Posts Tagged ‘Peas’

I meant to do my work today,
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

–Richard Le Gallienne (1866–1947)

Miss Peanut answers the call of a Mint leaf

Well, the last week has simply been heaven. Every spare moment was spent planting the seedlings started during Spring Break. Several huge cans full of grass and weeds were pulled as well. There is still a lot to be done, but the garden looks tended again. It’s impossible to express just how good for me this process has been. My intellectual pursuits of the last 20 months were very intense and I had not been grounded in the way I need, which is that special brand of grounded I only get from, well, the ground. All head and no body makes one a bit insane after a time. The garden is medicine. My muscles are delightfully sore and I have a touch of color back in my cheeks. The weather was even on my side with cool cloud cover and a bit of rain midweek. The photos all came out with a bit of fog in the center, so I apologize for the quality – not worth retaking them though. Let’s just pretend that I was going for that vintage nostalgic hazy days of summer sepia toned wonder and call it a day. Later I’ll clean the lens, since I know I probably thumbed it with sunscreen. We get messy when we’re gardening 🙂

Somewhere around 42 Tomato seedlings went into the ground in various spots around the property. They had priority, of course. Those are the leftover winter peas drying on the tops of the stakes so I can plant them later.

the Brandywines are in the ground and all is right with the world

The Artichoke seedlings, 4 of them, came from last year’s fruit.

Artichoke seedling

I found a bird’s nest, probably doves, in a burrow on the ground in the meditation circle. This makes four nests that I save in a special place in the potting shed. They are among my favorite things.

I have quite a growing collection of bird's nests in the potting shed

The Hollyhock seedlings are from Andrea’s seeds, so of course I’m hoping for dark colored flowers!

Andrea's Hollyhock seeds are finally in the ground

Tom bought me an upside down hanging Strawberry planter so I would have more than just a few ripe ones at a time. He loves me.

Tom's Topsy Turvy

There were at least three of these cans full of grass and weeds pulled out to make room for seedlings.

out with the old - in with the new!

At a certain point, I had pulled out so many plants needing new homes, I had to spread out over the lawn. I find I have to make a mess before I can bring about any kind of order.

finding joy amid the chaos

There is still a lot of transplanting to do; finding new homes for what I dug up, re-potting things that have grown out of their pots, moving all succulents and cacti to pots leaving more ground for herbaceous plants, etc…

looking for new homes

When I get it all cleaned up, probably by the Full Moon this coming Wednesday, I’ll be able to sit in my rocking chair and celebrate with a juicy glass of wine. In the meantime, the bees are busy gathering pollen…

greedy little bee in an Agapanthus

…the flowers are blooming…

Roses and Grapes and Andrea's birdhouse

…completely oblivious to the fact that I’m literally turning the entire garden upside down. The only ones to really notice have been the spiders, but we get along famously as long as we respect each others space.

the ever-faithful Feverfew


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Hello and Happy Sunday! I’m celebrating extra today because school’s out for summer! Thursday was my last day of class until fall and I couldn’t be happier. Not that I won’t miss school, because I know I will. Happy because I did so well in botany. Yep – I totally kicked ass! When I started back to school, when was it – almost three years ago? – I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, but botany was there over my head in flashing chlorophyll-colored neon lights. It was fun to say and fun to think about. Really, I didn’t quite know what it all meant and what would be involved and which road I had to take to get there. Options were left wide open so I didn’t get my hopes up for something I couldn’t handle, namely science. Safe, reserved, lacking in self confidence, and feeling my lack of eduction in every fiber of my being…tentative. I already knew I loved plants, but what if I didn’t love the science part, which is the whole point of botany? Thankfully this class was not difficult, it was an introductory class that focused on the way humans have used plants and why we couldn’t live without them. The science was fairly straightforward and spread out over the semester so it could be digested, but the big picture, our relationship with plants and how they drive our lives, was UH-MAY-ZING. Somewhere along the line when I wasn’t even looking, I fell in love with science, biology, and totally serious botany. I cannot wait to get more. MORE!

When I got home from the last class, Tom had a bottle of bubbly waiting to toast. Afterward, I took my glass of Champagne happiness outside for a walk around my beloved garden, to cry like a baby (I do that when I’m proud of myself) and to let my new reality sink in, taking photos along the way so I could see what had been going on in my near-complete absence. The tour was wooly to say the least, with everything overgrown in the wildest way. So much so that I’m inspired to re-read “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett this summer. You can’t really tell the plants apart because they’re growing into each other, but at least they’re healthy. Each corner needs some of my loving attention, and with these photos I’ll plan out my summer in the garden.

Hollyhocks on the West side of the house...a bit slow this year but still alive.

Under the Lemon tree - the Roses have taken over. Who knows what else is there...

Leeks, Nasturtium, Swiss Chard, Borage, Grass, Weeds....can't even see the nifty border I had put in to separate the garden from the lawn.

Peas, Purple Beans, a volunteer Rose...this space will be cleared for tomatoes soon as I can get to it.

One Large Empty Pot...well, except for the grass that took over - nature abhors a vacuum and she will plant grass wherever there's one in the garden! Whatever shall I plant here?

The Wisteria - badly in need of trellising - and a sunny chair with my name on it.

my Schefflera is so root-bound it makes me claustrophobic. It's ability to hang in there means it gets the first of all my future transplanting efforts. This is no way to treat a 'money plant!'

East side of the house - where the wild things are. Honestly, I don't know what lives back here any more, but I'm sure I'll have a lovely time finding out!

my 'little' herb garden has become too bushy...there's a huge statue there and you can't even see her! also a wooly apple tree at the end of the row, which looks more like an apple bush.

Had an ugly yucca-type thing dug out here. We're letting the Earth rest before replanting...with who knows what.

Nasturtiums took over the "Iron Butterfly" and the Hummingbirds love it! Somewhere under all the Fennel herb, there's a Hydrangea trying to bloom, and hopefully some Cilantro.

Where in the world is Guatama Buddha? Somewhere under the fig tree covered in grass. I'll bet he doesn't mind though.

There are at least 20 different species of plant in this photo, all struggling for space and air and sun. Foxglove, Agapanthus, Daylillies, Evening Primrose, Fennel herb, etc...and one magnificent red velvet Amaryllis down at the end...

...red velvet Amaryllis rising up above a sea of wildness - I can't wait for the Grand Opening - stay tuned...

At one time this was the 'meditation circle/wedding chapel' and now it is a sea of nasturtiums giving way to a sea of grass. I can't wait to see what's under there. This is one of my top summer projects, starting from scratch and doing things a bit differently.

Grapes...definitely NOT vine-ing, mostly spreading out waving their little arms in the air like unruly children. Good for them, I say!

The door to the Secret Garden has grown most enticingly closed.

There is a path here, complete with stepping stones. Hmmm....

Matalija Poppies, Artichokes, Agapanthus, Passion Fruit, and one Pomegranate tree that might actually give fruit for the first time this summer - if I can find it! and what should I do with that old pipe structure?

Indoors - half of my former Orchid collection...the rest suffered neglect but I am impressed that any lived, so no sadness allowed!

Well, that’s the tour of the back garden. It’s amazing that I neglected it so much but it still looks like my familiar old garden, my faithful friend. I didn’t tour the front that day because I was in my pj’s five minutes after I got home from class. The Roses in front are thriving and the Avocado tree is fine if not hungry, the Lime and Mango trees need serious help and I can’t find the Asparagus under the Beans. Which translates into “all is well” despite the need for some serious Mama love – my kinda love. Maybe I’ll start today, maybe I’ll wait until I have a good long self-indulgent nap and another mimosa. Cheers!

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Well, first let me say OOPS! about missing yesterday’s post. The whole point of having an official Tuesday theme is that you post for sure on a Tuesday. Then again, the whole point of having a blog of my very own is that I’m allowed to change the rules whenever I want or need to. Teehee. Yesterday, I was pooped. On Monday I took three quizzes and two tests and read I don’t know how many chapters on fossils of Homo sapiens found in this cave or that. There was the chapter on deforestation and overpopulation – seriously depressing stuff… by the time I got home from class yesterday it was time to study for the next test and after dinner I didn’t move. Seriously, I had trouble getting up to go to bed. There’s something demoralizing about waking up in the morning on the couch with my butt hanging down between the two sections because they slide apart on the wooden floor, so I mustered.

Miss Peanut

It’s all good though, I have only one test left tomorrow in botany and one possible extra credit paper. Extra credit assignments are not something I can generally leave alone. I can be ahead in a class with an A++ and I still have to do the extra credit so the assignments list is clean and neat. Never thought of myself as obsessive or compulsive, but I suppose it’s time to admit. Hello, my name is Pam and I am an obsessive compulsive student. There.

X-Ray Peas

So how did the Muse visit me yesterday? Well, it was a song playing in the car on the way home from class…Macy Gray’s “Beauty in The World” The lyrics hit me in the emotional gut all at once even though I listen to the song often – I just hadn’t been listening. So much bad news, so much worry and sadness and things to do and ‘eyes down’ focus. I had forgotten to look around and appreciate the abundance of beauty in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t neglect that fact very often. But even a couple days of focusing solely on the negatives will drag on you. So, between the botany class I had just attended (nothing cheers me up like a botany class!), the song on the radio, and coming home to my man, I was cheered! Kind of like that last 100 feet of a 10K when people you don’t even know start clapping for you and you suddenly have a spurt of energy to get yourself to the finish line – maybe even sprint!

There is help along the road.

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Miss Peanuts enjoys her summer naps in the Catmint

Last Sunday I was so excited to have some free time and I went on about it being my last free time ever and then admitted to that being a gross exaggeration….well, it turns out that it wasn’t such a gross exaggeration after all. So, a brief update and then I’m off to grab some lunch and get back to work.

My favorite Lavender may be un-salvagable after the hard winter.

Homework and study have hit full force, with several big assignments due and a plethora of new words to learn. I love science, but you’ve got to carry a dictionary around with you in the beginning! Last night, I even had a school nightmare: wandering around lost on campus with a paper due in ten minutes that I did not do. When I woke up, sure enough my online class teacher had posted an assignment due tomorrow by noon. How do you post an assignment on Sunday and make it due by noon the next day when the next day is a holiday? Oh well.

The Angel's Trumpets on campus in August

The good news…Tom bought me a new digital camera – an early birthday present. It’s amazing and I’m still learning all of its tricks. So far, I’ve only used it for work. Friday, I took about a hundred pics on the job which I’ve got to download and sort out for the client/vendors this afternoon. I’m excited to see how they turn out and then start taking new plant photos with it. Just in time for Spring!

The Hyacinths popped up last month - like clockwork!

I’ve managed to plant some peas and radishes, arugula and lettuces. Last Sunday I pulled out all my leftover seeds and took inventory. Since work is seriously backing up, I will only be able to plant a few things here and there while cleaning up the garden and trimming things up for spring. It will have to be done in tiny time increments as I get them. The biggest thing I have learned, or learnING, is time management. With so many irons in the fire, I tend to work until I drop and then I’m sick. This year, my goal is to schedule time to rest and play in between all the other…and to pace myself. That’s the hardest part for me. I’m an extreme type person and that level pace is difficult. It’s getting better though.

Miss Peanut luxuriating in last Summer's study zone.

Have a great Sunday, remember to notice the early spring flowers, pace yourself and don’t work until you’re sick. And, most important of all, dream of Sunshine!

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For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
~ Algernon Charles Swinburne


Wednesday March 17th

I came to a funny realization in the garden this morning: I’m learning the same lessons out there as I am in math class. Slow down, pay attention, don’t skip steps and get ahead of yourself, clean up as you go along, follow the basic rules and you will be rewarded, failure comes from sloppy work and most important – breathe. I never thought I would find my Zen in algebra but you know what? I’m learning all kinds of new tricks lately!


Thursday, March 18th

Note to self:

No vegetable will grow in full, dense shade. These will produce with as little as 3-6 hours of sun or constant dappled shade per day:

Salad and leafy greens/arugula etc
Brussels Sprouts
Swiss Chard

Spring Peas

Sunday March 28th

It was my intention to post the above last weekend in honor of the Vernal Equinox but got distracted studying for an algebra test. Not distracted really, just takin care of business first. A few things did manage to happen while I was away…

For the first time ever, I got enough peas to harvest them and bring them in to share:


So Tom and I planned ahead and made a lobster, pea and asparagus omelet with a side of baby red potatoes and some champagne. Fabulous! and of course, we ate outside.

Sunday Brunch at Chez Northcutt

The “love lies bleeding” that I planted finally sprouted and it came up bright red. I can’t wait to see them grow and bloom:
I got a really cool shot of dew drops clinging to the serrated edges of the rose leaves early one morning:

Dew on the Roses

The double daffodils finally opened:

Double Daffodils

as did the Clivia and the “Martha Washington” geraniums:

Geraniums, Tobacco, Clivia

Everything is coming along nicely. The seeds are sprouting left and right and new blooms open up every day. Some blooms are already finished for the season, giving me a strange sense of urgency, like I’m running out of time. That’s usually a sign that I need to stop and do some yoga or take a bath or do some “nothing”. Or…wait for it…leave the house! Nah!

Jalapeno sprouts

Tree Tobacco blossom

Lavender blossoms

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