I walked outside the other day to check on my garden and this is what I saw. He was actually closer when I walked up on him, but I didn’t have my glasses on and it took me a bit to find the camera button on my phone. Even then, I wasn’t sure I got him in the picture until I went inside to get my glasses. Yep, getting old is a bitch.
Luckily, he preferred to munch on the honeysuckle growing on the boulders in my yard instead of my garden delights.
I showed this picture to my wife, and her reaction was: Ahh, how cute. Yep, cute, just like the bunnies that hippty-hop through my yard and munch on my flowers. She see’s cute bunnies, squirrels, and deer wondering through our yard as a wonderful display of nature’s creatures. I just see a bunch of free-loading riffraff who sneak around (usually at night) and eat my plantings.
What do you see?
My wife received this White Amaryllis as a gift from Belks two years ago for buying her favorite perfume. Well actually, I bought her the perfume for Christmas and got this flower as a gift. It did well the first year, but didn’t bloom last year. I guess the third year is the charm. It probably helped that I actually gave it some fertilizer this year.
Spring is in the air, and I love it. We all have our reasons for loving spring: Some are happy to see the end of winter, some like the flowers, and some like to get outside and go for walks. This last one is my wife’s favorite. She drags encourages me to walk with her to keep me young. Yay walks!
I love spring for the gardening. I love planting time, but what I don’t love is the bending over. Since I started having lower back problems a couple of years ago, gardening has gotten harder. All that shoveling and bending over is not so easy now, and I need to take more breaks than I want to admit. This year I decided to make it easier (hopefully).
I found this raised bed planter thing online as a kit, and installed it with the help of my able son. So, he’s an engineer, but can actually handle tools.(I haven’t told him how rare he is yet.) Next comes filling it up with soil (more shoveling), and planting my plants. No more bending for me.
I purchased an orange tree, lemon tree, and lime tree about two years ago. They are miniature trees and I grow them in pots and put them in the garage for the winter. The lemon and lime trees both produced fruit the second year, but the orange tree was a bit different. The first year, all the leaves fell off of it and I thought it might be dead. I did some checking and figured out my pot didn’t drain and the tree’s root were water bound. I pulled the leave-less tree out of the pot and drilled my drain holes bigger. In year two, the leaves came back but the tree did not produce.
This year I have lemons, limes, and oranges. I’m excited about the oranges and tried one today. It was better than what we can find in the local market. The lemon and lime crop was better this year than last, and I’m hoping the oranges follow suit next year. This year it produced seven oranges, so here’s hoping for more in the coming years.
After I figured out what I was doing, growing citrus was not too hard. Water everyday in the summer months and fertilize every other month. In the winter (in the garage) I water about once a week. I also cut them back in the winter to prepare for the next year’s growth.
Growing limes turned out to be easier than I had anticipated. I bought a lime tree last year and it produced its first crop of limes this year. Above is the tree in the spring when the fruit started to get noticeable, and below are the limes. There were actually twelve, but I used a couple along the way. The tree is in a pot and spent the winter in my garage. I was a little worried because the garage isn’t heated, but it made it fine. I watered every day in the heat of the summer and fertilized with a citrus fertilizer every other month. I had a lemon tree in another pot, but it didn’t do anything this year until just recently. It now has flowers and fruit just starting. I’m hoping they make it through the winter in the garage.
It seems like I’ve been away from this blog forever. I could blame my time away on the grammar class I recently finished, but it would be a lie. To be truthful, I’ve been distracted by more than just trying to remember the proper use of a colon: to amplify what comes before it. Well, at least that’s the one that most people get wrong.
I’ve been on the road quite a bit since my last post. I’ve been to Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Ft. Worth, TX. I’m not mentioning several smaller towns whose names most people wouldn’t recognize. Some was work and some was play, but it added up to much time away from home. Here I am trying out a Segway for the first time in Myrtle Beach.
If it looks easy, here is the picture I took of my son on his Segway. I guess he was a bit more steady on his machine than I was on mine. I swear, my hands were steady.
When I was home, I spent some time in the garden.
I’m especially proud of my lemon tree because it set fruit this year. At least I think it’s a lemon tree. It might be a lime tree because I forgot to label them when I put them in matching pots last year. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
With all the recent travel and activity, I’ve concentrated on using my writing time to work on my novel-in-progress rather than writing blog posts. It seemed a good idea until I finally looked up and realized I hadn’t posted here in awhile.
My favorite garden season is spring. I like working in the dirt and planting the veggies and flowers for the new season. Of course it’s even easier when I don’t have to plant. Here is my garden, pre-planting:
You can see the onions and carrots that overwintered. I need to thin the onions and let the rest keep going, and here are a couple of my little carrots:
Most exciting though are the asparagus plants. I put them in last year and here come the second year shoots:
This is the first time I’ve grown asparagus. It’s cool to watch them come up.
Now the work begins.