Monday, April 12, 2010

New Life

I am proud to announce that on Saturday, April 10th at 5:15PM Tanner and I were blessed with new life! Nope, I am not pregnant. I just like to blog in ways that give everyone our moms the opportunity to think that we might be pregnant. I need attention. Besides, how creepy would that be if I announced the exact date and time of the conception of our child. "Ohhh, that's why she didn't answer my phone call." TMI.

Nope, the new life was in fact a bundle of plants and seeds that have become our NEW (lywed) garden. It was similar to a birth, though, in that planting the garden involved the woman doing all the work while the man stood by watching and offering "helpful" suggestions.

Plants and herbs for our garden.

Too be fair, Tanner wasn't able to help, because of his sprained ankle. But he hopped on his redneck power skooter (the four-wheeler he's been using to get around the yard), grabbed a beverage, and cheered me on from the sidelines. While the above doesn't look like much, it quickly filled what we thought was a generous-sized garden. Turns out plants are all demanding and antisocial and want to be 12 to 24 inches away from each other. That eats up a lot of space. So, our eyes were bigger than our garden, oh well. The plants were really inexpensive at our local store, Dillards, ($1 per vegetable plant, $1.75 per herb plant) so it was OK with us that a couple plants didn't make the cut.

Of course, Tanner tilled up the garden last weekend, which was a lot of hard work. I was mysteriously absent for that part. I think I was inside the house doing all our laundry by hand and making homemade cultured buttermilk. Or I was watching L.A. Ink on DVR. I can't remember which. This Saturday, Tanner and I planned out the arrangement of the garden together, (naturally, Tanner had the best vantage point to determine the layout, as he was perched atop his hillbilly wheelchair throne), then I dug holes and planted, fertilized, and watered. We ended up with (starting from the back and working our way forward) eight tomato plants (eight plants bearing a vegetable that makes me gag), carrots (these were seeds), banana peppers, jalapenos, some kind of mild green pepper that looks like a jalapeno, cucumbers, zucchini squash, and yellow squash. Zucchini is the diva of the garden. She can NOT be within 6 feet of another zucchini. Pah-leeze.

For the wee herb garden, I got some dill, oregano, basil, cilantro, thyme, and rosemary. Unfortunately, I left the rosemary at Dillards, and ever since then I have been scheming some non-confrontational way to go back and get it. A normal person might be honest. Ya know, walk in and explain how you paid for your rosemary but accidentally left it at the store. But since I'm irrationally afraid they won't believe me and will force me to fork over another whopping $1.75, the temporary plan is to steal a plant from the sidewalk. But it's not really stealing, I paid for it!

I'm pretty happy with the results so far of our first garden. Tanner's friend Scott will be adopting two jalapeno plants who didn't quite fit. I hope he gives them a good home. And we'll be planting some okra in a large pot. That will be a crap shoot. The spinach and spaghetti squash seeds didn't fit, so we'll plant them in late summer or early fall. I was a little disappointed when, after all my hard work, the plants hadn't sprouted any vegetables by Sunday morning. But, I guess I'll give them a little more time to prove themselves. I'm just glad we didn't plant all seeds, like Tanner's other friend Jason, who says he has ONE sprout to show as of yet for all his troubles.

Another plant related thing (the last for a while, I promise), here are some of the Indian Paintbrushes growing on our street and some of the bluebonnets around our River Haus. It's wildflower time in Texas!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What's Growin' On

Here's a few little things that have been growing at our place lately:

Dahlia Starsister
I got this at Lowe's, and I have not killed it yet. I've got 5 blooms going so far, and
4-5 more buds. I hope it attracts some hummingbirds. Note, in looking up care
for this flower on the Web, I read something ridiculous on some state Extension
site about preparing the soil by putting it in the oven or a pressure cooker...does
anyone really do that kind of thing???

"Rhythm and Blues" Petunia
Another bright flower to attract hummingbirds. This, I got at Home Depot. I'm
trying to spread the wealth. Actually, I'm much rather buy local ("Shop Weatherford
First" is a new motto I've seen around town), but haven't had a chance yet to scope
out the local nurseries. This is in a hanging planter on the front porch.

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley
This little guy doesn't have much room to grow. But if he takes off (AKA, if I don't
kill him) I'll transplant him to the garden. Wait, "what garden?" you say. (Please,
just play along. I'm fragile. Feign interest. Please.) Well, inquiring minds, this garden...

Southern view.

Western view.
(Honestly I'm amazed that I can determine the directions without a compass.
Well, really I don't even know how to use a compass. I just know that our satellite
points west. Cuz even that "sun rises in the east, sets in the west" thing usually
doesn't work for me, cuz I get them switch-swapped.)

Tanner and his dad tilled and fenced this area of our horse pasture over Easter weekend for our new garden. It was chocked full of delicious horse poopy. Apparently plants like that kind of thing. We've also got some lovely years-old decayed hay mixed with poopy that we will be adding to this before we plant this weekend. Man, makes you want to eat some veggies doesn't it! Doesn't it? Bring on the poopy! I mean vegetables!

On the agenda this weekend is heading over to our local feed and seed store, Dillards, in downtown Weatherford. I'm hoping we can also incorporate a lunch at the Weatherford Downtown Cafe, which I've been wanting to check out. All of these well-laid plans might be slightly impeded by this:

Tanner's sprained and swollen ankle.

Tanner's explanation for this injury, and his two previous serious ankle sprains: "I have skinny ankles, and I'm always doing something stupid."

I appreciated his sister's response, "Well, it's hard to argue with that!"


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