Friday, September 9, 2016


The summer has been hot. Too hot. As I drove home from work yesterday my car's dashboard kindly informed me that it was 104 degrees outside. I'm pretty sure the car exaggerated, but I understand the impulse. It was hot.

The poor garden has been hot, too, and dry. Of all the garden chores in the world watering is my least favorite, but also the chore my garden would most like me to do regularly. Poor garden - dependent on a person who loves it deeply, but cannot provide what it most needs. Tough love, garden, tough love. It seems to be surviving despite me.

I added espalier apples around the vegetable garden this spring. I finally got my Cox's Orange Pippin and a couple other heirloom apples that I've been reading about and wanting for years. I am hoping that they will help add a little structure and screening to the veggie garden, which looks nice in the early spring when the currants bloom and the kale comes up, but then declines into messiness and weeds come summer. I also just like to espalier things.
Milo doesn't seem to mind the heat too much, despite being a bulldog.

But I still blame all the garden destruction - decapitated lilies, yellowed lawn, and dog wallows in the flower beds - on him.

We have another creature I can blame some of the destruction on, perhaps. We have been seeing a rat in the garden, a beautiful sleek creature that frequents the back porch and the ground-level window of Grant's office. I asked Grant if he had seen the rat, and added "And did you notice? He has the most enormous -" and Grant cut in "balls. Yes, I know. Huge." What does it say about us, I wonder, that we both notice rat genitalia? To be fair, it was pretty hard to ignore. So while our well endowed rat is beautiful and I have no real problem with garden rats (aside from plague, of course) I'm not sure our neighbors feel the same, so I'll be working on new, screened compost bins this fall.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Escape into the Garden

It seems there is no end to the ugliness in the news this summer. Police brutalizing and killing black people, crazies murdering police, young men full of hate committing murder with guns on a massive scale, a political season that leaves me wondering how we got to this ugly place, and how we can possibly find our way to a more hopeful, more just country.

I escape the radio and newspapers in the garden. There is plenty of death, destruction, violence, and uncouth behavior in the garden, but at least we humans aren't to blame for it.

One day in June:

One day in July:

New Paths

One warm-ish day in February I decided that what we really needed was a gravel path between the driveway and the front path. The grass was trampled and thin from all of us cutting across rather than going around, and I have been eying the area bound by the house, the driveway, the sidewalk, and the front path for years as potential garden bed. But digging out grass and building paths is no easy task, so I procrastinated. Until that warm-ish day in February.