Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Fecundity Begins

The initial forecast was for rain all weekend, but today turned out to be sunny and temperate and really lovely. I woke up kind of slow-moving and figured I'd just roll with it. What the hell, I spend enough time making this little slice of property habitable -- I might as well relax and enjoy it once in a while. So I dragged out the green plastic chairs and spent most of the day buried in the NYRB Spring Books issue -- I for sure need Zoe Heller's new one -- and Cutting for Stone, which at 2/3 of the way through is still a rollicking exotic yarn with lots of good gory medical details, perfect for a leafy green afternoon in the north Bronx.

Toward evening I got industrious, though, and noodled around the garden a bit. Everything I've planted, including what went in just a week ago, is popping. We have lettuce,
snap peas,
the barest hint of pole beans,
and a host of other sprouts that weren't quite as photogenic. Soon it'll be time to start thinning, which is hands down my least favorite part of gardening. I'm such a softie.

I decided to put a variegated mint plant from the farmer's market in next to my lemon balm, which came from the same grower a couple of years ago and is fat and thriving -- never mind that I've never actually used it for anything. I dug a perfectly adequate hole for it, but my enthusiastic assistants were very clear on the fact that I was not going to be able to do it without help.
Plenty of help. When they were done I could have planted a tree.
Never let it be said I'm not a lucky woman.

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Blogger Debi said...

Oh...I am loving these pictures. It's been too long since I sat on your back steps.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

When I close my eyes and take a deep breath, I swear I can smell your garden. You are, indeed, a lucky woman!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Kitt said...

Heads up:

New York -- A rare disease transmitted through contact with raccoon feces has left a New York City teenager blind in one eye and an infant brain damaged.

The city’s Department of Health warns parents to be on the alert for raccoon roundworm, which can cause nausea, nerve damage and even death. It says fewer than 30 cases have been reported in medical literature.

Health department spokeswoman Sally Slavinski says parents should supervise children to keep them from eating raccoon feces. Droppings should be picked up using gloves and disposable bags and put in the trash.

The victims lived in Brooklyn.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Debi, it has been too long.

Chris, it does smell sweet. Well, when it doesn't smell like raccoon shit. Kidding, actually -- for the first time in many years, the mama raccoon decided to raise her brood elsewhere and we haven't had our usual influx, although I still see them skittering around the neighbors' roofs. I think Dorrie's made our yard pretty unattractive to them.

But Kitt, yow. And thanks for the warning. I would add to that list of gloves and disposable bags a shovel -- common sense says you don't want that stuff within several feet of you if you can help it.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...

That is one gorgeous garden.

10:48 AM  
Blogger lewarkk said...

With any luck, Lisa, that variegated mint will be (as are many variegated plants) a semi-reluctant grower which is a good thing because mint is invasive. Cheers,Kat

12:49 PM  
Anonymous lynn said...

I usually show Marc pictures of your critters and of your garden, but not this time. It would only get him agitated. He planted all these wonderful vegetables and they were all growing fine and dandy and now they are almost all gone. A gopher. It's just like in the cartoons - the plants are grabbed from the bottom and schwooosh! They are gone. Only the sticks remain.

Very sad. But I'll look at yours and covet.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks, Miss T. It's incredibly rewarding how much better it looks every year.

Lewarkk, that was one of my thoughts about the variegated mint. It's also contained by a series of stone walls, some of them buried, and let's put our cards on the table here: I need ground cover. Even of the invasive sort.

Lynn, tell Marc if it's any consolation I saw both the cat and the dog climb on TOP of the bird netting and pee in the raised beds yesterday. If it ain't one critter it's another.

6:47 AM  

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