If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What came first the chicken or the vegetable?

I never had any other desire so strong and so like to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and a large Garden. -Abraham Cowley, The Garden,1666.


So it is written, so shall it be true.
Long were the times I spent in thought of spaces in which to exercise my dreams. Hoping for a chance to dig my hands into the rich soil and feel the warmth of late spring day on my back.
Not just any soil but soil that was attached to my name by legal papers.

Too many years went by tending the gardens of others.  As I tediously pulled weed from earth I jealously scowled.  Although the labor was good for the heart it was sour on the soul.  The joy was lost in the creation when I walked away.  Most likely never to return or worse yet,  return to an ill kept site staring in wonder at the hard work that was so easily swept to the side in light of other worldly ventures.

It was ne'er in vain as all those years cumilated and an expansive growth of botanical knowledge found it's way into my core.  In perfection there must be practice.  Soon enough the pen would grace the paper and I would acquire one such acre to practice all my practicing on.  It is here where I sit and watch the bees light on the flowers.  It is here I smell the sweet roses and laugh at the bouncing daylilies.  Marvelling at how the soil puts forth such an abundance if just cared for a little.  It is akin to a child who upon the slightest bit of love can grow into a strong and vibrant character.

So quick they are to grow, the vegetables in the garden.  No site is more endeared to  a gardener than the first of the cucurbits or that first red, ripe tomato.  And only a gardener will understand when you say that growing can be more fun than eating.


So with my antiquated prose I will also share some pictures of my gardens this morning.
Happy Independence day America!!

(As it is this post took two days to compose as I had to quit yesterday because I ran out of time as we were meeting the in laws for breakfast and I never made it back to the computer.  LOL)

Yesterday was a busy day.  After breakfast we went to the home improvement store for some new bricks to put around the fire pit and as luck would have it the clearance section on plants was fully loaded.

They have an area in the back of the nursery department where they put all of the stressed/dying plants and mark them way down.  Not just a little but close to 75-80% off.  I buy them up and bring them home, plant them and nurse them back to health.  It takes time and patience but in the end it's worth it.

We picked up 18 new blocks for the fire pit, ($27)
2 Blanket flowers (Perennial) $6
2 Tiger Lillies (Perennial) $2
3 Salvia (Perennial) $9
3 Japanese Pieris (evergreen shrub sort of like an Azalea) $9
3 big pots of Begonias (Annual) $3
5 Petunias  (Annual in a 4" pot) $5
2 Other annuals in large pots that I don't remember the name of) $2

Had we bought the plants at regular prices it would have been around $103 instead of $36.  It pays to have a green thumb!

Some garden shots

                                                     Tomato surrounded by Marigolds

                                                                Tomato with Carrots

Tomato with Petunias


Tomato with green onions

Cabbages Red and Green

Fresh picked radishes

Tomato with Spinach

Tomato with Basil

Here are some shots of my flower beds around the house.

Moonbeam Coreopsis with Russian Sage behind and Trumpet vine on the lattice.

Stella D'Oro Daylily

A purple coneflower just starting

Dragon's Blood Sedum in full bloom

Here is the front bed where I planted most of the new plants.
A friend from work needed to get rid of some huge boulders so I told him to drop them off at my house and I put them inside this bed.  They weigh between 300-400lbs.  They are half buried in the bed to give you an idea of how big they are.

A better shot of the blanket flowers (Gaillardia Arizona Sun)

The fire pit had taken a beating with all of the massive fires I had burning up all the tree trimmings from the dead trees as well as last years storm damage.  The old blocks were hollow and cracked under the intense heat of the fire so I replaced them with solid blocks in hopes they will hold out a bit better.
Looks like the dogs are trying to take credit for the work though!

After a long day of yard chores I settled in at the fire pit with a cold beer and awaited the arrival of my wife who had to work.  When she got home we roasted hot dogs over the fire, had a few drinks and I even roasted a few marshmallows.  Yumm!!!!
Of course I had a visitor while I was relaxing.  She wanted to see what was going on and hopped up in my lap to enjoy the fire...I think.  I never know what she's thinking and although she is quite vocal I don't speak fowl so I have no clue!  I think she's just friendly!

That's it for now.  Hope you enjoyed this gardening adventure!


  1. The last picture is the best - you and your feathered buddy enjoying the fire pit! Of course all the garden pictures are stunning and your marigolds at the base of the tomatoes add a splash of colour - maybe that's why you're enjoying the garden some much this year! Cheers, Jenny

  2. I like that you surround your tomatoes with flowers. That's awesome. My growing area is much too small for that... maybe when we move to a bigger area. Oh, and you are most definitely right, the growing is usually more fun than the eating.

  3. My garden looks the best it has for years. But, it looks nowhere NEAR as good yours!


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