Putting the “Ugh” in an Ugly Garden

I want to tell you all about my lovely  June garden… I want to post beautifully composed photos of the peas going gangbusters, of the fresh strawberries we pick to sweeten our morning cereal,  the lovely  green beans  in full flower,  and the prairie forbes  just opening their petals to the sky.

 

But tell the truth and shame the Devil, my Grandma Juanita used to say. I’m a sho’ nuff knotty-headed organic gardener and I’ve got to tell it like it is.  Something is going on in my garden this year, something that puts the “ugh” in an ugly garden.   Brace yourselves.

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The Rainbow at the Bus Stop

I thought it was spam, and then a scam… A Nigerian prince offering riches beyond my wildest dreams. For a price.  The e-mail read: “Dear shopper:  You have received this notification from Prairie Moon Nursery because you received a gift certificate from Admirer for $400.00. Message: ‘A blog admirer is sending you a gift certificate to thank you!’”

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Organic Pest Control Series: Links & Synopses

Friends and supporters have requested that I complete a series I began last year on Organic Pest Control.  Prior to doing so, I thought I would provide a link to the series so that new readers can familiarize themselves with my approach to the subject.  Check out:

Organic Pest Control Series: Links & Synopses.

Looking forward to the gardening season!

Luv,

Sho’Nuff

The Season for Arboricide

A tree properly topped in autumn...

A tree properly topped in autumn…

Right around this time of year, landscaping and yard service companies start cruising my neighborhood.  They come in search of easy prey: nice middle-class homeowners eager to keep a tidy yard, and concerned about the danger large trees supposedly pose to telephone and electrical wires, the roof, or the neighbor’s five-figure fully winterized RV.  They’ll  leave flyers in your mailbox or dangling on the doorknob.  In my case,  they come on up to the stoop and  ring the doorbell, having greedily eyeballed the monstrous pin-oak that towers over my house, the phone lines, and the neighbors’ houses on two sides.

“If we top your tree before leaf-fall,” encouraged one sly salesman, smiling his honey-sweet money-shredder smile: “you won’t have any raking to do.  We’re insured.”

Get thee behind me Satan, indeed.

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The Stoopid Autumn Gardener

1) Cole crops with… wait for it… white flies?

2) Cabbage and broccoli are far tastier to rabbits in the fall than in the spring.  I want my hasenpfeffer!

3) If you’re going to grow 14 broccoli plants and 14 cauliflower plants in the fall garden, when you typically only grow 4 of each in the spring garden, you have to have 28 wire cages, instead of 8, if you want to have 28 plants by harvest time.  #mathavoidance

4) Cabbage whites in September.  Who knew?

5) You can’t harvest sunflowers with pruning shears.  Buy a machete, fool.

6) This year’s flock of chicken’s favorite mode of locomotion = flight.  #nospinach4me

7) Dear chickens: if you decide to roost in the trees at night one more time, I’m LEAVING you there for the owls.  I’m too old to climb a ladder in the dark.  Chumps.

8) Guess what?  Cole crops like cool weather. #Ireaditinabook

9) You still hafta water. #flaccidturnips.

10) Mosquitoes.  ‘Nuff said.

Catastrophe: a September Garden Progress Report

There’s nothing quite like coming home from a long, hard day’s work to find a tag on your doorknob from the water department telling you that the water main has ruptured… on *your* side of the meter.

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The Generosity Compulsion

If there is one thing that nature isn’t it’s stingy.

Can any flower match the ebullient generosity of the sunflower?

It’s autumn and the garden is a set table prepared for everyone.

The hummingbirds visit the late-blooming flowers and say grace.

We, too,  bow our heads at the groaning table.

“A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke, 6:38).