When it came right down to it my will to grow potatoes wavered. It did. It became actually wobbly and prone to distraction. But I had purchased those organic very special roundish plantable mail-order seed potatoes so I was committed.
[For a moment there was a dark thought of making soup…]
I hacked them up into three-eyed chunks.
Then I gathered up a nice blend of composts from my vast compost collection and stirred the mix in the wheelbarrow just like if I had gone ahead with the soup I didn’t make, except I used a shovel.
Well I was going to add photos of the compost and the pots with the little cut potatoes tucked in like half hidden Easter eggs and then topped off with more compost but really you can imagine it and the potatoes absolutely refuse to smile for the camera so here’s just the fabulous outcome: four pots, each about a quarter full of soil and home to four or five potato chunks.
And now it’s been a week or so and they are still down there under the compost and I just wonder if they will find the strength and confidence and the Potato Will to forge upward and burst into potato-plantness or if they have given up all hope and interest and are maybe just looking for exits out the bottoms of the pots.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
But, you planted potatoes too right? Are they up and green and ready to “hill up” –which is to say, to bury the new growth again in compost and see if they can do the same growing trick a second time or if instead they get discouraged and finally give up and die. (Aren’t there international laws concerning this treatment?)
In more positive vegetable news, the purple orach (Atriplex hortensis) is my new favorite salad leaf. It is the most incredible color, very Martha when mixed up with green lettuce leaves, mild flavored, and is said to self-sow and come up in the spring just in time for next year’s eating. Here is one of the plants before I planted it out in the garden and clipped off quite so many of it’s ruffly leaves but it seems to be recovering so really it is my kind of plant.
Escaping the (often hazardous) vegetable area, we move now to some more relaxed and carefree neighborhoods. Here is a bicolor azalea which I theorize is named ‘Mardi Gras’ and is just so pretty that I planted two together even though I know they get about two feet tall and wide and some day they will prove to be too close to one another but no problem, remember I have a shovel.
I can’t get the color of this azalea to appear with screen-accuracy even though I tried all the cameras, including the iphone and my Dick Tracy ring, and editing after that. In reality (my reality) the pink is more of a peach color and not so much that color my mother painted my bedroom when I was five.
Mostly I seem to have plants with less showy blooms, because I do love the wildflowers. Here, just unfolding into flower, is something called Hooker’s fairybells which I remember the name of because the blooms flare like little skirts. Oh I shouldn’t have written that. Where is my editor!? Anyway I love this tall (36″) perennnial shade plant, growing among the ferns and thalictrum and cyclamen.
These plants disappear every winter (off to the Caribbean I think) and return in the spring like a celebration, so nice. Note: they self-sow in a polite way that is no problem to the gardeners on our staff.
I know your gardens are all bursting with growth and flowers and potential fruits– unless you are Lyn in Australia in which case your gardens are shutting down for fall, such a planet we have… Anyway I will close with this shot of a Clematis montana vine which I grew from a cutting, prettily blooming on the arbor where the raspberries used to NOT grow every year so last year I ripped them out–an inspired decision.