Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Gardening Sunday

The Barn Garden, which is not mentioned in this post. My pictures tend to be irrelevant.

On Sunday I woke up early and started mulching the enormous bed we’re creating on the south side of the front yard. We’ve been building this bed for about two years—that’s how huge it is. We put down layers of newspaper to kill the grass and weeds, and then we top the newspaper with shredded wood mulch that I order from Britt’s Dump Truck Service. I’ve had to order load after load.

The bed (I call it the Southside Bed) is in a pretty dry, sandy, shady spot. When we first moved in, it was a jungle of invasive plants—camphor, Old World climbing fern, and wisteria. We’ve cleared the area over and over, but the invasives keep coming back. We plan to keep on cutting and clearing until they give up, until we wear them out.

On Sunday morning I was cutting wisteria and spreading newspaper. I was having fun. When I go outside early, it always seems like something mysterious and wonderful might happen, that I might be a witness to something amazing. I might see a deer—or God. So I was working, but I was also taking time to look around.

So far the bed is still pretty empty, but some little sumac plants are popping up. Someday soon I hope the bed is full of sumac . . . and rosinweed and woodland sunflowers. Right now, though, it’s almost bare, a vast plain of mulch. A wide, silvery path of grass runs along beside it, crunchy from lack of rain.

When I ran out of newspaper, I did some harvesting in the vegetable garden. Rob and I pulled a bunch of carrots. Our carrots are so funny this year—they’re really short, and most of them are pretty skinny. The reason? Rob was too softhearted to thin them, so they’ve been growing like grass, really close together. Rob is much, much nicer than I am. I don’t generally feel sorry for carrots, but he does. He feels sorry for everything.

The carrot harvest

We used our carrots to make a big pot of curry. And we had some delicious, oily, salty stir-fried kale on the side. Rob says this is the last kale we’ll get this year. He’s pulling it all out because it’s really spent now . . . and full of whiteflies.

As we cooked, Buntin played with some fresh okra. Buntin loves playing with okra. She carries it around in her mouth, making braggy sounds; she’s really proud of catching such dangerous prey. She bats the okra and runs after it. The other cats watch, fascinated, and then one of them inevitably starts chasing her as she dashes around the house.

Buntin. Rob calls her Honey Bun, especially when she's being bad.

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