Sunday, May 31, 2009


I didn't do any gardening today. (This turned out to be a cooking day.) I did, however, spend an inordinate amount of time hovering over the tomato plants, whispering encouragement and issuing stern warnings to the strange iridescent winged creatures I saw darting about. I want to do this pesticide-free which is why I'm planting marigolds like a madwoman. (Back in my gardening days on Long Island, marigolds seemed to be the answer to a multitude of buggy problems.)

The basil is growing like crazy. This photo was taken last week and, trust me, the plant has easily doubled in size. I think there's a pesto in our immediate future.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lost in Lowe's

Lowe's and Home Depot and Ambleside and Central NJ Nursery, to be specific.

We spent yesterday afternoon going a little nuts in various garden centers. The original plan was to stop by for some chicken wire and a bag of topsoil. Unfortunately the original plan lasted until we climbed out of the truck and encountered a huge display of yellow and orange marigolds begging to be transplanted.

The marigolds were followed by some yellow daisies (I love daisies), Japanese eggplant, globe eggplant, Texas thyme, tarragon, mint, cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Our restrained, toe-in-the-water gardening plan for 2009 clearly went up in smoke.

"We went crazy," he said as we drove away in our plant/chicken wire/topsoil-laden truck.

Looks like our $45 tomato is going to have company.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Topsy Turvy Life

A confession: I'm a sucker for tacky Sold On TV ads. You know the ones I mean: miracle hair replacement regimens, Sham Wow (is that guy scary or what?), super choppers that put sous chefs to shame, and the Topsy Turvy.

I fell in love with Topsy Turvy last year. Unfortunately my love affair began near the end of the growing season so all I could do was pine over that goofy green plastic bag and those upside-down tomatoes spilling out of it. My repressed gardener's heart yearned for my own Topsy Turvy. I wanted it the way I used to want Paul McCartney when I was fourteen years old.

I thought about it all winter and pounced the second the snow melted. It took a little convincing to bring Himself on board but I prevailed and two weeks ago tomorrow we took our first leap into upside-down gardening.

The Topsy Turvys are in the far corner of the back yard, midway between the stand of pine trees and the shade trees Roy planted for my 38th birthday. We bought four shepherd's poles at Cost Cutters (which has since closed its doors; sob), tied them together for strength, et voila!

The planting itself was strange. Our tomatoes had grown a tad larger than optimum size for insertion and I said a few rude things as Roy pretty much shoved them through the opening with all the finesse of a sadistic proctologist. Turns out they're tough little plants and they survived the trauma. Within days they started vining upward in search of the sun.

I'm completely obsessed with these tomatoes. I tell you that freely. All I want to do is dash outside every hour on the hour and stare at the plants. I ran out first thing this rainy morning in PJs and clogs to see what was going on and my shriek probably echoed up and down the street.

We have a tomato! Okay, so it's the size of my thumb nail but it's a real live tomato-in-progress and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

You can see it, right? Follow the stem upward from the bottom of the picture, look slightly to the right under a canopy of leaves. That little round green blob is A TOMATO!

A $45 tomato unless the rest of the plants kick in and start producing . . .

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Le Wrath di Khan

This will make you love opera. I promise!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Laced With Magic

You're the first to see it! Enjoy.

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