Saturday, April 9, 2011


After a fun evening last night celebrating Evan's birthday
 I was excited to wake up this morning and get in the garden.
It was a perfect day for gardening.

My interest in gardening began when I was a teen and my
mom and I attempted to grow seeds in our 
hard, clay like soil of my childhood home.
We didn't know you had to amend the soil.
Nothing grew!
Then as a newlywed, living in the Chicago area,
our dear friends Silvio and Darlene had a 
garden plot in their backyard.
Silvio was from Italy and fresh,
home grown basil and tomatoes
was a must in their home.
I became a fan and vowed then and there that when 
Mr. Romance and I finally  had a home 
we would have a garden.
A few years later we bought our first home and I have been gardening ever since.
Today was the day we would plant.
I bought all  the plants on Thursday
and the soil amendments yesterday
so today is a work day.
We had another raised bed built last month 
and  now I have even more room to grow things.
In mid-February we had planted three bins of potatoes. 
We were going to move the bins out of the planter when the workers were finished.
They had not yet sprouted when the workers were here.
They assumed the bins were just filled with dirt
and without asking my permission they dumped them into one of the raised beds!
UGH! Now do I dig through the dirt or do I take a chance 
and let the potatoes sprout where I really don't want them to grow?
I took the easy way out and let them be.
When we returned from vacation last week they had sprouted.
We'll have potatoes after all!
So the first order of business was to cover the
potato plants with another layer of compost.
I also planted Japanese Long Purple eggplant 
and started a section of green beans in this raised bed.
Then we worked all the chicken manure into the other beds. 

We had to stop before noon to go to our granddaughter's soccer game.
they lost 3-2, but Makenzie scored a goal!
Yeah Makenzie!
After the game it was back to work.
After 3 hours of planting, squatting, digging and seeding I can say
the 2011 Garden is planted.
Here is a list of what we are growing:
Red Pear
Pink Brandywine*
Japanese Black Trifele*
Italian Heirloom Roma type *
Green Zebra* one of my favorites!
Aunt Ruby's Green German*
Kentucky Beefsteak*
San Marzano*
Yellow Pear*
We planted two types of carrots in this bed too. Nantes and Kuruda* seeds.
I like to grow all varieties, shapes, colors and sizes of tomatoes.

Peppers and Chiles
Cajun Bells
Golden Treasure*
Italian Roaster (these are good for drying)
Red Knight Bell
Squash and Melons
Yellow Crook Neck squash
Butternut Squash
Cocozelle Zucchini
Acorn Squash
French Melon (like a cantaloupe)

There are radish seeds planted around the squash.
The fourth bed is the herb garden.
I have parsley, chives, fennel, basil
growing in it along with beets and more cucumber plants.
I have French thyme, rosemary and oregano growing in other places in the yard.
(* denotes an Heirloom variety)

I have a bunch of gardening books.
But these two are my favorites.
The first one i have had for over 30 years.
It tells how to get the biggest harvest 
from the least amount of space.

The other was a gift from our son and daughter-in-law,
Michael and Jenny.
I like this book because it has companion gardening
suggestions for all the fruits, vegetables and herbs.

This guy does the heavy lifting for me.
Notice the "R" on his hat for Mr." R"omance?
These shoes, from another son and daughter-in-law,
Brent and Molly,
are perfect for working in the garden.

St. Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners,
watches over the garden for us.

and these hands are very dirty after all this fun today.

Elsewhere in the yard we have Satsuma tangerine,
 Meyer lemon,  Bearrs lime,  Dumpling peach, olive and fig trees growing.

If this tree produces an many olives as I think it is going to
I will have plenty of olives to cure and preserve.
Mr. Romance loves olives.

These two helped by staying out of the way today.

Yak just woke up from hibernating last week.
He lives in a pen under the peach tree.
We are sore and tired and know that with the help of a careful watering schedule,
 lots of sunshine and a little bit of weeding,
we will be rewarded with a bountiful harvest this summer.


Geri Centonze said...

You'll have a bountiful harvest this year!

Kyle Stanley said...

can't wait for Sunday dinners at your house this summer with those tomatos.