Five vegetables and a wedding

The rain has boomeranged back. But how else would western Oregon get its 40 inches a year?  I don’t mind so very much except the gardens are droopy from the weight of it.

Clematis Jackmanii

Temperatures are mild and there is a kind of jungle thing happening outside, weeds sprouting every minute, shoots rocketing off from all the plants and tangling into each other, pea vines falling off the very trellis they had insisted was so dang important to their prosperity.

snow peas falling overAt the same time the cucumbers no longer care about the pea vine possession of what was in other years their own cucumber trellis. They are quite pleased with their new twiggy supports, the warm rain and the little green velcro strips I use to assist them in their verticality. They bloom and reach, bloom and reach, stretch those fibers, elongate those stems! Exhausting to watch.


In the interest of painful honesty I will now admit that the onion bed is a mess. (It brings to mind snakes, or spaghetti.)

onion bed Someone said it needs more sun but I’m thinking of trying laundry starch or possibly Viagra.

But I will divert you with this: I harvested the garlic yesterday. Call it wisdom or psychic ability or just gardening instinct, but when the leaves turned yellow and fell over completely flat on the ground, well  somehow I just suddenly knew.

garden garlic

There is plenty to last through winter.

I forgot to order the seed garlic last fall so this grew from some I just bought at the farm store. It was called “Gourmet California Garlic.” So now I will discover what sort of garlic California gourmets like. I plan to tie some into knots aka garlic braids and I’ll let you know how that goes.


I have shown amazing grit and follow-through in the massive potato growing project. You may recall the veritable international incident which resulted from its inception.  The potato chunks grew and I dutifully buried them up to their noses and then they grew some more.

potato plants growing in pots

Here they are in today’s rain.

potato plants ready to bloom

They are forming flowers, which means something. I will have to look it up.

In other news, you may recall that Tillie bolted.

With a man.

We are told he is some kind of retired bank CEO or criminal or both and now they are married and living on his private island off the coast of Greece.

Tillie and groom

The lovely bride sent a gracious note:

bride's letter


I just hope they don’t have children…


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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25 Responses to Five vegetables and a wedding

  1. Very impressed by the potato project. As to Tillie, sounds like they deserve each other.

    • linniew says:

      I’ve been warned that potatoes like to pretend with leaves while not producing actual potatoes. I lie awake at night, remembering the ones I planted. Did they look at all sociopathic? Were they vengeful of the chopping up I did? Gardening is so stressful…

      And you have excellent perceptions regarding Tillie, Jason.

  2. Not sure what I think about Tillie’s nuptials. The Potato Project is looking Promising. So glad Tillie’s hubby has funds for a new wardrobe for his blushing bride…

    • linniew says:

      So far so good on the potatoes, but it’s a pity one can’t peek at what is or is not growing well deep in the pots. As to the shopping, we can hope Tillie improves on that dress.

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Heavens to Betsy, your Tillie (is that short for Matilda?) gets around faster ‘n a cat with a long tail in a room full of rocking chairs

    • linniew says:

      How you enrich our language Peter! We could start some sort of online literary movement.
      Tillie’s full name is Rototillia. (Isn’t that lovely?)

  4. Susan says:

    Did Tillie leave because of the garlic? I only ask because tonight my friend thought I would enjoy sharing the back seat of her van with her freshly dug, extremely pungent garlic. I’m sure you would not be so insensitive.

    • linniew says:

      How extremely observant of you Susan. (You aren’t a PI in your spare time are you?) (PI means Private Investigator which I know because someone gave Mr O a book once on how to be a PI. I worry about the effect it had on him although there has been no career change.) The garlic was actually dug shortly after Tillie’s departure, but I wonder if she stomped on it first since it was unnaturally flat.

  5. Fay says:

    Well lets hope Tillie keeps her doors firmly shut and you get some peace. The onions look like they need a lesson in standing up straight.

    Great efforts on the tatties 🙂 Mine, hoping not to show YOURS up are no where near as big.

    Peedie and Haggis say hi to Max, I guess with all the growing rampantly going on, he’s in hiding?

    • linniew says:

      I’m with you on the Tillie doors.

      Your tatties are probably growing roots while mine are growing only leaves. Honestly I imagine dumping out those pots and finding just soil and worms. Max sends summer regards to Peedie and Haggis! He has been very excited to find cardboard under mulch (in some spots where I’m trying to keep out weeds) and he digs it up with great joy, so helpful.

  6. Alberto says:

    Oh Tillie found her Tillo! Her wedding dress was really dreamy, I guess every girl wish a tailored wedding dress like that. I can say it’s tailored because it perfectly fits Tillie’s breast. And her card, oh sweeter than usual, one can really tell she’s deeply in love.

    But let’s go back to gardening. First of all that clematis is stunning, I wish I had clematis like that, although I have a wild species (cl. viticella venosa violacea) growing everywhere and it’s rather pretty. I am officially angry with you for not showing us your veggie garden before. You want to look like the naughty one but you do your homework, indeed, don’t you? Garlic from seed, collapsed onions, and vines everywhere: I’m so impressed. Those potatoes look so good I barely wish I followed your advice… When the harvest?

    I remember making twist knots with onions when I was a child and used to spend some summer days at Laura’s (that friend of mine). I was pretty good at that.

    • linniew says:

      Yes I am afraid Tillie has been swept off her feet by love, and money. It suits her perfectly and I just hope that’s an end of it. She’s really in your part of the planet now you know…

      I can’t imagine that clematis would not grow beautifully in your climate Alberto! Does it not, really? The Jackmanii one I have is just getting going. I’ve seen it cover walls. I will send one along someday with your Oceanspray shrub, which I am trying to start from layering this summer.

      The garlic is from garlic– that is I break up a head of garlic into its cloves and plant each one like little tulip bulbs. In the fall. Easy peasy. I wish you were here to help me make braids of it now, which must be something like the onion twists of your childhood.

      • Alberto says:

        You just start with 3 garlic heads keeping them facing outwards and then you add a new head to the previous leaves at every twist. You need to wait a few days the leaves to dry a little before working with them or they’ll snap. It’s a very relaxing job, I wish I was there to help you. And then you can make garlic bruschetta just touching the bread, for dinner.

        As for Tillie I don’t think it was a money wedding, oh no, no, no. She’s not that kind of girl, plus I guess they choose Greece because of the very bad situation people is living there and she’s there to help. Or I wouldn’t explain the reason why she’s raising money for the hungry…

        • linniew says:

          I certainly agree that you should be here to help me. I will just have to muddle through. I’ll take pictures for you if I’m not too mortified by the outcomes. ‘Relaxing job’ sounds very nice. Might go well with a hearty red, don’t you think, Dear Culinary & Garlic Advisor? And the bruschetta…

          Tillie is definitely that kind of girl and I expect the only person she is raising money for is Tillie. (Sorry to spoil your positive thinking.)

  7. Katie says:

    Go outside right now and tip over one of your potato pots. I bet you find several new potatoes. It’s okay to steal them once when you see the plants blooming.
    I wish Tillie luck in finding a bikini top that defies gravity.

  8. Either Tillie has a swim floatie around her midsection or she needs a much better bra. 🙂 Those potatoes look amazing! I may have to give them a try. Never met a spud I didn’t like.

    • linniew says:

      Well it’s true that Tillie never talked about knowing how to swim, but really she always looked like that. I agree about the potato foliage. Too bad the leaves aren’t the part you eat. I will be checking the basement of those pots soon, I just can’t stand the suspense.

  9. kininvie says:

    Really, I ought to be sparing with my advice after what you did to your potatoes, but I’ll let you know that once they have flowered, you are officially allowed to burrow, using one hand only, beneath the plant to see if you encounter anything. Seasoned tattie growers can tell by touch, but you may need to detach a tuber to assess its ripeness. If you can’t get deep enough in those silly pots, I reckon you could bore a large enough hole in the side to get a hand in…? It would improve the drainage too.
    Something tells me that Otis would be better advised to recommend one of those rubberised swimsuits for his blushing bride. The bikini will not be good – especially if she tries surfing.

    • linniew says:

      One hand only? (Are there potato police? Where do I find the rule-book on this?) FYI Kininvie those pots are serious equipment, not simply for casual potato cultivation or other miscellaneous vegetable dalliances and certainly not to be thoughtlessly vandalized with a giant drill. (What have you been reading?) But I will poke around in the roots.

      I think Otis has some major vision impairment.

      • kininvie says:

        One hand only, because a burrow big enough for two hands is not wise. You can swap hands when the first gets tired. This is also preferable to Katie’s technique of emptying the whole lot out…because if they are NOT ripe, they are not that easy to put back
        I’m sorry that I mistook your serious equipment for surplus plastic trashcans (look, there’s another of your words that I’ve learned). Even so, a large hole in the side might improve their appearance.

        • kininvie says:

          PS. Have you been hiding Otis from us all these years? Or did you photoshop Tillie into his landscape? If so, it’s an excellent piece of work – I can’t see the join. No, they must always have been together, I’m sure…..

        • linniew says:

          Swap hands when the first gets tired? Like I am digging to China, or maybe doing a heart transplant. The specially-designed fabulous adorable potato pots are full of fluffy compost after all so how difficult can this be? And ‘trash cans’ is written as two words. PS: It was Tillie who brought Otis into her garden you know.

          • kininvie says:

            Typical – you keep losing letters, but compensate by using unnecessary spaces. Dustbin works perfectly well as a single word, so why not trashcan?

            • linniew says:

              Yes? What about ‘aluminium’? Perfect waste of an i. And all those u’s you needlessly (and reckfully) toss into words like favour? Also I hate to bring it up but is there some kind of national fear of x’s or why are they always s’s instead? Just asking.

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