Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

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.



Nervus Rex said...

Oooooh -- I haven't seen trillium in years. They are beautiful.

We have an endangered lady's slipper in one of our flower beds and I just hold my breath until she appears each year!

Here's to a lack of orgies on your lilies!! LMAO!!!


I KNEW there'd be a bug reference in here somewhere! LOL And yes, that smell of fresh potatoes from the ground is a kid, we'd dig them up with our hands and munch on them right there...back before DIRT became scary.

Linda D. in Seattle

ferret said...

Good day Dear!
Do you need some fertilizer for your garden? Contact me before the Saturday clean-up of SRA to arrange for me to bring you some; if you are going to attend.
Jovially yours,
For the love of tending to
what bears fruits,
Sebastien, AKA Ferret

Shauna said...

I wouldn't mind the orgies if they wouldn't leave eggs that hatch into larva that eat the plant.

I remember those days when dirt wouldn't hurt you. Or maybe it did....I was as dirty as they come as a kid, and on top of that wasn't terribly fond of baths.

I should introduce you to everyone....Everyone, this is Ferret, also a member of the Sackville Rivers Association. Ferret and his son are at most clean ups and such. And he's a plant and bug guy!


Nervus Rex said...

Hi from Alberta, Ferret.

Another kindred spirit :)

I'm Shawna 2.

Bubbie said...

The trillium is beautiful! Gardening is good for the spirit! I can't seem to grow veggies well down here...soil is all sandy and the heat is too much. So, I grow what grows best, my orchids, frangipani, bromeliads. would love to see the lady slipper.

Diane J Standiford said...

Wow, I used to grow all that, excpet the berries. Neighbors grew rubarb..I had onions and radish and lettuce too.