Last week while on vacation, I managed to clean up my four garden plots. Each plot is about 3X7 feet. I planted potatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, and a few more flowers. I still have to clean up behind the rhubarb yet but there's no real rush on that. I also want to add some peas just for the heck of it.
Now I have to wait for things to grow. The zucchini and the tomatoes didn't do well last year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for those. I've already harvested one batch of rhubarb and it's awaiting being made into a chutney.
Why do I do this? I LOVE the smell of potatoes as they come out of the ground. If I could bottle that aroma, I would. The benefits of gardening, besides the food it can generate, are exercise, fresh air and sunshine, and the occasional chat with neighbours. I also get an up close look at some bugs.
One of the "bugs" I discovered in my soil this year was a june beetle larva. These are grub like creatures that are fat, fat, fat, and shiny white despite living several inches down in the dirt. They are in the larval stage for up to 3 years, eating roots of various plants. As I dig them up while prepping the plot, I am of two minds about what to do with them. I don't want to throw them back in the plot where they'll eat my stuff, but I don't want to kill them. What to do? Toss them in the open for the birds to get. Circle of life, right?
I also came across several adult june bugs, but they were still a little sleepy, not quite ready to emerge and scare kids and adults alike, flying into screen doors and occasionally ladies' hair. I covered those ones back up as they won't eat the roots and are just waiting to come out of the ground to mate. Who am I to stand in the way of love?
The lily beetles are out as well and I'm spraying my lily plants with soapy water to drive them away. They're bright red in colour and make no qualms about having sex in groups and out in the open. There will be no orgies on my lillies, thank you very much, love or not.
This last picture is of a trillium. We have several in the back of the building, but what we're really waiting to see is the endangered lady slipper. A few years ago we had 3 back there, last year we had 13. I'll take pictures of those when they bloom.
We also have a number of blackberry and blueberry bushes on the property that I raid. Most folks in the building haven't looked close enough to the plants we have on the property so aren't aware of all the goodies to be found. That's good for me. In August for about two weeks I will go out after supper with a bowl to get my desert.