It’s a lovely day here in Linnie-land, and the confidence level of the gardener is high. The birds are singing, the sun is rising and the moon is close by. Let’s plant some stuff.
Here is an image of my coalition of baby lettuce plants.
I pondered quite a while regarding which collective term to use for this bunch of plants. Murder, as in a murder of crows, was in the running for a while because of the trouble I anticipate with the lettuce being eaten by tiny varmints once its out on its own, but I also considered scourge (as of mosquitos), nuisance (as of house cats) and a pandemonium (as of parrots). (I love pandemonium as a word but really lettuce is pretty quiet.) Then too, a group of gnus travel in an implausibility, and that one really spoke to me if you know what I mean.
But in the end I chose coalition, which is also used to describe a bunch of cheetahs. (You can find lists of these collective terms online and they do vary, but of course I just picked some words I enjoyed to ensure that I have an adequately fun time writing.)
So the coalition of lettuce is now installed in its bed, with the very annoying anti-deer netting over it, and next is the tower of tomato plants. (I considered evicting from the greenhouse the drove of cucumbers, but really I think I would have to issue each of them a blankie first –a horde of blankies– and I don’t want to do that so I’ll wait a little longer for warmer nights because cucumbers are so whiney.)
Planted tower, with a school of onions just beyond.
In the bed above are the determinate tomatoes, which I gather principally means that they grow to a normal size plant and perhaps start producing a little early. Sometimes I hear that they finish early too but I’ve had these sorts of reasonable sized plants continue handing me tomatoes pretty deeply into the summer.
Now here (stand back) is an indeterminate tomato. This sort of tomato is crazy and has no sense of personal limits at all. You can SEE the outcome of this problem–containment in a tall and secure cage is required to keep this thoughtless giant from wandering across the garden and into the house or maybe out the lane to the highway and then south to Sacramento where it’s heard there’s less rain. (I planted two more of these but they look very similar to this one so just look at this one three times and you’ve seen the lot.)
This particular plant will produce yellow cherry tomatoes. Perhaps there exist some determinate varieties of cherry tomatoes, but every one I’ve ever grown was indeterminate-crazy-enormous so that at the end of the summer you can fuel a wood stove for about a week with pieces of the dried up bush.
Here is my flock of garlic plants– nothing like the vast one in Dave’s garden but looking pretty well compared to the rust-ridden lot from last year. I bought new seed garlic to plant and I moved the process to a different bed so I’m hoping that the rust spores or whatever are back at the old bed (which is full of onion plants), looking around confused and maybe their eyesight isn’t that good…
And now I would like to lead you out of the vegetable garden, which has potential for a nice dinner but not right away except of course for the rhubarb plants which you may have observed beyond the lettuce coalition and which I will yet again today go chop on for crumble. Let’s look at some other stuff.
This is a section of the bed along the picket fence. As a gardener the first thing you may notice is that the fence needs paint. Well don’t look at ME, I painted a quarter of a two-story house exterior last summer remember? And I recently rationalized (or rationalised) that I find paint falling off of things to be singularly charming and picturesque and I’m not painting anything again any time soon like never.
But I didn’t take the photo to show you the Paint Problem. No. I wanted you to see the beautiful blue verticality of the ajuga, also called Bugle Weed (neither name makes me happy). I think of it as Cute Blue Things and I do wish that after the blooms fade it wasn’t just Dark-leaf Carpet but at least it keeps down the weeds.
Also in the photo, if you look closely, you can see a jasmine vine (Jasminum officinale) supported by my delicately constructed but extremely cunning bamboo trellis, which stands up against the shabby chic fence just behind the two identical rhododendrons whose names I’ve lost but they never bloom anyway.
I made the trellis by bending a couple of long bamboo canes and filling in with some cross pieces.
I’ve moved the jasmine vine three times in about four years so it is feeling a little nervous and insecure but growing nicely anyway this spring even without being given any mood-altering medications.
And that’s it from Linnie-land today, friends.
Remember to be brave, garden recklessly and have more fun than most people.