Soon to be renowned!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Growing Potential

A Bumper Crop of Possibility

Look at that. Can't you just taste the potential? Mmm, delicious, delicious potential. Well, whether it's delicious or not, this year I suspect I'll have to develop a taste for it. It'd be nice to plant lettuce and carrots and potatoes and other things you can, you know, actually eat, but with 8-month-old Rowan grazing the lawn every time I turn my back and 3-year-old Daisy ritualistically interring my hand tools whenever I break off to shepherd Rowan, it's unlikely I will succeed in sowing much more than this vision of freshly cultivated potential. At least it's nice to look at. Maybe I can set aside a few minutes every couple weeks to go out with a hoe and tend the potential. Pull weeds, rake the bed, think about what lovely broccoli could have grown here or snappy beans over there. Pull bits of dead leaves and bugs out of Rowans mouth while I daydream of tomatoes past. 

It is tempting, as a (self-pitying) parent, to see one's untended ambitions as lying fallow or unproductive while the primary objective of Not-Screwing-Up-Your-Kids-Too-Badly quickly drains one's strategic reserves of time, patience, and give-a-hoot. Why not, then, try to cultivate this potent dormancy as a worthwhile crop in its own right? Keep it free of weeds, fertile, and ready for the scantest input of inspiration and effort to return it to glorious and delicious productivity. Until such a time, should such a time occur, you will have a bare (but not barren!) testament to your erstwhile good intentions and aspirations. That's easily as satisfying as fresh tomatoes! Isn't it? Please tell me it is ... 

Monday, March 13, 2017


Yeah ... we'll call that good.

As this Winter's previous posts should have adequately prepared the reader, I just can't fight it anymore. The weather, that is. So if our much-anticipated new greenhouse (greenshanty? greenshack? more of a green-to, really) project stands nearly complete one day and lies toppled by 50 mph winds the next morning, I am at this point inclined to just roll with it. Yep, I don't care that it resembles nothing so much as an ill-fated foray into horticulture by one of the two less provident Little Pigs after an encounter with that huffy-puffy wolf, it gets the Fencebroke Promontory seal of Good Enough. (I've a sneaking suspicion this will not be the last time we break out that seal this season).

Therefore, it is in this spirit of lowered expectations and with no particular pride that I present ...  <cue a single rusty trumpet's broken fanfare> ... The (Sponsor-to-be-Named) Conservatory at Fencebroke Promontory Gardens, henceforth and in perpetuity known as ... The Green-To, I guess. 

This structure will doubtless provide little practical use and will serve instead as a grating reminder of the powerlessness of man and woman and the primacy, capriciousness, and wanton misanthropy of nature. Because, like a birdbath, shouldn't every garden have one of those?

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Weather Permitting

… Buuut, it's not. Cycles of petulant snow and sleet each weekend are not permitting. Inches of cold rain above the average are not permitting. Blankets of hail whumping down to cover the ground just as I zip up my rain gear for a brave, all-out assault on the impending garden are not permitting (he stands in the doorway clutching his spade—the soldier crosshaired by a fatally underestimated enemy). Tree limbs felled by cackling gales are not permitting. Groundwater and frost heave and erosion and that smug weatherman are not permitting. WHY IS HE LAUGHING? HOW CAN HE LAUGH!?

This whole @!#@% Winter is permitting little else but board games, snacks, and ominous tool-sharpening in what I'm told is uncomfortable proximity to loved ones. I'm not too close! You're too close! Where's the trail mix?

Well, that's done anyway.
I've got seeds in troves. I've got a greenhouse to finish building. I've got new fertilizer to alchemize. I've got strawberries to plant; stone fruits to prune; sod to lift; all these dang cinderblocks I've got to do something with. I have impressionable children in whom I must imbue the farmer's timeless connection to land and nature.

I've got imbuing to do! How am I supposed to imbue in all this mud!?

At this rate, with forecasts calling for bickering between polar and marine air masses until one or the other admits it was wrong and says 'I'm sorry', I'll be returned to the regularly-scheduled Spring garden (already in progress) sometime round about late April.

Weather permitting, of course.

These pruners are going to be sooo sharp by then.