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Captain of industry

May 30, 2010

It is hot, hot, hot and so humid that my glasses steam up every time I walk from air-conditioned house out of doors. I’ve been on a mission to tidy things up around here, so after breakfast I started in on the closet, refolding everything, moving the winter sweaters up high, packing away my boots and discovering a pair of sandals I’d forgotten I have. Then I moved on to the medicine cabinet of the bathroom, where I made a ton of room by tossing an alarming amount of expired items. There is still more cleaning to be done in there, but I had to stop and pick up AJ who had gone to the neighborhood pool with The Boy Across the Street after sleeping over there. I strolled along the shaded road and cut through the paths that run along the ponds. I counted dozens of bullfrogs, admired the daisies and wild irises and forget-me-nots blooming at the water’s edge and the phlox blooming along the edge of the woods. While the pool opened yesterday, today was the official kick-off party and a lot of neighbors were there, but I wasn’t feeling especially sociable, so AJ and I skipped out and strolled back looking for more frogs. AJ tried to catch one, but he was just a little out of reach, but he hardly flinched when AJ’s fingers touched his back, so he stroked the frog for a minute, amazed at his unblinking eyes. When we got home, we guzzled down some water and lemonade and then I headed out to the garden.

Claudia, you will be happy to know that after being inspired by this article, I decided to try growing cucumbers upside down. I discovered I had two cheap hanging pots that something I’d bought a few years ago came in, but which I quickly repotted into something more aesthetically pleasing. But these pots had a round hole 2-3 inches in diameter right in the middle of the bottom criss-crossed by an x of thin plastic to keep dirt from washing out. It was easy to poke out the x, leaving a tidy large hole just the right size for the cucumber plants I bought last week. The are now hanging from hooks on the deck. I’ve never tried growing cukes this way, but I haven’t had much luck growing them in the ground. My vegetable garden is a little too shady for them and the cucumbers tend to rot before they ripen. I was so pleased with myself for coming up with this simple and relatively attractive solution. Now if only I can remember to water them. I’m trying to decide if I need to plant something with shallow roots, like allysum on top or cover it with pebbles to keep the dirt from washing away. But for now, they look happy.

My vegetable garden is starting to look like a vegetable garden. My beets are going like gangbusters and I’m going to have to thin them out. I think I’ll be able to place them into one more row — the space where the cucumbers were going to go. The beans and peas and carrots are all sprouting nicely. My two broccoli plants both seem quite happy. I let the last couple of asparagus plants go to seed, in hopes that they’ll spread themselves around a little next year. Nasturtiums, tomatoes, onions and garlic are all looking content. The jalapeño looks unconvinced. And I do believe we may even have a sunflower out there. That would be a first. I think I need to top dress the bed with some more compost this week.

On the deck, I transplanted some of the herbs into bigger pots and planted a pot with marigold seeds to day. I had to move the spinach, lettuces and chard into semi-shade today, as they were looking heat-stricken. The tomatoes there, though, look thrilled about the weather and are covered in blossoms — a full month earlier than last year — as are my strawberries.

And now I must, unfortunately, get back to work. I’m planning a day of parade viewing and general sloth at my mother-in-law’s tomorrow, so I will recover then. In the mean time, I have some baseboards to wash.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    May 30, 2010 7:11 pm

    You will have to keep me informed as to how well the cucumbers do. I will take some pictures tomorrow of the garden and post them. So far, so good in my world though something snuck in last week and dug among the watermelon sprouts. Fortunately, we only lost one and the others look pretty happy for seedings. It’s incredibly hot here today and I may have to water if things look unhappy tomorrow.

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