Friday, March 26, 2010

herbs, radio flyers, and gnomes

Last weekend Mommy and Daddy left me at home Saturday morning. I don't know where they went but I was so glad when they came home. 
"Spending time with MommyDaddy is my favorite!" -Zoë
After a really interesting class (Native Nurseries's Annual Herb class) I realized why some of our herbs didn't make it last year: mostly because they don't all want FULL full sun and not all herbs live past the season. Class Highlights: 
  • basil is an annual plant and it's mission every year is to produce seeds for it to survive (your mission is to not let it seed until you've had your fill of basil for the year/season)
  • chives need partial shade
  • rosemary is a perennial but unlike basil it doesn't like a lot of water
  • lavender can be grown in Tallahassee rather well in planters (or so we were told)
  • Pesto is soooooooo yummy (there was a taste test portion to the class)
With this year being so all over the place in terms of weather Tallahassee's plants are confused and behind schedule. All herbs were available after the class, except for basil. Supposedly they'll be ready in April. Maybe Zoë will buy me some basil plants for my birthday then. All the same we left with a new funky pot and a rosemary plant that we hope to have for years to come.

We were told Rosemary doesn't like getting it's roots wet and loves full sun. Here's hoping the rosemary will be happy perched atop of our bench on the deck. (If not we'll just move it somewhere else.)

Radio Flyers
After planting our seeds in our rows made with love and sweat we had left over seeds. Waiting in line to check in at our herb class I happen on something wonderful looking: little individual planters for seeds. You know, the ones you buy seedlings from at the major chain stores. The kind of container you plant in the ground with the baby plant, that degrades in to the soil as the plant grows. (Well that's what's in the baby Radio Flyer. It's serving as a planter/tray to help keep it moist and look cool!) Since I'm not going to hold my breath for our planted seeds to take off I figured I'd give that a shot too. So I used 2 of the trays and planted extra squash (okay a lot of extra squash, an entire additional tray extra), a few extra watermelon seeds, and some wildflowers. Oh, when we bought seeds I also bought a container of wildflower seeds. The original goal had been to try to plant wildflowers in the "untamed" areas of the yard. After digging up and raking a teeny tinny little itty bitty area of the "good" part of the "untamed" area I realized I would not be doing this to the rest of the "untamed" area. So instead I hope to fill my tire planters with wildflowers (from seed).  

Oh and in the back of this picture you can see a bit of the "untamed" area of the yard. You just don't know what you'll find there, it's like another world. Not really, it's not literally something out of the "Journey to the center of the earth" or anything. But there are lots of weeds, a lot of bugs, wild (I'm guessing poisonous mushrooms), a dead tree trunk that's been here since before we moved in (guess our landlord just never got to removing it), huge fire ant colonies, and other fun things. Yeah, that's another reason I'm going to try to claim the "untamed" parts of the yard. 
Our yard/garden has a gnome that greets you when you enter, does your yard have one?
On a much brighter note this week Zoë's grandmother (my Mom) send a care package. There were a lot of goodies in that big box: several Lucky brand jeans a friend was angelic enough to gift to me (I am NOT above hand me downs for expensive and well made clothes!), St. Patty's day decorations for next year, some Easter/Spring goodies (including chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies for the girls at work), and this adorable little fellow.

Coming soon eventually
Maybe coming next week/weekend: something to fill this bad boy with. Zoë's Daddy built me this (what a great boyfriend) the end of last summer. It didn't quite work out as originally designed and so it sat empty on our porch, near the firewood. We had no thoughts of burning it during those cold winter nights. Instead I thought: 'What can I use it for!?! ' 

After working so hard to reclaim our patch of gardening space from the fire ant invasion of 2009 (well really they came in and took over parts of the yard, including the eggplant plants, and I was too chicken to do anything about it and try to run them off) I knew what to do. Our eggplants (probably Japanese eggplants, like last year's attempt) will be grown in this beautiful container made from recycled (aka also free) wood! You know what they say: one man's trash is another man's treasure. Well one man's bad wood is our planter box! I haven't decided what else to put in this thing though. Our garden so far has: strawberries, rosemary, pumpkins (for fall of course), summer squash (some more summer squash), watermelons,  tomatoes, and sunflowers. There are plans for at least 2 (maybe 3) eggplants in this, but what else? While this is a large planter I know it's not that large so I don't want to crowd things. But I'm just at a bit of a loss. Should I plant another variety of tomato? What about putting in some basil, maybe some sweet basil and some purple basil? Some basil and something else? Eek!

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