Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Instead of Flowers, Rip Up Some Dirt for Me!

Oh yeah!  Sounds great!  We women love our flowers.  My Miracle Worker doesn't quite understand why I plant flowers, when to his mind all the garden space should be filled with food crops.  I tell him the practicality of flowers is crop protection.  I really want to say, "Because they're pretty, and I want to," but that doesn't register in his logical, practical mind.  So I explain how flowers earn their keep in the garden.  My ranch-neighbor friend reminded my hubby that flowers are a cheap hobby.  Her husband also doesn't understand why she allows flowers to take up space, "Plant something we can eat!" he says.  "YEAH! Exactly!" chimes in my dearly beloved.  Well, my friend had a point, "I go into my garden, tend it, take in the beauty for a few minutes and come back refreshed."  Yep.  I agree.  And I remind him of what she told him; they're a cheap hobby which makes me happy.  What more could you ask for?


So the point I'm trying to make is, after "The Debate" over the worth of a flower, my MW started tearing up the soil in the new garden space.  As a result, I felt more happy than I imagined I could over freshly turned soil!

The smell of fresh, damp, manure-filled soil tickled my nostrils and I could not imagine being more delighted with my place in life.  You gardeners out there know just what I mean!

Boulders being dug up...


...and relocated outside the new garden space...
All is right in the world.

Back-breaking work done in no time at all.  I'd classify that as a miracle...

Thank you Miracle Worker!  The joy that this has brought me prompted me to tell my MW, "Don't bother buying me flowers, just tear up some soil!"  His ears pricked up and said, "Really!"  "Yes, really," I said, "So I can plant my own flowers!"  "And all I have to do is come down here and pick some flowers for you instead of buying them!" he said.  "No, because I'll wonder why you picked THESE, when you should have picked THOSE over there!"  Reminded how he can't figure out the female mind, he went back to digging up dirt and rocks...  Poor MW!

Because my garden is so small and I'm learning so much, I call it my test garden.  Next year I'll have a better idea of how much space each plant takes.  I'll know how many plants I would like based on their yields this year.

The cabbage takes up more space and yields less than, say, tomatoes do.  To protect cabbages, I've surrounded them with mint (to deter moths), petunias (beetle and aphid repellent), lavender (repels crickets, grasshoppers, moths, mice and rabbits), and marigolds (deter cabbage worms).

I now know I would like more Bell Pepper plants next year!  One or two plants just don't yield enough.  Bell Peppers stop producing if it gets over 90 degrees.  They need an eastern exposure so that they'll be protected from the harsh afternoon sun.  Bring on the Sunflowers!  They grow tall enough to shade the peppers!  Or use corn.  These, and the leaves of the pepper plant itself, help shade the fruit from sunburn.  The sunflower, being a dreaded flower, has other worthy benefits, such as food for birds which also stay in the garden to eat insects.  They keep the soil shaded and cool for melons and squashes.  They are also said to sweeten cucumbers.  Another interesting use for sunflowers is to let beans climb on them for support!

Garlic, above, is a powerful protector.  It's good for people and plants alike.  It repels aphids and beetles.  Nothing really 'bugs' garlic.  The marigolds are just as potent and beneficial.  Just because they're flowers doesn't mean they aren't workhorses.  They are known to fight diseases among plants, repel grasshoppers and crickets, while attracting useful insects.  These marigolds, above, volunteered from last years flowers!  Weeds don't stand a chance when they are thick like this!

Enough of my defense of flowers in the garden!  You get the picture!  As the garden space is prepared for next year, I dream of the many flowers I'll be tucking in with the food crops.  MW's digging was as good, if not better than receiving a bouquet of flowers!  But if he wants to pick flowers for me from the garden, I'll absolutely love it...really!

One last picture of the mystery plant...

...not such a mystery anymore! 

Ashlee guessed, or rather knew, well before I even had a clue what it was! 

Now that I know it's a pumpkin, I know where the seed came from.  It was a sugar pie type of pumpkin I got from the store.  They are less watery and sweeter, making it perfect for pies.  I'm letting three pumpkins grow on the plant that is now trailing along the ground.  That way each boy will have his own pumpkin in the Fall!

This fun mystery has turned into a joyful anticipation for Autumn.  I've read they are easy to grow (understatement!).  We'll be making room in the garden next year for a few more vines!

Thank you for your guesses!  You made it that much more fun!

1 comment:

  1. Yours are more pumpkin like then ours were. But I'm glad you figured out what it is & where it came from.