Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tomato plant: 1 Gardening advice: 0

In May, I planted one cherry tomato plant. I tried a new location this year and hoped to get more than a handful of tomatoes. And at first, my plant seemed to really take off.

At the end of May, I went to check on my plant. Most of it was gone: one or two deer mouthfuls, I suspect. All my hopes wavered. The plant did sprout new stems, and I staked them. All I could do was hope for the best.

I was worried, though: my first gardening book, Bountiful Countainers, warns against secondary stems: it says they only make leaves. It recommends pruning away everything but the main stem, where all the fruit would be produced. My main stem was pretty much wiped away. I wondered, had that been my only hope for fruit?

Yesterday, I was ecstatic to find blossom buds on my plant, on all four stems. And so I have learned: there is more than one way to prune a tomato.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ripening berries

The mulberries are ripe. We have at least three trees in our yard: no matter where I am doing yardwork, I can stop and snack on a few mulberries.

The gooseberries are ripe. My neighbor helped me cut down a bunch of smallish elm trees last year, and the gooseberries really like the extra sunlight. It looks like I'll get several dozen berries, up from less than five in previous years.

The raspberries are ripe. This is about on-time from our 2006 and 2007 experiences. But it surprised me, because we didn't get berries until July in 2008 and 2009.

I won't do any formal berry harvesting this year because of my work schedule. I will enjoy seeing these reminder of summer every time I walk through my yard.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Facing mortality

I visited family recently: my mom and grandparents. While I was there, my grandparent's fridge broke. I went to their house to help set up the replacement.

One of my tasks was to transfer all the decorations. I started with the letter magnets - two sets, larger and smaller letters. The sets are decades old, ones that I played with as a child. I put some up randomly, and spelled a few words with others.

Next in the pile was my cousin's artwork: it fit neatly in among the letters and words. There were some magnets with cute sayings that held up the artwork. I was mildly proud of the arrangement I'd made.

Finally, I came to the last item. I examined it, wondering where it would go on the fridge. It was an envelope. I read the letters to myself: EMS DNR inside. "Emergency Medical Service" I puzzled out. And then, "Do Not Resuscitate."

I stood there for a little while, just staring at the packet. My mother came over. She looked at the packet, looked at the fridge, then said, "It doesn't seems like it fits, does it?"