Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

This year, we are doing a garden. I have a fairly green thumb, so much so that when I mentioned the garden, Vor got a very worried look on his face and said, "But the tomatoes. Remember the tomatoes?" We had so many that they invaded the driveway, climbed up the house, and I was making sauce, freezing, and donating tomatoes left and right to the neighborhood. There were still tomatoes left over.

So, you are about to be treated to my rambling planning (as my windows ice over from the ice storm--the irony is not lost on anyone, I'm sure).

Where? I would do square foot gardening, but A) I don't know how my neighbors would feel about a 4x4 square in sight of their back windows; B) I'm pretty sure that would be a neighborhood housing code problem, free standing semi permanent structure that it is and all; and C) it really just does not go with my future gardening and landscaping plans.

So, container gardening it is, for now. We have a huge deck, and the veggies herbs and fruits can bask their little hearts out in the sun.

What? I am positive the following things will be grown:
1. Small Veggies: Radishes, Carrots, Onions, Bush Beans
2. Larger Veggies: Winter Squash, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce, Sweet Potatoes
3. Fruits: Strawberries
4. Herbs: Garlic, Basil, Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram, Mint (OMG, invasive little thing that it is, I am so glad I containerized my mint plant last year), Oregano, Cilantro, and maybe one more, if inspiration strikes.

Maybe? I am hedging on a few things--to plant or not to plant, and a little bit of design angst.
1. Beets. I love, Vor hates. I think I may just ditch them.
2. Leeks. I love the taste, and I use them in soups. But where do I put them?
3. Blueberries. The bushes are small, at least to start, and they do well in containers, at first.
3. Strawberries. Yes, I am growing them. But where? I am tempted by this vision of putting strawberries in hanging baskets, and seeing those luscious little red fruits tumble down the sides, floating tempting mid air. If I did that, it would free up room for the leeks where the strawberries were originally going to go.

Things Making Me Go Hmmm...
1. Raspberries. My mom has a raspberry bush in her backyard. When I was little, I would go out in the morning, pick some, and put them on my cereal. Slurp.
2. Fruit. Could I maybe pull off a dwarf apple tree? A dwarf peach tree? On second thought, I want an apple tree in my backyard someday. My grandparents had an apple tree in theirs, and I would just wander in and pick up apples and make apple sauce, fresh. Sigh.
3. Tropical Fruit. If I am down with bringing my little container inside, could I have a lime tree? A fig tree? An olive tree? I eat olives like it's my job. Same for limes.
4. Nuts! While I am on fanciful topics, I wonder if there is a nut tree that would grow in this climate. Almond? Hazelnut?
5. Winter Squash. I eat spaghetti squash all the time, so I want to grow it. It's a climber though, and I think it may be a pain. I'm trying to think of ways around this--ie, give it something pretty to climb on.
6. Speaking of hanging baskets, why couldn't I grow pole beans out of a hanging basket? That would free up container space, and the pole beans could climb their little hearts out.

Complete And Utter Day Dreaming:
1. I've come up with a few sketches for what I want the backyard to look like.
2. The first is the stone patio with little nooks and crannies that I can actually use to grow my vegetables. Of course, I want an arbor to let my winter squash grow onto! I also have this great idea for running poles and lines around for climbing flowers to grow on, making a little privacy fence out of flowers.
3. The apple tree. Or maybe the nut tree.
4. Tearing out those rose bushes (not my favorite) and planting the blueberry bushes there.
5. Or maybe, tearing out those rose bushes, planting raspberries there, and removing some of the shrubs out front and replacing them with blueberry bushes--which are extremely pretty bushes, by the way.

What would you grow? Am I missing something good? What about your fanciful garden day dreams?

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