Forgiveness In The Garden

June 26, 2010

Tony got back from Vegas on a flight right in the heart of rush hour, so after a very long trip home from Midway, I grilled hamburgers, steamed broccoli and made a salad. There were also a (very) few sad potato chips in a (very) small bowl. The Hoodlums seem to have eaten all the snacks.

I then wandered around the garden making photographs while Tony did dishes (I love that man) and finished watching the game (which game, you ask? could have been anything involving a ball, I answer).

The pond filters are in desperate need of cleaning. The turtle barely spits anymore and the gurgler doesn’t. The waterfall is the only thing that seems to maintain a steady flow and that’s because it’s really a supercharged motor. There is string algae in sheets, so that will have to get cleaned up too. But not then. I didn’t do anything but observe. I do observe that the cattails are developing. Those dance and sway in the breezes all day long, so I’m never sure when or how they develop. They are just suddenly there, like the three are now. I will pay closer attention now, stop them from swaying and feel the stalks to see how this happens for the next blooms.

Just one astilbe has bloomed, only a single poof of pink foam. These are sited in exactly the kind of place they are said to love, shade and lots of moisture. So why is it that year after year, they are still pathetic, to say the least? I bought these from Springhill, I believe, and wonder if that is the problem. Springhill sends me garden porn every spring and fall, colorful catalogs full of juicy, luscious photographs. While I try to toss it directly into recycling because I know the quality just isn’t there, sometimes I just can’t help myself. That’s where I ran into the Nikko Blue Hydrangea zone confusion grief, so you’d think I would learn.

The mystery plant is blooming, large orangish-yellow flowers right at its base. Cucumbers, I’m thinking. Definitely cucumbers.

The butterfly garden was once again swarmed with bumble bees, with a few honey bees here and there. I made 36 photographs, standing in the garden with my face just inches from the blossoms and the bees. (It’s a wonder I didn’t get stung up my skirt.) Out of 36, I considered 8 of them possibilities. When looking at those eight closely, I found a single image that was close, but really not the perfect bee photo I’m looking for. I’ll keep posting those and we’ll see which one we all like the best at the end of the season.

The purple runner beans have little purple nubs all over them, but I don’t really think they are blossoms. Or maybe they are and they just take a long time to bloom. This is a new experience for me. They’ll need much taller supports next year; they really do “run.” The watermelon is just prolific, with more and more blooms every day. It must really like this spot. The radishes, after finding a few really nice round red globes, are disappointing me. Very few are turning into bulbs. Is it because I thinned them too late? Again – vegetables are new for me, so perhaps my lack of thinning at the right time messed up the majority of this crop. Now I’m wondering if the beans will be a good crop because I didn’t thin those either. The salad greens are completely covered by the zucchini now.  I am certainly learning a great deal about vegetables and will lay this bed out VERY differently next year.

The garden is all about forgiveness. I know that next year, my radishes will be better because I can fix the mistake I made this year. The runner beans will have better support and the salad greens will be in a space that’s accessible the whole season. To amend mistakes this year, I will pull out all the pathetic radishes and plant spinach, redeeming that area immediately. You don’t always have to wait until next year to fulfill your hopes.

Tony came out to the patio with glasses of wine and started a fire in the pit. I set my camera up on a tripod and tried 34 different exposures to capture the lightning bugs. Not one of them was successful, although they were interesting enough for me to want to try again.

The bonfire was really the cap of a beautiful day. Enough smoke to keep the bugs away, Griffey trying to decide who’s lap was better and then Tony made popcorn.

He makes the best popcorn.

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