  That high end planter pictured on the left is definitely making my heart pitter-pitter-patter.  Isn’t it lovely?

I have been having a wonderful time with my deck garden.  Tonight Amoeba finally found a teeny-tiny tomato on one of my plants.  I have already claimed it as mine alone!  Of course, Amoeba isn’t a big fan of tomatoes so he wasn’t overly concerned with my unwillingness to share.

We have already harvested a couple of salads from the variety of lettuce I planted in a window box planter.  In fact, Amoeba enjoyed the fresh lettuce so much, he told me I needed to buy a couple more window boxes and plant another crop or two of mixed greens.  Radishes might grow well in a window box, too, don’t you think?

I also want a couple of matching decorative planters for our big front porch.  I want something that will compliment the hanging basket and the pedestal planter. My theme out front is purple and pink.  I would love to put a Fuchsia plant and some Pansies out there with the Petunias and the Bleeding Heart.

Summer Stock Sunday 2010.06.06

It’s back!  Robin from Around the Island says it is time once again for Summer Stock Sunday.  She wants to know — in pictures — what it is that Summer means to us.

Right now what Summer is meaning to me is
my container garden, flowers and Hummingbirds!

container garden

Container Garden on Back Deck

container garden

Container Garden

herbs & bleeding heart

Herbs & Bleeding Heart

bleeding hearts

Bleeding Hearts

chives

Chives & Surfid Fly

hummingbird

Male Rufous Hummingbird

hummingbird

Female Rufous Hummingbird

Playing in The Garden

When we first moved in way back in February, several of the neighborhood kids introduced themselves to me one day at the mailboxes out on the edge of our cul de sac.  Since then they stop by in twos and threes and speak to me if I am outside.  Today was no exception.

It was a beautiful sunshiny day — something we’ve had very few of — so Ella and I went out to garden.  Okay, so it isn’t a garden yet.  But it will be.  Ella thought helping me in the garden might involve eating and was very disappointed to learn that today was all about weeding.

She grabbed my soda, climbed up on a rock and said she would supervise.  It was Ella’s idea to take before and after pics.  As you can see some of the work got done before she thought of it.

Ella said I couldn’t have any soda until I weeded all the way to her.  Well, those of you who know Ella well know that by the time I reached her — about 15 minutes after I snapped this pic — there was no soda to be had.  She drank it!  She said it was awfully hot sitting out there on that rock.  Besides which, if I hadn’t worked so slow, I would have had plenty of soda.

At that she climbed down off the rock and went off to sunbathe.  That’s when D showed up.  D is four years old and he lives across the street.  He saw me digging in the dirt and thought it might be fun to join me.  D saved me from slugs, snails and beetles.  The slugs and snails he carried to the “woods” (the tree-filled lot next door).  The beetles he stomped.  Whenever he saw a spider he shrieked at me to run!  I didn’t.  I would just brush them away.  And the worms he saved from me.

He would yell, “That’s a worm!  Don’t hurt it.  Worms are our friends.  They will take care of your garden and help it grow good.”  Then he would pick up the worm and take it to where I wasn’t digging, and bury it.

D also helped me toss the weeds and dirt clods away.  Most of his tossing — four year-olds aren’t noted for their throwing skills — showered my face and head with dirt, but I worked on helping him perfect his aim.  Inevitably, D noticed Ella.  He walked over to where she was sunbathing.  He looked back at me and said, “You have an elephant in your yard.”

“Yes, I know.” I said.  “Her name is Ella.  She is supposed to be helping me weed, but she really doesn’t like work all that much.”

D stared at me for a moment, looked at Ella, and looked back at me.  “She isn’t real,” he said.

I said, “Oh!  Don’t say that!  It hurts her feelings.”

D gave me that same look Amoeba gives me sometimes and raised his eyebrow.  He looked at Ella again and repeated.  “She isn’t real.”

I asked if he could see her and he agreed that he could.  I told him that if he could see her, she must be real.  He said, “But she’s not really real, you know.”

I told him I was afraid he was going to make Ella cry.  He shook his head and came back to the garden to rescue more worms.

Soon Marcy joined us.  She rode up on her bicycle and said, “Hi Mailbox Lady.”

D said, “She’s not Mailbox Lady.  She’s Across-The -Street Lady.”

Marcy said, “I met her a long time ago at the mail boxes!”  Then she said to me, “D is only 4 and he thinks he knows everything, but I am 7 and in second grade.  I know lots more.”

I told them my name.  Neither of them seemed very impressed. That’s when Marcy saw Ella.  “Oh,” she said.  “You have an elephant in your yard.”

I introduced Ella and told Marcy that Ella came to visit me from Maryland.  I also said that she refused to work in the garden and that she drank all my pop.  Marcy said, “Sometimes it is hard to get good help.”

D hopped to his feet.  “Aaargh!”  He yelled.  “She isn’t real!”  And then he stomped across the street and went in the house.

Marcy said, “Boys don’t do make-believe very well.”

I asked Marcy if she could see Ella — and assured her that Ella is indeed, really real. Marcy backed up to the curb, grabbed her bicycle and told me she had to go home.

About that time I’d finished up the garden and was ready to take my after photo.  Of course Ella jumped up, ran over and climbed back up on the rock.  I do wish D and Marcy had been there to see it.  Isn’t real?  Pft.