Monday, June 2, 2008

Garden Talk

If you like to talk to tomatoes,
If a squash can make you smile,
If you like to waltz with potatoes,
Up and down the produce aisle...

While I was out in the garden this weekend, I found myself humming along and singing the Veggie Tales theme song. I am really excited about the garden this year. Last weekend David and I put in tomatoes, bell peppers, beans, corn, lettuce, cucumbers, beets, basil, dill and potatoes. This past weekend we finished up the Indian garden, and put in a second patch of corn, three types of squash, three types of pumpkins, radishes, peas and spinach (the last three all in the very shady section). I looked at the main garden, and noticed that the beans are sprouting up, the corn has started poking through, and the potatoes have little leaves. The tomato and pepper plants are healthy, and loving the new summer weather, and I just can’t keep from smiling when I think of them, soaking up the sunshine, merrily going about their business, growing. I keep thinking of the Frog and Toad story, where Toad goes out and says, “Now seeds, start growing!”

On the flowers front, we brought compost and built it up next to the southwest side of the barn and then planted hollyhocks, sunflowers and calendula. We visited a new nursery on Saturday, where we picked up a lovely Don Juan that now lives on the southern side of the porch, with the railing ready and waiting for the canes. I planted a couple rows of basil in front of the rose in the hopes that would be a bit of a deterrent for the deer. Besides, I’m looking forward to making our own pesto and to putting up some homemade red sauce (which uses quite a bit of fresh basil). Also, if you haven’t ever had my tofu sandwich, it’s the best thing ever to happen to a soybean and uses fresh basil and sunflower seeds. Add to that our love of bruschetta, and I think we will be able to make use of it, somehow.

We have never canned before. I’m looking forward to it, both the activity itself and even more so to learning how to together. There is something magical in all that. Other things we want to start over the summer include homemade sourdough bread, which mostly just means making a starter and then tending it; getting out the ice cream maker and starting the collection of homemade ice cream and sorbet pints, and

The Asiatic lilies are budding out, and are taller than I have ever seen them. They have this weird quality wherein the bloom color seems to govern their bloom time. The red one (we only have one as yet) opens first, with the orange ones following directly, then the yellow, and then, finally, the pink (my favorite). It’s nice in that it really extends the bloom season in front of the house where they are planted. The lamb’s ears set off their dark foliage nicely, and also give a low foil to their long stalks. We also trimmed the butterfly bushes and are looking forward to the blooms.

Honestly, gardening is soul work for me.