Open Thread

I don’t have anything to say, really. I’ve been reading and watching DIY/HGTV all night long, and I just wanted to pass on how very excited I am that planting season is finally here. It’s kind of funny- as a kid, I hated yard work and gardening, and while I am still not a fan of some yard work, I just love this time of year. I love sitting around thinking about what I am going to plant- visualizing the garden ahead of time, I love scouring online resources looking for better ways to grow things, I love going out and planting things and working up a sweat, and I adore just watching things grow. And then, the pay-off at the end, when I get to host dinner parties consisting of a protein I purchase and everything else from the vegetable and herb garden- that’s just the best. I’m nowhere near as talented as my dad in the garden or kitchen, but I sure am glad he passed on the basics and the love for it. Although the best thing I probably got from him is the ability to think spatially and in the abstract, and to imagine things before they happen. It’s amazing how many people can not visualize what something will look like before it is completed, or who can not understand flavor profiles or what spices and seasonings work with what. Although I should probably thank my mom, too, since you all know how coolly rational and logical I am about everything (her traits), and how I am never wrong, obstinate, argumentative, or obtuse. Oh, wait. Well, mom is actually the funnier one of the two, so I guess I did get that.

At any rate, this just really is the best time of year. When I get a solid 4-5 hours of sun, and get a good sweat in, and drink loads of water, I just feel good. And I’m so excited for my new play toy, the raised gardens. I can’t wait to get those in.

46 replies
  1. 1
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Are you going to plant catnip for Tunch?

  2. 2
    Trentrunner says:

    Now The Dish is just yankin’ Cole’s chain:

    Today on the Dish, Andrew declared war on GOP homophobia…

  3. 3
    burnspbesq says:

    May Madness is underway. My favorite month of the sporting year. The culmination of college lax, baseball settling into a rhythm, the climax of the EPL season, the FA Cup, the Champoins League final. Lots to get amped about.

  4. 4
    opie jeanne says:

    Raised beds are great. Pictures please?

    We have been promised a week of sunshine in Seattle, starting on Saturday. It may even get up to 70 by Wednesday, but 60s are warm enough to get out and dig the weeds and plant stuff.

    We bought the wood for another raised bed this week, for a tomato garden on the west side of the house, just outside the kitchen door. We decided that a little garden there makes sense when it’s raining and we need an onion or some thyme and don’t want to slog out to the north 40 in the mud.

  5. 5

    Big plant person here. The apartment is starting to look like a jungle, mostly of indoor ivy that I bought a 4 inch pot with a couple small ivy plants, that I’ve been clipping and rooting potting more ivy for many years now.

    The weather here right now is something like paradise. Warm but not very hot that will start in a few weeks. Pristine air and cool but not cold nights. I been looking for a spot like this to live since I got out of school.

    The only drawback is from being a lifelong avid fishing person, and there just isn’t much water with fish that is nearby.

    And just across the border is Arizona and the crazies that live there, similar to the east with Texas, but somehow NM is nothing remotely like those two states, even the wingnuts that live here are halfway sane. Mostly the rancher people, that I saw more than one Obama for Presnit sticker on their trucks in 08. We;ll have to see if that is the case this time around. I kind of doubt it, but registered democrats outnumber them 3 to 1 in this county

  6. 6
    jl says:


    “Are you going to plant catnip for Tunch?”

    I think this is a great idea. Keep Tunch safe in the yard when he is out, and afterwards probably too stoned to get over the fence of through his secret cat escape routes.

    Does gardener Cole have a plan for the deer this year?

    Maybe surround yummies with deer resistant plants.

    Deer Resistant Plants

  7. 7
    brettvk says:

    JC, I love your enthusiasm. Your garden posts make me smile.

  8. 8
    p.a. says:

    There’s only 24 hours in the day, but when will you start brewing your own beer or making your own wine? Homemade, sulfite-free wine does make a difference. might not be Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but with a little effort it’s ok. And you can turn the grinding and pressing into social occasions.

  9. 9
    MattR says:


    Does gardener Cole have a plan for the deer this year?

    Keep Tunch in the yard? Deer are scared of polar bears, right?

  10. 10
    jl says:

    @p.a.: Are hops deer resistant, and do they grow in WV?


    If so, sounds like a winner.

    And, maybe, you could sneak in a few hop like relatives which would be inconspicuous mixed in with the hops. For asthma and stuffy sinuses, if WV has medicinal law?

    Just an idea. Might make a lot of interesting blog posts, while it lasted.

    Edit: and
    Rhubarb wine

    My AK folks make a mean Rhubarb wine in the Greatland, lemme tell ya.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    Ten hour day at work plus up too damn early for a doctor’s appointment. I’m fucking exhausted.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    This list says hops are deer resistant.

    Cole homebrew project is GO.
    Or it will be once the unanimous BJ reader demand crushes any possible resistance.

    Deer Resistant Plants

  13. 13
    gaz says:

    So I went to Obama’s campaign web and saw “The Life Of Julia” which I thought was a compelling.

    But for the life of me, even under the Latinos or Equal Rights section, I could not find a single bit about immigration.

    I envision a similar slide: The Life of Julio, which documents the terrible plight of migrant workers under every modern administration including Obama’s. In fact, I’ve not seen anything that Obama has said during the campaign to contrast his positions with Romney’s WRT to undocumented workers. It’s unfortunate. It’s disappointing. And sadly, I had no reason to expect anything else from him, on that front.

  14. 14
    AnotherBruce says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You don’t plant catnip for Tunch, you plant catnip for every cat within a quarter mile radius.

  15. 15
    cmorenc says:

    So with your raised gardens installed in the back yard, does this still leave plenty of room for back-yard parties with plenty of folk invited over to hang outside? We want pictures when it’s finished. I guess part of the charm is that your raised gardens will be part of the visual interest for people hanging out in your backyard.

    Query: Have you thought through how you’re going to discourage or prevent Rosie from getting a reckless interest in your raised garden beds? Hope you’ve thought that one through already, or else I suspect I just kept you awake in bed longer than you want thinking about it.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    I usually love it when we get some cloud cover in Los Angeles, but for some reason this week has been triggering migraines. I had a nasty one on Monday that kept me home from work, and I’ve been fighting a second one all day today. Bleargh.

  17. 17
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @opie jeanne:

    Sunshine? What is this sunshine you speak of? Here on the south Oregon coast, we have this near perpetual thing called grey. Sometimes the grey is thin, sometimes thick. Sometimes the grey is damp or even downright wet, at others it’s kind of warm but still not dry. I hear this weekend that the grey might lift enough that we might see that thing called the sun.

    I hear it’s nice. That’s what my motorcycle tells me anyway.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @opie jeanne: I hope you’re talking about next week, cause it was pouring as I was driving home from work tonight. Plus Seattle is where meteorological careers go to die. It could literally all change tomorrow. And I honestly love it. :)

  19. 19
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: You get your choice on the color scheme. Blue and brown or grey and green. Most people prefer Blue and green but doesn’t work out that way for long.

  20. 20
    Simon Taverner says:

    Is anybody still awake out there? I *really* need someone to talk to!

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    @Simon Taverner: I’m here. I just emailed you. Is everything ok?

  22. 22
    Simon Taverner says:

    @John Cole:
    No, John, it’s really not…

  23. 23
    Gian says:


    I think Obama has a tightrope to walk on migrant labor.
    there’s the issues of exploitation and race
    and the issue of native labor needing a break, and imported labor competing with it.

    the actions of the UFW in fighting migrant labor and then supporting the 1986 signed by Reagan Amnesty, at least show some of the confusion the wedge issue creates for pro-labor and pro-immigration people.

    at the end of the day, you wouldn’t have had the massive influx of illegal immigrants in the 2000s if you hadn’t had the Bush admin wink at thing like recruiters for mid-west meat packers ship them in.

    Forgive me if this is really disjointed, I’ve a pretty bad cold.

    Anyway, you won’t stop people from wanting to come here and get a job that pays better than they can get at home by a couple orders of magnitude unless they 1) can’t get that job here, or 2) the job at home is near comperable to what they can get here, near enough to make the trouble of getting here not worth it.

    One way yto make the job not be offerred is to be damn sure that labor regulations are met, in that people are freaking paid, and then paid the minimum wage, and get breaks and so on.

    ANyone remember St. John of Hanoi telling people that US born people simply won’t pick lettuce for something like $50 an hour?

  24. 24
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Yutsano: Here in LALA land, our weather is so boring we have a commedian doing the weather.

  25. 25
    Sinnach says:

    Wow. So this is a very depressing year in terms of learning the political leanings of friends/relatives/idols.

    My favorite NHL goalie turned out to be a teabagger who refused to visit the White House with the whole rest of his team after winning the Stanley Cup – as if meeting Obama would somehow taint him.

    My brother who is not yet 30 and literally a nuclear engineer admitted to tivoing Glenn Beck and watching him on a daily basis. He’s got a masters degree and he not only watched but didn’t see anything wrong with Beck’s ravings.

    A very good high school friend I recently ran into again through social media decided I was trustworthy enough to include in her list of right-wing chain mails. She studied archeology at Notre Dame before going abroad.

    Sigh. These aren’t stupid people; they’re not low information voters either. It just baffles me…

  26. 26
    freelancer says:


    Something about engineering. Not to slight the trade, but biologists have noticed that if they debate a “scholarly” creationist, enough of them have noticed that there are many engineer creationists out there.

  27. 27
    gaz says:

    @Gian: Guest Worker Program

  28. 28
    Gian says:


    like the bracero program that Chavez didn’t like at the time?

    this is not a problem with a simple 3 word solution

  29. 29
    The Golux says:

    I agree, spring is my favorite time of year, and I love the warmer weather, but this spring is a bit different.

    For one, I just spent last weekend finishing the cleanup from the Halloween snowstorm last fall. We hired some folks to do the majority of it then, but our lot is mostly wooded, and there was still a lot of debris left. It took me two days to feel normal after that exertion.

    Second, the maple trees decided last fall to put out a f*ckload of seeds, and our gardens look like lawns of maple seedlings. There’s nothing to do but pull them all, and I’m not looking forward to that.

  30. 30
    VincentN says:

    We’re probably not going to see anything from Obama on the migrant workers front until his next term if he’s re-elected. But I do see that he’s trying to push the DREAM Act again.

    DREAM was one of the few items on his agenda that failed to get passed at the end of 2010 when he succeeded in getting DADT repealed and getting the New START passed so it’s good to see he’s trying again with it.

  31. 31
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Gian: The bracero program, ay. Reminds me of some Tom Lehrer lyrics about Senator George Murphy, who thought Mexicans made better farm workers because they were ‘built closer to the ground’…

    “The movies that you’ve seen
    On your television screen
    Show his legislative talents at a glance.
    Should americans pick crops? george says “no
    ’cause no one but a mexican would stoop so low”
    And after all, even in egypt, the pharaohs
    Had to import
    Hebrew braceros.

    We in California really have produced our share of nutball politicians over the years.

  32. 32
    DH says:

    @Simon Taverner:

    Peace and Grace to you.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    burnspbesq says:


    We don’t have weather; we have climate.

  35. 35
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    The doctor paid to shill for the No on 29 campaign in California has an interesting history.

    I’d say, if you’re one of her patients, you should run away as fast as you can.

  36. 36
    amk says:

    The ‘base’s’ advice to camie boy after the shellacking they received in UK local elections ? Fucking double down on “crime, immigration and Europe.” As if the UK voters weren’t pissed off at their ‘austerity’ plans. How does the rightwing attract so many dumb mofos ?

    I love that cleggy boy got ratfucked in the process, though.

  37. 37
    opie jeanne says:

    @Yutsano: Starting on this Saturday and running through Wednesday, at the very least. Sunshine. Temps near 70 and Wednesday, dare I say it, above 70.

  38. 38
    p.a. says:

    @amk: well, when ya got nuttin’, ya go with what works. and that b.s. works.

  39. 39
    bob h says:

    If you have nice tools, all this is even more fun. I have a Stihl chainsaw that I love to use for trimming trees, and a bulb planting tool that has made putting in about 100 bulbs easier and fun.

    In NJ this is a beautiful time, but sometime in June we transition to a swampy, overgrown, depressing state.

  40. 40
    Mary Brown says:

    I have an 8′ x 11′ new garden, ready to go. Any good ideas what to plant besides catnip, tomatoes and basil. Lots of sun.

  41. 41
    donnah says:

    I agree that the ability to imagine and visualize projects in planning is very important. I’m an artist and virtually every new project I aspire to create comes from an image in my head.

    My latest piece is an awareness rug for Alzheimers. I carried the idea around in my head for months before I could get it down, but I did.

    Now I’ll bind the outer edge and it will be finished. My next project is a portrait commission. This will be a busy weekend!

  42. 42
    ruemara says:

    @donnah: Beautiful work, Donnah. I’ve always admired people who can do the fiber arts. It’s a wonderful talent.

  43. 43
    donnah says:

    Thanks, Ruemara! I have been an artist all my life, but rughooking is something I’ve really fallen for. It’s got all of the elements of painting, but with the bonus of texture.

  44. 44
    gaz says:

    @Gian: Gian, that “3 word solution” comes directly from being immersed in migrant worker politics. I have Mixtecs living at my house. I know the farmers here. My wife and I are engaged daily in boots-on-the-ground immigration issues. She speaks Mixtec and Spanish. It’s from that lived experience that I draw my conclusions. The fact that you brought up Chavez, instead of the GWP attempt under Carter shows me that you know little of the situation.

    Before dismissing it, how about reading/watching some Matt Black or something.

  45. 45
    Gretchen says:

    what garden blogs are you reading?

  46. 46
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I grew up in Erie County, PA, which gets the least amount of sunshine than everywhere except Seattle. I’ve lived in Florida for the last 40 years and we get NO FKG clouds, Nuttin’! The most boring weather on earth! but it’s kinda nice.

Comments are closed.