Monday, June 17, 2013

Yardwork - thank goodness I love it.

We got some really gorgeous weather this weekend and I spent almost all of Saturday and much of Sunday in the yard. Lately we've gotten a little rain about every other day, with clear sunny skies in between. Perfect for growing my tomatoes! This Better Boy plant has eleven big tomatoes, one ripe enough to pick today. I've already harvested about a dozen sweet cherry tomatoes, most of which I ate before I got inside. The Early Girl now has lots of mid-sized green tomatoes and the German Queen has finally sprouted some blossoms. But year after year I have trouble with one variety that I always buy anyway, because I love them. It's sitting there stubbornly, not a single bloom to be seen. Oh, Mr. Stripey - why must you always disappoint me?

Our weather also produces ideal conditions for weeds. I filled bucket after bucket with weeds I pulled out of the flower beds, carting them up to the street. I also had it pointed to me that while I love the extravagantly natural look of over-grown shrubs, it does not make for a house that sells well. So I got out a ladder and loppers and went to work on a huge old hibiscus that is partially obscuring the front of my house. I'm not cutting it down completely, just making it look a little more manageable. I also cleared out another hibiscus that was essentially reclining on my lawn, just looking louche.  I love it. But I'm told it looks untidy. In addition, I took out about half the nandina, which draped over the basement windows and the air conditioner. My dream, though, is to design my next yard so that it has very little grass and is mostly big, joyfully lush gardens. By the end of the weekend I'd stacked an enormous number of limbs by the side of the road. But when I went to get a photo today, the efficient city had already carted them away. While I was outside working yesterday, I was listening to the neighbor kids playing with their cousins, who were visiting. Three on bikes appeared to be in the 5-7 range, and I heard one of the little girls refer to me as "that teenager." The neighbor boy leapt to me defense, "That's not a teenager -  that's Ms. C.  She's a GIRL!"  I couldn't argue with that logic, so I just smiled and waved.

36 comments:

  1. You are definitely a teenager....at heart, if not in the traditional sense!
    Wish I loved yard work.

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    1. I hope I'm not as emotionally unstable as a teenager, though!

      I should say I like the gardening part. I don't much care for mowing.

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  2. That's cute...It sounds like you got a lot done and that being outdoors invigorates you. I have been busily not blogging. Will get back to that shortly. Cheers and may all of your tomatoes bloom.

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    1. Gardening tires me out but it also soothes my soul.

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  3. Is that the kid who doesn't like teenagers? Lol, I'm glad he defended you!

    All of our tomato plants must be Mean Mr. Stripeys here. No blooms yet, but I've got plent of lettuce and basil.

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    1. Yes, the same one! I think my boys and their friends just intimidate him. And I understand why - when you're that young, someone who is six feet tall is a giant.

      My basil is also abundant, and I've got plenty of Swiss chard and beets.

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  4. Holy cow...those tomato's look DElicious! There is nothing like homegrown tomato's!

    " Lately we've gotten a little rain about every other day, with clear sunny skies in between."

    Same here. In fact, today it rained and then the sun came out like FIVE times!

    " "That's not a teenager - that's Ms. C. She's a GIRL!" I couldn't argue with that logic, so I just smiled and waved."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! You GO, girl!

    X

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    1. We've had some days like that, too - rain/sun/rain/sun. Sometimes it's even sunny while it''s raining!

      That kid has a major crush on me, which I find deeply amusing. :-)

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  5. I've got Early Girls and Lemon Boys growing, along with cantaloupe, strawberries, a mini-red bell pepper plant and a fig tree. This winter brought a great crop of broccoli grown in pots on my deck. I love being able to pick my own fresh veggies and fruit! Next year I hope my dwarf orange will bless me with some bounty.

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    1. My next house is definitely going to have a fig tree. Fresh figs are a gift from the gods.

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  6. ha. you girl you...smiles....
    i love tomatoes...esp in the summer....tomato sandwiches with mayo, salt n pepper...mmm.....

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    1. My favorite is thick bread with a little cream cheese, some kalamata tapanade, and a slice of fresh tomato. It's heaven.

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  7. I think a lush garden is lovely too. I like things looking just a bit wild. But I can see what you mean about the appearance for sellers.

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    1. Most landscapers are a little more conservative than I am. I like ature to look, well, natural.

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  8. love the perceptions of children. too funny. lots of work "decluttering" your yard from the perspective of other folks. though i have to say i like the kind of wild growing garden that looks like it requires tending so as to not engulf the house rather than being coaxed to actually grow in orderly fashion.

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    1. Me, too. I very sadly pulled down the Virginia Creeper that was growing up the side of my house. I like the house to kind of blend in with the land.

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  9. Tomatoes......with a 50 day growing season, none locally except for motivated folk who grow them in greenhouses. They seldom share.

    July to September I can get fresh ones at our Farmer's Market, grown at altitudes lesser than mine, 50 miles away. I love them, little salt, pepper, some good olive oil, sprigs of fresh basil...heaven.

    Which is weird, until a few years ago I subscribed to the notion that they were secretly poison, used to try to kill Washinton, good only on hamburgers. Since Italy, I'm a different guy.

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    1. I adore fresh tomatoes. Always have, but maybe because I lived on a farm as a kid where they were a staple. The cherry tomatoes I eat like candy.

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  10. Nice that the weather is working well for you.
    Little grass is a great idea. My MIL who lives in a wooded area of Michigan expanded her garden and added ground cover. Nothing to mow at all now. Less mowing the better.

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    1. My childhood home was in the woods and the clear areas just had pine straw on them. It was very easy.

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  11. I'm muscles ache for you just thinking of all that work but I bet the yard looks great. The "teenager" comment is a nice perk :-)
    jj

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    1. Actually, I'm surprisingly not sore. A little mosquito-bitten, though.

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  12. Oh man, I look at those tomatoes and I'm reminded of planting them when I was younger.

    And then seeing them in the future with holes eaten into them by ants.

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    1. The nats don't trouble the tomatoes here, but I have to keep an eye out for slugs and roly polys. And later in the season, caterpillars (tomato hornworms).

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  13. Oh I could just eat that tomato! I love the kid's descriptions of you, I wish someone would call be a teenager or a girl. ;)

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    1. Maybe it's because I was out working in shorts and sneakers?

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  14. I bet that you have been spoiling that lad silly with goodies like cookies and chocolates!

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    1. No way - his parents have been good neighbors to me and I don't want them to hate me!

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  15. That's saying a lot they called you a girl because kids think most adults are ancient dinosaurs! I love how gardening is so soothing to you.

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    1. And I'm actually 13 years older than his mother!

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  16. I have a great image of the hibiscus, "reclining on my lawn, just looking louche"! I'm with you on the reduced grass and lots of shrubs, though there has to be a serious shrub-pruning blitz every so often or they get totally out of hand.

    And how old and venerable do you have to be before you graduate to being a woman, I wonder?

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    1. Yes, but pruning in accordance with the shrubs natural inclination. Not into weird shapes.

      That kid can only see me through rose-colored glasses. I'm cool with that.

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  17. Are you just trying to hurt me with those tomatoes? Are you kidding me? We plant ours in early June, and stare at them for months, and start researching green tomato recipes in October.

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    1. Oh dear. I am sorry. We actually do make fried green tomatoes when they are comin gin too quickly. If that helps.

      Yeah.

      It probably doesn't.

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  18. Our growing season is too short and too mild for most big tomatoes. I grow mostly cherry tomatoes to get my fix. Yours look marvelous!
    I am out and about in my yard today. It is so therapeutic for me to create and labor. Weeds! My yard loves them more each year. Bah.

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    1. I adore cherry tomatoes - they're like candy to me.

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