Sunday, May 31, 2009

Victory garden: Sunday morning update

I can look out the window of my home office and monitor my garden's progress. A few minutes ago, I was outside on this fine Sunday morning monitoring it in person, noting that the spinach and leaf lettuce seeds have sprouted in abundance and many will be pruned. I bought summer squash seedlings and only one survived the transplant. Wonder what happened there. Three zucchini plants have sprouted and already are making plans to take over my back yard and possibly the neighborhood. Strawberry and broccoli seedlings seem to be doing fine. Tomatoes are to be in steady-state, not yet flourishing yet not dying. I fear they don't have enough sun, and I may have to excise some of the dead and dying branches from my oak tree. The oak was here first and used to be the site of a homemade swing until the rope broke and I took over the playground for my garden. But as with all mature things, the tree is losing some of its vitality and needs a trim and a booster shot.

Meanwhile, I water my lawn as it's my designated watering day (Sun., Tues., Thurs.). I have a good lawn, a green lawn, and that would be great if I was a goat. We do use the lawn to play catch (both of our kids home for the summer) and for the annual Fourth of July bocce ball tournament.

My father would have liked my lawn, although too many dandelions in it for his taste. His lawns were fine specimens, even in Florida, where bugs the size of lawnmowers lurk. He was an ornamental gardener, something you can do year-round in Florida. He and his wife even volunteered at their local Catholic Church, whipping its garden into shape with hard work and prayer. Drive by St. Brendan's on a spring Saturday and you'd see a swarm of retirees, trowels and clippers in hand, addressing the landscape with the same vigor they brought to 7 a.m. mass every weekday morning. They were probably more energetic with the gardening, as attending mass is mostly a passive exercise. I think that's still true.

In my master plan, I shrink my backyard lawn by increments. First it will be the north and south margins where the grass will give way to rocks and hardy plants. I already have rock gardens and my veggie garden on the west side which butts up to the porch. My daughter and I will plant a berry garden on the east side between the shed and the compost pile. The lawn then will become a bocce pitch and a manageable greensward which will need little attention and water.

That's the gardening news from Cheyenne, Wyoming, this final day of May.

Now what's this I hear about a possible frost advisory on Tuesday? Say it ain't so, weatherpeople.


mpage225 said...

Geez, Mike, you have gone a bit over board with all the veggies. I have kept it simple with just tomatoes and sweet peppers. Lots of sweet peppers. Already have a couple of very small tomatoes and I think some peppers budding. I do like your idea shrinking the lawn.

Trust you are watching the Gator Girls in the softball WS.


Po said...


Just stumbled across your blog. Love it.

Have you had a look at yet?

Lots of people there who would appreciate what you have to say. Over 1000 food gardeners and locavores networking together.

Ooooby is an acronym for Out of our own back yards.

Hope you like it.