Gotta Garden

Monday, April 30, 2012

Food! And a bit of Wildlife...

(Is anyone besides me having trouble with this new Blogger stuff?? Yikes.)

First, if you don't grow lettuce in spring, I must nag you (again).  Just do it, okay?  Trust me on this.  Until you eat freshly picked lettuce, you just don't know.  Sigh.  I hear corn is like this, but I'm not growing corn (for lots of reasons).  Anyway...

The lettuce pictured below is some from the third time I have gathered lettuce.  What's left there is after I filled two gallon bags to give to two people.  And, today, I could pick some more.  This will go on until the heat sets in...and then, well, lettuce bolts (goes to seed) as heat is not its thing.  

Garlic, how do I love thee?  Oh my.  Today I harvested two more very early varieties, Blossom and Xian. These very early ones have certainly performed for me this year.  Don't know if or how much this mild winter contributed to this.  

Happy is me. See garlic, see me smile...



Blossom in its unwashed, freshly dug state and then cleaned up a bit.


And, Xian, still dirty and then less dirty.  See, one thing I am especially enjoying is that I have managed with these very earlies (and Chinese Pink) to get them out of the ground before they have shed most of their layers.  Cleaning has never been easier, as I just take a wrapper off and shake a little.  That explains, by the way, the color difference.  That brighter colored layer was removed.  

Did I say I was happy about the garlic??  :)

We pause briefly here to check in with Rudy.  He had surgery last Thursday and has been recovering.  He thinks he is ready for much more activity, but we're (me) following the doctor's orders and he's resting...

Before I got on with it....I'm so excited!  Yesterday (early evening) I was making a tiny bit of progress with some weeding on the south side of my house (hint:  south=warmer) when I discovered a daylily blooming!  Yes!  It was too late (low light) to take a picture, besides I have too much pride to show that many weeds.  But, it was!  And, it looks like it has three scapes!  It's Firestarter.....

(From the AHS database)

Firestarter (Murphy-J.P., 2005)
height 48", bloom 6.75", season EE, Rebloom, Dormant, Diploid, 24 buds, 3 branches,  Red with darker watermark above gold green heart throat. (sdlg × sdlg)
 Which, as you'll note is an EE (extra early)...but, never, never never (nevah!) have I had a daylily, a regular daylily bloom in April!  A first.  Now, here's the thing.  I have this particular daylily in another area and guess what...yup, (or is that yep?) no scapes that I saw.   Curious, no?  

Whatever...we'll take it (it even beats a Florida daylily that's scaping on FL time...).


Okay, because I am feeling particularly blog-gy, I have a little bit more for you.  Not for the squeamish.  You've been warned.

A few days ago, I spied these enormous birds just down the street from the street.  I'm guessing they are buzzards (someone will probably tell me otherwise, if so, which is great).  They let me get within one house of them and then they took off...but not too far (into a tree) so they could go back to their find after I left....


That's my attempt at trying to get them into the same picture.  The one on the left was acting as a guard, sort of, and was the first to fly away.

There's (above) two views of the feasting on....squirrel, if you wanted to know.  Which is fine with me.  The less squirrels around to dig in my garden, the better.

This would be (above) the partner.  Not hungry, I suppose.

And, now my brave brave companions...who only ventured down to check things out when the birds flew away.  Which was probably wise.  They were rather large birds, after all.

Leo, being camera shy (get me from my best side....which he must think is behind...haha)...

And, Sam...who I imagine is saying "I prefer to get my own.  The chase is half the fun."  

Sam story (and then I will go)....Yesterday, DH hears Sam at the front door.  He opens the front door...and there, along with Sam, is a rabbit placed directly in the center of the mat.  Sam comes inside, but only for a brief time, as he wants back care of his prize.  He only wanted DH to know what he done!  Haha.  Such a great hunter.  And, yea, for one less plant-eating varmint in my yard.  

Only people who don't seriously garden (in my opinion) can tolerate all those critters whose only purpose is to eat and destroy your garden.  Because that is their, you have to decide...which team you'll be on.  Garden or No Garden.  It's that whole cycle of life thing. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

First of the Garlic

With this early-everything Spring we have going on, it's no surprise that the early garlic is indeed early.  Chinese Pink is below in its just-out-of-the-garden stage and then cleaned up.

A couple days ago, I dug one to see and thought it was near perfect.  It's currently in use in the kitchen and will be joined by a cleaned up one.  The rest are already downstairs resting on newspaper to finish drying.

There are two other very early varieties that I need to keep checking on, but I think they can wait a bit longer.  Hope I'm not wrong, as I would love to duplicate my success.  

In an ordinary year (whatever that really is), I would probably expect Chinese Pink to be ready in May.  It seems to be moving along the same track as everything else, a good two-three weeks early.

This is my first attempt with all the new google-ness.  I'm not sure what I think.  These things are never intuitive to me.  

While it may seem like I've forgotten all the other spring goodies, I really haven't.  Life refuses to stand still (ha) fact, it seems to have hit warp speed and I'm still shuffling along, seemingly always in a catch up sort of phase.   And, gosh there's so much to catch up on.  

And what we really want to know is that nope, no daylily scapes yet.  Although, I'm confident they'll be early, too.  I do have two with scapes, but they are Florida imports, doing their Florida thing.  Today, they're probably wondering where the heck they are with this cold front going through (no snow, though...thankfully).  

Daylily season will be different here this year.  We can credit Rudy.  The backyard is now The Kingdom of Rudy.  Everything there (and there's a lot) is at risk as he does his Rudy-thing (digging, sitting, eating, etc.).  

(Rudy, after a particularly vigorous digging session...and no, he cannot come inside looking like that.)

After I picked myself up from the shock of it all (so many wonderful years of wonderful dogs who were...wonderful), I am adjusting to the new reality.  What will be and all that.  Life moves on.  

To say it has been an adjustment is an understatement.  If I were to be totally honest (what fun is that), I would admit that the garden was way too big (for me and for this lot).  I guess I just thought I would have more say in things (grin).  However, it is a race to save things and find spots for things and well, I move at a slower pace than I seem to recall...or something.

So...we'll see what shakes out.  Rudy needs a backyard, a regular backyard.  He won't get exactly that for a while, but with his efforts and mine, over time it will become the total Rudy Zone.  

Stay tuned...what will survive...what will get moved...what has already disappeared...these questions and more...might get answered...maybe...(kidding, sort of)...

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