Monday, May 18, 2009

Garden Daze

Flat and fragmented thoughts, which are what most of my thoughts are these days.

Hub cultivated the garden a few days ago. He started parallel to the road and when he got to my row of perennials, shrubs, and rhubarb, he ended up at a serious angle. Then he began urging me to plant it. But when I saw the rows running at such an angle, it wouldn’t do. I asked him to cultivate it again and run the rows parallel to my row of shrubs and perennials. I don’t care if my garden isn’t square with the road, or the world, I just want it to look like it is square within its own perimeters.

So grudgingly he cultivated again, all the time singing at the top of his lungs some made-up jingle about redoing a job that was already done, and why must he do the same labour twice when his rows ‘aren’t nearly as crooked as Brian Mulroney’ (You have to be Canadian to get the joke, or just Google the name and you’ll soon know).

And then of course deeply entrenched in my psyche is the old adage ‘waste not, want not’, which is not always a good thing. So first a neighbour brings me the excess of sprouted garlic that would not fit in his garden. Then another brings me two plastic bags with a bushel of soaked peas in one, and a peck of soaked beans in the other. And I also have all the seeds I purchased a few weeks ago to put in the ground.

Now I had no intention of planting garden yesterday, but what could I do? Soaked seeds generally have to go in the ground within 24 hours of soaking them. And of course, I couldn’t throw them out. Can’t be wasting them. So now I’m planting. Oh yes, I’m planting.

Enough peas and beans to feed a small village. I don’t pick peas, shell peas, or freeze peas. That is way too labour-intensive for me. Not when I can buy a big bag for about three dollars. I only plant a wee row of peas for the education of the Grandchildren. So they know where peas come from and what peas taste like fresh from the vine.

But this year, to fit in all those peas, I have two long double rows. And of course come fall, the Grandchildren will barely be able to make a dent in them and there I will be. On the back porch, like I was when I was a kid, shelling 5-gallon pails of peas for days on end.

But that’s not all, while I’m doing all this I’m thinking I shouldn’t even be planting anything when the soil is too cold to even step on in bare feet. But anyway, everything is in the ground, except the spuds and Hub will help me with them next week.

Now if it doesn’t all freeze - - - - I guess we’ll be doing okay. My neighbour tells me the seeds are deep enough that if they germinate in the next few days, the frost won’t get to them. As for me, I’m not so sure about that. This afternoon there were snowflakes again floating around outside trying to hide from view in a light foggy mist. But I saw them when they settled on Dough-Gee-Dog’s silky black fur.

And so now I’m wondering if the wood ashes I brought from Hub’s cabin cook-stove and sprinkled in the rows of radishes and turnips will stave off the bugs. I don’t know if it will work but it seems like a greener thing to do then using toxic insecticides that are so often years later pulled from the market because of risk to environment and body and blood and DNA.


Anonymous said...

Wow, you're starting early for being so far north. But you never know from one year to the next because sometimes early is better.

As far as peas, I only plant the edible pod now and use then in stirfry or fresh in salads.

I'd suggest you have a 'pea-pickin' party' with family, friends, neighbors, and passersby.

susan @ Spinning

Anonymous said...

It's about time we heard from you again. So now we know what you've been doing. I wish I had some of those fresh green peas! The temp here is going to be 90 today! Nice to hear from you.

Joared said...

Are you referring to Mulroney's video comment to Peter Newman???
I'm shocked!!! You don't have to be Canadian to understand those words. So funny! Am going to send a link to a displaced Canadian friend of my daughters. Princess Margaret used to stay with their family years ago when visiting from G.B.

Wow! Love the garden. I'd enjoy seeing periodic photos. I mastered the art of adding pictures to my blog, so I'm sure you could do even better. My need is to perfect my picture taking skills -- means I have to read the multi-page encyclopedia they call a how to manual.

As for your garden -- I can only hope for you that the frosts are over.

Roberta S said...

susan, thanks for the comment. You are so right about the sugar peas with the edible pod. I usually plant them for freezing but forgot to buy them this year.

As to your other remark, good idea. A pea-picking party might be just the solution I'll need this fall.

Roberta S said...

Hi nora. Thanks for dropping in. Want fresh peas? -- come to the pea pickin' party this fall. There will be plenty of peas to go around.

P.S. Don't stay on your hiatus too long -- I miss your chatter.

Roberta S said...

Hi Joared. Glad you caught the joke. I thought it was quite funny myself -- the little song Hub was singing. I wasn't referring to any specific video, just the comments I've heard Mulroney make in explaining cash exchanges in envelopes. Hope your friend gets a chuckle out of it.

As for pics, I know how to post them but I'm almost too busy to take one. Finished the garden and sat on the swing nearby and said, I should take a picture, but my legs were too weary to go get my camera. So please excuse. And please keep your fingers crossed this stuff isn't going to freeze, cause I will cry real tears if I have to repeat this exercise.

Dick said...

Your cultivations put ours to shame. We just dug up a corner of the lawn and stuck a few basic crops in for the kids. Now Emma has the bug and is insisting that I take up an option on one of the allotments that fill the field at the end of our garden. So far I have managed to resist. Having just had our offer on a larger house a long way from the allotments accepted, I might just get away with it!

Roberta S said...

Dick, as usual you make me laugh. Gardening is contagious you know. No need to keep Emma at a distance cause it doesn't spread that way. It can't be passed on by others with the bug. But it's easily contracted by putting your hands into fresh, warm, loamy soil (and frequent washing of hands won't help a bit). So stay out of the dirt, Dick, or you'll be hooked before you know what is happening.

Better check out the new house again. Doesn't take much space for a determined gardener to garden.