Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dear Garden Diary

We've been eating a lot of tomatoes.
R's been experimenting with homemade ketchup recipes,
which become experimental barbecue sauce recipes, for testing on our guests invited to Porkfest(s).
I've got salsa plans for the next abundant harvest; and, you know, nothing says welcome home like having our favourite tomato, basil, and feta salad fresh from our backyard since we've returned from Australia.
Garden, you've been tomatolicious this year.

Three weeks ago I saw my first Aussie bees.
lavender, Barbara's garden
Mildura, Victoria
Yesterday, R saw his first hummingbird.
It was beautiful as it hummed in and out of the blooms below us.
We had been standing on the back balcony, enjoying
(and sharing with the dogs)
some beans that have climbed to balcony floor.
(Any stalks that dared to go beyond that has been chewed loose by a dog.)
We were discussing the garden,
and its future plans,
when the hummingbird flew in to enjoy some scarlet runner blooms and thriving nasturtiums.
semi-double blossom
Mounding Nasturtiums
 As wonderful as it was to see, I felt a little sad for the little bird - because of what he could have enjoyed. Leaving the garden at high season makes keeping on top of things very difficult. There were a few Nicotiana blooms left, which he did find, but I know what he could have had - a hummingbird version of Porkfest. Without deadheading and feeding, most of the potted plants are overgrown and exhausted. It was a hot dry summer, and new plants suffered a little stress. There should be so much more still blooming.

I'll take what I can get though, especially the Nasturtiums. They've rambled their way under and through R's newly constructed back deck and make me smile.
The nasturtiums pop up everywhere in the garden, and make up a great deal of the jungle. The heaping, heavy tomato plants make up the rest. Peas went to the dogs, and apparently carrots now too...
Clifford enjoys a carrot.
The tomatoes remain ours, so far safe from the four legged family members.

As for the garden's future plans: they mostly involve finding new and better ways to separate human space and gardens from dogs. The dogs require space, and deserve some places of their own to run and play outside. The dogs need grass, and more than our downtown yard provides - well, the yard space would be plenty for the dogs if it weren't taken up by so much garden. We can't share it, and have to reclaim some clean human grass.
Strangely, our plans are to create even more garden space. There will be less human grass space, which will be fine: I just want some place to sit in clean grass, and smell my garden, not the dogs. Garden photography has been a precarious activity this summer, as the dogs have had free roam while the dog run is under construction (holding all the soil we had delivered in the early summer).
In the end, a new fence and a new construction project for R - and possibly some new tools. A sod cutter will be brought in to remove what's there, new soil will be added, the garden beds will be created and treated, composted and lasagna(ed) for the winter, and will be full of tomatoes, peppers, and rambling zucchini next year.
To make way for a much longed for wood fired pizza and bread oven, the Caragana will move to the new garden gate, and face the clean human grass. To make way for the garden gate the Potentilla and oat grass will be removed. Another garden gate and small fence will close off the side of the house and protect the side garden, currently full of blooming foxgloves.
The dogs will have a full grassy area within the dog run, and while we all love the basketball court it is sadly under-used - the dogs need that space more than we do right now. They'll also have free run of the newly named "dog forest" which will be lighter on junipers, allowing for great for leaping and dodging dogs. R also wants to widen the path to the dog run by moving all the rocks that line the dog forest back toward the fence. I think he's crazy, but will stand by my man.

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