The Root of the Matter

Being that today was such a fantastic day, we spent a good portion of it outside in the backyard attempting to make it a bit more appealing. The place looked so damn good the first time we gutted everything and planted new stuff but since Hurricane Arliss came to town, the place went to Hell. Dogs are motherf…dogs.

At any rate, I dug up all sorts of stuff: plants, trees, weeds, roots, etc. Once the flowerbeds were destroyed I laid down about 10 pieces of sod to cover the patches of dirt. And even Ann will admit that even though there is only sod and a few trees in the flowerbeds, they look good now. (I’m a minimalist when it comes to landscaping; Ann is just the opposite.)

I did have some difficulty in removing the root of a bush, the likes of which I couldn’t tell you. I didn’t think about using the ax on it since it’s pretty rusty and doesn’t cut very well. I ended up stabbing the gnarly root with a shovel until it broke into several pieces, which I then twisted or snapped off of said mangled root.

After snapping off one piece I paused for a moment and gazed at it. I started laughing. Ann wondered just what it was I was chuckling at–until I showed her.

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Since it’s getting closer to Hallowe’en, I thought I’d post a picture of the pumpkins we grew this year:

Pretty cool, eh?

By the way, the power’s out in half of the house due to what we think is an electrical short somewhere, so I may stay home to TCB. We’ll see.

A Second Garden, Part Deux

My, how things have changed in the backyard.

You might recall the two gardens we planted in the backyard not so long ago. It’s been a long time since I mentioned anything about them so I thought I’d take some time and do it now.

Bell peppers and beefsteak tomatoes: They never really grew as large as we expected so we ripped them out a few weeks ago. I don’t think we’re missing much.

Pickling cucumbers: The cucumber plant yielded plenty so we made lots of pickles. And are they good–very good! We still have a few jars in the fridge and no, you can’t have any 🙂 We have since taken the cucumber plant out as it was starting to wither, but I think you’d start to wither if you gave that much produce as well.

Cherry tomatoes: Anthony got great enjoyment out of picking his “red, juicy tomatoes.” Like the cucumbers, we got more than our share and they made for great additions to salads. We still have a few vines left but they are going to be yanked over the weekend.

Corn: Six stalks, six ears! In fact we barbecued three ears tonight for dinner and were they gooooood. The stalks have been cut and will be removed soon.

So with everything dying off, what the hell’s left?

Onions: They are still growing. I wish they’d hurry up.

Apple tree: See “Onions.”

Pumpkins: Oh boy, do we have pumpkin vines. As of this post, there are about eight pumpkins in various stages of growth. I thought this would be cool for Anthony so he have some for Halloween but if you chose to do the same, here’s some advice: make sure you have room. They vine like mad and will take over your backyard if you’re not careful!

Eggplant: Ann’s dad likes eggplant so she started growing these just for him. I’m glad he likes them.

Watermelon: My little watermelon vine only has three watermelons but that’s better than nothing if you ask me. Right now the big ones are about the size of a softball.

Sunflowers: Ann likes ’em so they are still left.

Interested in seeing what’s left? Head on over to this Flickr album and check it out for yourself! If you’ve never seen a pumpkin growing on the vine you should give this a gander.

Have a great weekend, all. We’ve got nothing planned so who know what kind of trouble we’ll be getting ourselves into!

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A Second Garden

I took a day off work yesterday to spend time with the family.

In addition to dropping off and picking up Anthony from pre-preschool (he “officially graduated” to preschool and has the “diploma” to show for it), we decided to plant a new garden in some wasted space we had in the corner.

One trip to the local nursery and the deed was done. In addition to our existing garden ripe with cherry tomatoes, carrots, pickling cucumbers and beefsteak tomatoes, our new second garden has corn, grapes, pumpkins, watermelon and some herbs. We planted the pumpkins right in time to be picked for Halloween and the corn and watermelon might just be ready at the end of the summer.

We made a mistake with the cucumbers by letting them get too big for pickling. We’re going to pick them while smaller and pickle them so we can have a nice jarful of them. I’ve picked a few cherry tomatoes and there are plenty more coming in, too. Those’ll be nice for salads (and will be salmonella-free).

I’ll post the images later because I did take some but haven’t had the time to upload them just yet.

And let me take this opportunity to say that I really feel like a hippie. All I need are some Birkenstocks and love beads.

But hey, growing your own vegetables is turning out to be fun, relaxing, and educational for Anthony, who can’t wait to pick that first apple from his “buddy,” the apple tree planted in the center of it all 🙂

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Victory Garden!

Well, a garden nonetheless.

Ann and I decided to grow a garden with a little space we had in the backyard. You can see the fruits–or vegetables–of our efforts at this Flickr album. All pictures were taken with the trusty ol’ Kodak DX6490.