Monday, April 05, 2010

spring went explodey!

The red breasted Robin in most united states cultures is the herald of spring time. Here in Texas he heralds the coming of yet another late cold front so we all dive for the blankets and cocoa. Here in the Brazos valley (allergy capital of Texas) spring usually arrives with gusto but El Nino (can't make the tilde work again) has arrived and gone and the drought is over so spring is throwing something of a season long celebration, shindig, hootenanny, bash, party, and/or fiesta. The pollen is so thick it has coated the cars in a fine yellow dust. The weeds have become monstrous, the temperature is all over the place, the wind can't make up it's mind and just about anything that can bloom is over doing it.

It's glorious! We are sneezing at a rate that is alarming but the flowers are amazing. Grass of a sort has decided to grow in our back yard. I felt bad when we first moved in because we couldn't get ANYTHING to grow. The grass died the old plants like the roses and irises looked peaked and wan. Then the drought hit and it all went south. But after getting out there and working on it it has decided to restart with the basic plants, the first tier plants that are hardy and ugly looking but provide a jump off point the next year for the more delicate but much better looking plants. My only hope is that the irises don't become sentient and try to take over the world. I half expect leopards to come leaping out of the foliage! The leaves are as tall as my waist and they have put out enough stalks for flowers to fill all my window sills if I so choose. They are somewhat intimidating and I don't have any cut flower food  so they will stay out there. I HAVE to dig up the rhizomes this year HAVE TO or they really will take over the world.

A word about weeds.
I happen to like weeds. Not all of them but most of them. The dandelions we have come in two types. Giant enough to eat you and leave no trace you existed and the type you can serve in a salad. Now the giant ones spring forth over night, innocuous at first then become this jack-in-the-box-surprise!-"bet-you-didn't-know-I-was-here-to-eat-you!" type of plant and those I use the weed rocket on to rip from the earth and compost. Our compost is full. The small dainty stalks of dandelion weed that is edible I leave alone because it is kind of pretty in that pasture weed wild flower type of way. Being a pasture weed myself I can relate to being seen as ugly.

A word about herbs. Parsley is deceptive. you buy this tiny scraggly thin spindly wretch of a plant and plant it in the ground with hopes of getting enough spice for your spaghetti sauce once a month. Well don't turn your back on it. I'm here to tell you it is a vibrant and hardy plant. This January the parsley decided to live even after the freeze and the torrential rain that turned anything frozen to the consistency of over cooked spinach. Well February came and it EXPLODED with shoots and a central stalk that looks like celery, CELERY! I finally had to cut it back severely and pull up one of the plants hat had a root going to China! I am amazed. In November I am planning on moving the second of the three pods to a new location... I just gotta figure out where. The oregano has come back and the lemon thyme (which dries beautifully!) is sending out another tendril to drape over the side of the box. My only disappointment is that my basil didn't come back and the seeds I planted didn't grow. But the chives have decided to flourish and the marjoram is doing better. I re-potted the sage with a little more room and it looks marvelous!. I have a blueberry bush to plant and a grapevine and (this is the exciting part!) a mustang grapevine has sprouted from the seeds we picked last year. I'm truly thankful for bounty we are blessed with.

A prayer for Strawberries.
Oh Lord God of all things whose wealth and abundance is all around us, please keep the mocking birds, grackles, squirrels, blue jays, doves, and other lesser smaller birds and/or fuzzy animals away from my strawberries please. Amen.

I've been getting a lot of books from the library about organic living. Most of the first set were about organic gardening because I had a paper due on the subject. I made straight A's last fall but the price wasn't worth it. Kay Kay felt neglected so I'm holding off until she is in school. Then I won't have to worry about that particular aspect however I'm not looking forward to the new worries that will encroach on my life forthwith. Anyway! I picked up Nell Newman's book. It is fascinating and informative without being heavy handed. There are some amazing resources out there on the internet about organic and local food, the new greener cars, and even off-the-grid goods. I'm enjoying it quit a lot more than I thought I would. Nell is a good writer and makes good points through out the book. I recommend picking it up at your local library or paying for an ebook version. The title is The Newman's Own Organics Guide to a Good Life.

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