Friday, June 1, 2012

Through Mint-Colored Glasses

Baby tomato

This is easily one of my favorite times of year. Now, the weather (will it be 95º or 45º? Drought or torrential rain? Will the wind take me away today?) I could do without - I'm decidedly a fall girl - but the excitement of such new life springing up in my front yard? That I just love.

Three of our five tomato plants now have fruit on them, with the Black Krim about the size of a fist already (but still green as can be).  I can't wait 'til they start turning and our kitchen turns into a constant rotation of salsa, bruschetta, and Italian sauces!

Pepper bloom

I get almost as excited about the tiny, perfect flowers that precede the fruit, though. My gardening is 100% for the purpose of food - no ornamentals on our property - but I love that every fruiting plant adds a little color to the landscape long before it fills our bellies.

I found my basilBecause we keep our house so cool through the winter and aren't keen on running lights and heaters to start our own seeds, most of the garden is blooming with starters purchased from local nurseries. We've had a bit of luck starting from seed outside, except for basil and cilantro, which have steadfastly refused to grow for no clear reason. Except for this one little rebel, which has found a home at the base of our rosemary, nowhere near where a) I planted basil, or b) we grew basil last year. I may see if I can transplant it, but I suspect I'll kill it in the process.

Pea tendrilsI love watching the seedlings shoot up through the soil - especially the ones that immediately distinguish themselves from our many and varied weeds. I love the tiny flowers and miniature fruits. I love the way the garden changes and matures each day (though, let's be honest, nothing changes and matures quite as quickly as those weeds). But I'm not sure there's anything in the garden I find more charming than those slender pea tendrils reaching up and wrapping their perfect coils around the trellis. Actually, after I'd planted these seeds and set out the "trellis" (truly an inaccurate description of this two-foot-tall piece of fence), I noticed the seed packet described the plant as a sturdy bush that needed no trellising. Oops. Well, it may not need it, but it sure seems to like it, and I have no problem doing something a little extra to make my plants happy. Like anthropomorphizing them, which I'm positive warms their little hearts.

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