Monday, August 23, 2010
In this last week before schools starts up, the garden and the weather seem to mirror my mood. The morning light is hazy and it's hard to get things in focus. In my house, that manifests as a slew of little projects that have reached the now or probably-not-till-winter-break stage--my mending, a mostly crocheted hat, a book proposal for my parents' wartime correspondence, repainting the bathroom where my granddaughter experimented with tinted moisturizer as a fresco medium. Along with those piles and notes are the lengthening list of school-related notes and ideas. A couple of friends sent a youtube link of a three-year-old reciting Billy Collins. What a great way to start off AP lit, but I need to do some research on the poem. I came across an audio download of one of our students being interviewed about his record-breaking running (go Oli!). Can I play that in journalism class so we can analyze the questions and come up with better ones? We need to establish our website for the online school paper. But I want to go kayaking again too while the weather holds. And I need a haircut. It's really not that I'm busier than usual; it's the transitional feeling that makes it hard to prioritize. Plan for the future or live for today? Late summer feels a little like being a teenager again.
The garden is in a similar state. I bought some indeterminate tomato varieties this year, and as usual was too cheap to buy cages for them, so they are spilling over and around their little stakes and brush supports. That's a kabocha squash climbing up the overgrown California lilac and threatening to swallow the new blueberry bush. The blueberry will get enough sun--I hope-- when that last upright branch is pruned, which I guess I won't do until the squash is ready, since it is reaching for the light anyway it can. My yard really doesn't get enough sun for happy squash and peppers, but I am compelled to grow them. The big round flowers are last year's leeks, starting to droop as their seeds get heavier. Maybe I'll remember to cut the heads and save the seed this fall, or maybe they will selfsow where they will. On the right is a little seedbed for lettuce and kale. I'm thinning them for salads now and will transplant some to the pots on the deck once the eggplants and cherry tomatoes are out. Over on the left under the ginko tree is some endive and a bunch of arugula that I don't remember planting. When the ginko drops its leaves, that little patch will get what winter sun there is, assuming I remember to clear out the leaves. They tend to fall all in one night, responding to some ancient signal know only to ginkos, and form a slick, impenetrable mat unless removed.
In spring and early summer this is the flower garden, and who knows what the anenomes and scabiosas and lilies are up to under this onslaught of vegetation. And what ever happened to the purple amaranth? I sowed it, it came up, and then it vanished.
The bare patch of fence in the back will be taken over by hardy kiwi next year if trends continue, and I think I had better build a higher support or it will march on over into the raspberries in the alley.