|My miserable madder |
It’s still a drought year. Worse, even. But there’s no bat mitzvah this year… and I can’t bear the thought of leaving the garden fallow for two years in a row. Besides, every garden center employee I’ve ever talked to (not that they have a vested interest in this or anything) has said not to do that.
I don’t want an enormous water bill. I don’t want a garden full of weeds. If I pull the weeds but don’t plant, it’s windy enough here that I will lose some soil - soil I’ve worked hard to amend. My solution is to plant far fewer vegetables and far more ornamentals. What vegetables I do plant - I will limit the ones that want to sink a lot of water into fruiting bodies.
|Weld (Reseda luteola)|
I mail ordered the classic dye plants. You can’t find them locally. Unfortunately they came right before Passover and I host both seders, so the little plants languished in their seed pots too long. They look pretty miserable, but I think most of them ought to live. But you know me by now, I’m not going to shuck and jive - you’ve got their ugly mugshots to look at right here with no doctoring. I’m considering ordering more if these don’t make it.
|My woeful woad (Isatis tinctoria)|
|Sugar snap pea seedlings|
|Dyer's Knot, a.k.a. indigo|
(Indigofera tinctoria). White sage
(Salvia apiana) is in the background
and can also be used as a dye.
The marigolds I’m planting are really interesting. One is the Nema-gone variety. I decided to plant this pretty extensively because I have a feeling that I’ve got root knot nematodes. They’re common in sandy soil along the coast. The other is an heirloom variety called Sweet Licorice and the leaves are edible and used as seasoning… they can replace anise or tarragon.
Speaking of herbs, I’m starting thyme, tansy and oregano from seed. I’ve got thyme in the garden already but I do love it so I am planting more. Tansy is an herb I haven’t grown, but it can be used as a dye as well as for tea, so I thought I’d give it a try given this year’s theme. And oregano - ugh it is such a pain. I’ve found in the past that you really need to grow up a bazillion seedlings, let them get to a pretty robust stage and then vet them for flavor. So many oregano plants turn out to be rather wimpy in the taste department. After sorting through a boatload of plants I often only find one or two really worth keeping. I haven’t been up to the task, but this year since I’m not planting much in the vegetable department I figured I could give this some space in the garden.
Finally, I’ve got to replace the blueberry plant that died if I want to have blueberries at all. One plant won’t set berries. Problem is, I don’t remember what variety I bought - you need two different varieties to get berries. I will sift through my notes again. I can’t believe I took such copious notes but didn’t record THAT. Total bozo move. Sigh.
Anyway, it feels good to be out in the garden again. I may be doing a hack job, but I’ve found that for me, what matters is just that I’m doing it, regardless of how well.
|All hail to survivalist kale!|