26 April 2011

what a difference a (garden) year makes

Understatement of the century: gardening mellows the gardener.

Fo reals. In this second year of our "new" garden, I keep marveling at the differences between Years One and Two. Last year, I would monitor Jacky like a hawk-mother, vigilant for seedling grabs and fistfuls of gravel dumped on plants. This year, ah whatever: I'll just replant. Last year, I had detailed planting maps worked out, and worked hard to stick to them. Everything in its place. This year, I seriously wing it: if there's an open spot, I pick some seed packets and get planting (I can also recognize baby plants (versus weeds) a lot more easily).

True, my garden assistant is a year older: less grabby, entertains himself more and I can even set him loose with a hose and a "job" (water that for mommy please--he'll mostly try to do it). And, I guess I'm just sorta trusting the garden itself more. I'm not freaking out about precise watering, plants bolting (arugula always does) or the fact that the cat keeps sleeping on a pot of freshly-sown flower seeds. Whatever.

Current sampling of garden stuff that I am oh-so cool with (that used to make me crazy)...

:: Peas in the roses. Make that, anything growing anywhere I didn't want. I will admit I'm a total garden micro-manager (e.g., moving pea tendrils and helping them find the right branch to climb--you too? I know I'm not alone.) This year, I'm like... oh, so pretty! Delicate pea flowers and fat pods co-mingling with fragrant roses. Cool. So English right?

the garden, year two

:: Crazy seedlings popping up everywhere. Like even in my pristine (sorta) gravel. But, this year... hey, that's blue borage! I love blue borage. Any others? I even water them and try to keep the little dude from smooshing 'em.

the garden, year two

:: More borage seedlings and not-so-pristine gravel. The gravel "rearrangement" is courtesy of a particular shovel-wielding toddler (which I'm also shrugging off this year). But, hey, there's also Alpine Strawberry seedlings back there... I just said thank you very much and transplanted them elsewhere. Nice. We actually wanted more strawberry plants.

BTW, those seedlings are popping up everywhere (alpines are perennials that propagate like crazy via seeds, unlike regular strawberries and their runners). At some point, it might be too many.

the garden, year two

:: Chard?! In the gravel? See what happens when you sow seeds on a windy day? Seed packet must've tipped over. Last year, I would've been irritated (at what, I don't know... just irritated). This year, I'm like... huh, that's weird. Let's see what happens. Maybe I'll transplant it elsewhere. Chard seems to be super cool with being moved.

the garden, year two

Oh, and there's also the artichoke topic I've yet to broach: SIGH. If you remember last year, there were three. We had quite a few meals courtesy of those pretty plants (dang, those photos are killing me). Buuuuut... #1: lost all its leaves and just sorta gave up; #2: GOPHERS-ugh; #3: Still clinging to life sorta. I tried transplanting it to a "better" spot, whereupon it launched a drama routine of looking dead each evening and looking awesome each morning. I don't get it. Such drama. Oh well: maybe I'll rip it out and try something else.

Such is the gardening life.

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