Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gardening delights

In the last few days:

I have harvested a few pints of strawberries from my little patch near the sidewalk. One particularly hot night, Nick and I skipped cooking and had cold museli topped with freshly picked berries. It was, perhaps, the best meal we've had in weeks.

One batch of lettuce is crying out to be harvested and eaten. I have at least three other varities that are growing more slowly, so we'll have garden-fresh lettuce for some time.

Two of my tomato plants are growing vigorously, while the third is looking stunted. Strange.

The city of Seattle now allows all recycling to go into the big green bin, so we no longer have to separate our glass. The glass bins could be given back to the city for recycling themselves, or residents could keep them. I have turned my bin, as well as that of a neighbor, into temporary raised beds. One houses two tomato plants (the healthy ones), while the other is nurturing a collection of herbs and butter lettuce.

The Douglas asters in my back yard are shooting skyward. One is taller than I am. They have not yet shown any indication that they will bloom soon.

The gigantic lupine near the driveway, planted just last year, is trying to take over the world. Some of the blooming spires are over five feet tall, and there are at least a couple dozen flower shoots. It's like a towering buffet for the bumble bees. I love to sit next to the plant and watch them zoom around, digging in the flowers and pushing each other around. This is a development that friends will no doubt find difficult to believe, given my lifelong phobia of bees and wasps. But the more time I spend in the garden, and the more I listen to the bees, the more my fear turns to fascination and awe.

Finally, one cool evening I took the time to sample the nectar from a torch lily. It was given to me by a neighbor who had many seedlings sprouting up in her yard. This spring it shot up in glorious color. The nectar was sticky and sweet and tasted softly divine.

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