Sunday, March 4, 2012

mon potager

This is a good time of year for changes, with spring on its way and all. There have been many changes in process since last fall, though, so change is nothing new in my household. Six months ago I got hitched to this wonderful man, and we celebrated by hiking and sailing in Maine.
That was six months ago, and we have been very busy. We've settled into "the homestead," a lovely colonial house a short crow-flight west of Boston, and are deep into the nesting process. I am itching to sink my fingers into our 1.3 acres, and you better believe I've been planning. This year I plan to concentrate mostly on the front dooryard and the vegetable garden. I have grown vegetables (zucchini, peppers, lettuce, herbs) in containers, but never from seed (except a few radishes and parsley), so this is exciting... so much space! Lots of sun! This is our backyard:
The back of the house faces south. There is a small weeping cherry that keeps calling to me to prune him, and a massive stone wall that is crying out to be decorated with sedums, ferns, and alpines. 
I planted a few things last fall: a discounted thrift (Armeria), a sad-looking delphinium that probably won't survive, and a few large handfuls of bulbs, but aside from the two-day Leaf-Raking Extravaganza, that was really it as far as garden maintenance. Now that the amaryllis has died down, and snow drops are poking up round about, my green thumb is tingling to get active. My plan, at least near the house, is to go big: drifts of grasses and perennials, à la Oehme Van Sweden. Septic hill, too could use a big swath of heather to mask its artificiality. We'll see how it goes, what we can afford and what I have time to do. For now, what I have time for is this:  
That is Chizwick, my sister's cat, on the sill. It's a good bird-watching spot. He's hanging out with us for the moment, until he can catch a flight out to CA, where they've moved. Anyway, see my lovely little plants! Wait, I'll give you a better look: 
You want to see even closer? Here: 

That's my little radicchio in the foreground, blushing with the attention. Behind it is basil. These photos are now a week old. Now the lettuce (above, right) is huge and needs to be transplanted. I've also planted a startlingly purple basil, just now showing its teensy ultra-violet leaves. Alpine strawberry and garlic chives have yet to show a hint of green above the soil, though I just read that chives want to be germinated in the dark. Whoops, I'd better remove them from the window sill. Waiting in the wings are tomatoes, eggplant, arugula, cilantro, charentais melon, squash seeds that I saved from I think a kabocha squash that was especially tasty, zucchini, mint, haricot verts... a few other things, and some flower seeds... I've probably gone overboard. But! Not everything will be planted at the same time. The black kale seeds probably won't be planted, for example, until August. And some things (the flower seeds) will be planted directly into the soil. Maybe I'm not crazy. Maybe I am. Time will tell. 
I thought I'd try to post the vegetable garden's progress here for a while, so you all can be entertained at the mistakes I make, or as the bunnies all eat the feast I prepared for them, or whatever other disaster befalls. I've cared for vegetables before, I know how to weed, I'm stubborn and willing to get up early to water my plants at the crack of dawn. So... how bad can it be? 

I am most afraid of all the other things, besides me, that will want to eat my plants. 

1 comment:

Darby O'Shea said...

I can. not. wait. to come and visit and help and dig in the dirt and build raised beds with you! Living vicariously.