Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Small Spring

From diligent Garden Queen commentor Marvel:

It’s starting to be that time again — fun & exciting, but it’s been tough getting used to having so little growing space.

My little raised-bedpocket garden is in and planted — just things I know we’ll gobble up (‘matas, beans, spinach, lettuce, cauliflower and kale).

I got ahold of some big commercial growers’ pots and have a dozen or so potatoes doing well in a small sunny side yard beside a young grafted pear tree (five kinds of pears).

There’s some garlic in troughs on a back deck and peppers in the greenhouse…and that’s pretty much it.

The yard landscape’s mature (plenty of rhodies & azaleas — things the deer don’t favor), but there are a few spots where I’ve planted (and will be planting) things that please me.

It’s funny: I don’t miss the old house all that much, but I think I miss every single thing I planted there over the years.

Have a SWELL spring — the BEST time of year!

Have to admit, I would be jealous of Marvel’s organization skills, if I weren’t so in awe…

Today, Murphy willing, will be dedicated to transfering tomato plants into 15gal rootpouches. If you don’t hear from me again, it’ll be because I’m too tired & sore to lift my hands to the keyboard!

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

100 replies
  1. 1
    lahke says:

    I have some nasturtium seeds from the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum that I’m going to try to grow from my front porch and cascade over the side the way they do in the museum atrium. Hope this messy link works, I’m not real competent with pasting links on my phone.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    I knew that was going to be Marvel’s new garden at the first photo, without even seeing the text. She is so organized and has a style of her own.

    Happy Sunday, jackals. Gonna get out and about now.

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @lahke: Nogo on the linky.


    I knew that was going to be Marvel’s new garden

    So did I and happy I am to see her new place.

  4. 4
    Anne Laurie says:

    @lahke: Here’s the link, shortened: Beautiful And Stressful: Delicate Nasturtiums Make Annual Splash At Gardner Museum.

    (You know nasturtium flowers are edible, right?)

  5. 5
    NotMax says:


    Not sure if this is the same view you chose: a link to the courtyard nasturtiums.

  6. 6
    lahke says:

    Thank you AL and NotMax for cleaning up the link. I’m hoping my porch will look as good.

  7. 7
    opiejeanne says:

    Marvel’s garden is marvelous. I’ll bet she’s never heard that one before.
    Seriously, it’s really a big wow!
    In our garden we are fighting the buttercup and I’m not sure who will win. There are a few places where things we like are actually winning, like centauria (looks like a big bachelor’s button) and cranesbill but most of the yard is a weedy mess still. Some of the Shasta daisies seem to be holding their own, but other things are just buried and waiting to be uncovered, ike the lavender and a small rhododendron we planted two years ago; poor little thing. The lilacs came and went so fast we missed most of their bloom*, and the clematis has done the same but we were home to watch it happen. The clematis on the shed was dead, or so we thought, but when we got back from our last trip three weeks ago I started watering it heavily and a miracle occurred: it sprouted from the ground. It’s a gorgeous showy thing when it’s in bloom: clematis

    *Today was the annual commemoration of the Glorious Revolution: Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard-Boiled Egg! I intended to wear a lilac sprig in honor of it and in support of Alzheimer’s research.

  8. 8
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: Help? I’m in moderation because I left an “o” out of yahoo.

  9. 9
    satby says:

    @ Marvel up top:

    It’s funny: I don’t miss the old house all that much, but I think I miss every single thing I planted there over the years.

    Not funny at all! I had poured a lot of effort into the landscaping and garden at what was supposed to be my last home in Michigan before I lost that house. And over the last two summers here I’ve tried to replant my favorite shrubs and trees here on a much smaller city lot. I have a nicer house, so I don’t miss the old one, but I miss my roomy old acre of land and the gardens I worked so hard in.
    Your new place is beautiful.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    And who, might one ask, is paying for this monstrous “President’s trophy?” And under what authorization does it carry the title (and, if it does, the seal) of the office?

    [Japan P.M.] Abe has planned a largely ceremonial, four-day visit to suit Trump’s whims and ego. It’s part of Abe’s charm strategy that some analysts say has spared Japan from the full weight of Trump’s trade wrath.

    Abe and Trump planned to play golf Sunday before Abe gives Trump the chance to present his “President’s Cup” trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling championship match. The White House said the trophy is nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and weighs between 60 pounds and 70 pounds (27 kilograms and 32 kilograms). Source

  11. 11
    satby says:

    And it rained again last night, cloudy and occasional lightning and thunder now. I’m still hoping it’s dry enough in the afternoon for the guy who cuts my lawn to come mow, because it’s too high for my mower. Otherwise I may have to dig out my old machete.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “Not so much,” he acknowledges. “I do not dislike them. I do not dislike any plant. But I do have my favorites. … The nasturtiums are very stressful. They’re a very delicate plant.”

    Hence, I’m not growing any this year. They never thrived in my “C’est la vie” gardening style.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    I have a rosebush soaking in our rains, will get a bucket and take it across to highway, where the deer don’t go.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    Marvel, your garden is gorgeous and so ably organized. Thnks for sharing it.

    Nasturtiums were the first thing I ever planted and still one of my favorite flowers. They used to be everywhere here in So. Orange county, and would naturalize and reseed themselves all over, but not any more. Climate change maybe?

    We are overrun with celery. One little sixpack from a couple of years ago took over one of the raised beds and self sows all over. We even found one growing in a crack in the driveway on the opposite side of the house.

  15. 15
    opiejeanne says:

    Could someone please release my comment from moderation? I mistyped my email address.

  16. 16
    NotMax says:


    Wanted to point out to you something new to Netflix, High Seas, but ONLY because the same production them behind Grand Hotel involved in it. Even the music sounds very, very familiar.

    In this case, although beautiful to look at, only average as a period whodunit. Just eight episodes, so not as much of a time sink as was Grand Hotel. Spanish w/English subtitles, or a blah English dubbed version.

    More violently scarlet lipstick than you can shake a stick at. :)

  17. 17
    Lapassionara says:

    This is a lovely garden. Thanks for sharing.

    If weather permits, I’ll be planting some sunflowers that I started from seeds in small pots. Using my new sunny annual beds that I prepared last fall.

  18. 18
    NotMax says:


    Oopsie; production team, not production them.

  19. 19
    Raven says:

    Great garden, what a “matas”?

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    High Bahstonian for ‘maters, presumably


  21. 21
    satby says:

    @NotMax: thanks! Just have been watching both the latest season of Shetland and a new one to me: Blood.
    Both on Britbox (trial subscription available) via Prime.

    The Criterion subscription has so far been a bit of a disappointment. I prefer to be surprised by the available lineup rather than having to go hunt for movies, and what’s been on offer hasn’t been all that interesting to me even though some are great movies. I’m going to give it more of a chance though.

  22. 22
    Raven says:

    So my bride had the time of arrival off by 12 hrs and she finally got here at about 9pm. It’s interesting, she only lived here for 2 years while getting her MFA and that was over 20 years ago. She’s very nice and I hope the heat doesn’t melt her!

  23. 23
    raven says:

    @satby: I gave em a year!

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    Marvel, Your garden is amazing!

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄 😄😄

  26. 26
    rikyrah says:

    Beautiful pictures of today’s garden👏👏

  27. 27
    NotMax says:


    I’m a sucker for art deco settings, so happy enough from that even if the drama is decidedly average. (Designed and built as set for a summer camp production of Anything Goes which, in all humility, would put any Broadway version to shame. All curved corners and geometric decoration.)

    Necessity limits my subscription dollars, however for Euro stuff you might want to take a gander at Walter Presents.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    My laptop died. What would you recommend for under 400.00?

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @raven: I did too, charter subscription. What do you think of it so far?

    @NotMax: just watched the High Seas trailer, and will be adding that tonight. 👍

  30. 30
    satby says:

    @JPL: I’ve always had great luck with refurbs like this one. edit: ok, not a return and it can be customized a bit. Still not hard to come in under $400 with SSD

  31. 31
    NotMax says:


    Depends on what you use it for. Would mention checking out both Asus and Acer laptops.

    That said, 3 things.

    1) SSD (solid state drive). These days, pass on by if not included.

    2) If you make use of a disk drive (optical drive), many laptops no longer include them. There are very inexpensive external optical drives available, but it’s one more thing to lug around (if it’s a drive you make frequent use of).

    3) More USB ports could well be a deciding factor between two close competitors.

  32. 32
    satby says:

    @satby: meant not a “refurb” above, not “return”

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: An abacus?

  34. 34
    NotMax says:


    Wow, that dredges up memories. Part of either the 4th or the 5th grade curriculum in elementary school was learning to use an abacus.

  35. 35
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: I need more than a chromebook offers which eliminates several less expensive brands, but not much more. I’m still hoping that my Toshiba wakes up after a few days rest, but it’s unlikely since it sat in was a whoops. Ice melted on the counter top and it was placed on top. I was distracted because of a houseful of company. I’m now limping along on an old HP

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @NotMax: It was fun. I liked slide rules also.

  37. 37
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: We had to learn it too. I suppose it helped in looking at numbers in an orderly fashion.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:


    Yup. Still have the slide rule (and its storage case) we were expected to purchase.

    That’s when I learned the benefits of using talcum powder as a lubricant for sliding surfaces. Use that to this day, applied annually on the runners of Mom’s sliding vinyl windows.

  39. 39
    waratah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was surprised how much trouble they are. My mother had some come up volunteer every year in her flower box. I have trouble getting the seed to sprout! I keep trying because I like them in mixed flower pots. Except for a nibble on a leaf and a flower I have not added them to salads.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:


    One thing would recommend, if feasible, is to take the time to stop in at Best Buy or Office Max or wherever and test out the feel of the keyboards on various brands and models. An unwieldy or uncomfortable keyboard can be beyond an annoyance.

  41. 41
    Raven says:

    @satby: I have not watched anything. I’m trying to get some of this stuff under control with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Dish, Acorn. . .I’m thinking about suspending dish and getting YouTube tv to see if it will work for me before football. 70 channels for $50 with unlimited fever space.

  42. 42
    waratah says:

    Marvel your garden is lovely and I cannot see that you missed anything. I presume you have herbs planted somewhere? I love new potatoes with the earthy taste but have not mastered growing in containers yet.

  43. 43
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @waratah: I never got enough to add to a salad without denuding the plants of blooms in the process.

  44. 44
    NotMax says:


    Still reeling with disappointment that my Netflix just went up a buck to $8.99 per month.

  45. 45
    tybee says:


    My laptop died. What would you recommend for under 400.00?

  46. 46
    Baud says:


    Good morning.

  47. 47
    MomSense says:

    Wow, I’m in awe of how much you accomplished in such a short time. Marvel, it’s beautuful and so neat.

  48. 48
    mrmoshpotato says:


    to suit Trump’s whims and ego.

    Some heavy, heavy lifting there. “so that Dump isn’t the whiny manbaby we all know he is” would’ve been more accurate and increased the word count.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: whoa..dozed off for an hour! Good morning take 2

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    In my own garden news,

    The maters are getting away from me, I need to pay more attention and keep them in their cages, also need to finish tying everything together so they stand up over the season.
    Sweet peppers have all survived the trauma of transplanting and growing just fine. Hot peppers too.
    Eggplants have been hit hard by the flea beetles because I wasn’t paying enuf attention. On it now.
    Brassicas are all growing well, should have a fine crop of broccoli for the freezer.
    Cukes and melons are doing well.
    And despite mother nature’s evilest intents, my beans have (so far) not drowned in the incessant rains and have nearly 100% germinated and will soon be climbing the trellises.

    I have a little more mulching and more than a little weeding on the schedule for today. Also, finally getting the herb garden in today. I don’t think I have ever put it in this late before.

    Put the finishing touches on the fountain yesterday, so phase 1 of the ‘zen’ garden is complete. It will get it’s inaugural run either this afternoon or tomorrow morning depending on the cure of the last bit of concrete.

    All of my wildflower/butterfly beds are growing just fine with plenty of Mexican sunflowers, zinnias, calendulas, and cosmos to fill in the blanks between the blazing star, larkspur, black eyed susans, yarrows, and more. I managed to start some straw flowers under the grow lights and they are out there too. I do love them.

  51. 51
    debbie says:


    I can’t imagine she ever sleeps, what with all the planning and organizing.

  52. 52
    satby says:

    @Raven: I ditched Direct TV, had Prime and Netflix and added Sling mainly for TCM after the TCM Flimstruck went away. Now debating ditching Sling and just adding Hulu long enough to watch the new Veronica Mars when it comes out.
    I add and suspend Acorn and Britbox easily enough through Prime if I feel the need to watch something only on them. I may end up just with Prime down the road.

  53. 53
    Quinerly says:

    Most everything in my city living courtyard & on second level porch/deck is in containers….large geraniums, petunias, and dragon winged begonias and my collection of cactus and succulents that winter over in the basement apartment grow room. Do have an area in ground around the small goldfish pond in the shade for Solomon’s seal, hostas, and orange impatiens. Poco has been nibbling on the Lantana, which is a big no no. I’ve also become “addicted” to about 5 varieties of sun coleus. Been wintering them over with the geraniums and begonias and have some that are now 5 years old. Herb garden is under grow lights in the basement apartment’s kitchen. If it rains today, I’m inside trying to finish up this copper penny bathroom floor for this soon to be AirBnB walk out basement apartment. We are about 90% finished with this almost 2 year apartment project. Ozark’s and my mutual friend, the “Mosaic Goddess” (from City Museum, Sugar Fire BBQ, and Venice Cafe fame💜) should be finishing up a pebble mosaic electric fireplace surround in the living room area. She’s surprising me with the final design, but pretty sure a couple of black mosaic ravens will be involved. Have a great day everyone! Poco sends tail wags and full body wiggles.

  54. 54
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: 💚❤️💙💜

  55. 55
    Kristine says:

    Boggled by @Marvel’s organizational skills. Talk about max use of space.

    I’m sticking to flowers this year. Bought some half-price shade plant kits from Chicago Botanic Garden on Friday. Each contains a hosta, pink astilbe, and something called a dicentra with pink bell-like blooms. I’ll plant those today, in between the raindrops. Yesterday, I set up the new compost bin. Even without the veggie garden, the work never ends.

  56. 56
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: good morning! Sending waves, tail wags, and soft meows!

  57. 57
  58. 58
    satby says:

    @Kristine: I planted astilbe last year and it never did much but at least didn’t die. The azaleas in the same spot also looked anemic. This year they’ve all taken off and are doing great. So if they don’t do much the first year remember that some perennials take a year to really establish.

  59. 59
    zhena gogolia says:

    Off to sit out in the sun in a polyester robe. Blech.

  60. 60
    satby says:

    @Kristine: BTW, dicentras are bleeding heart plants. They can get bushy, as can the other ones, so space them as recommended if you want them to not crowd each other.

  61. 61
    satby says:

    @zhena gogolia: WHY?!?

    Edit: oh a graduation ceremony. Yep, blech.
    Nice for the graduates though.

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Quinerly: My eldest helped Red with a Sugar Fire install in Edmundson just this past week. I’m long past due to pay her a visit.

  63. 63
    chris says:

    Y’all might be interested in ymovies dot tv. Usual caveats apply, up to date antivirus, etc. I like the “the old Homepage.”

  64. 64
    debbie says:


    Publisher HarperCollins announced on Wednesday morning that the final novel in Mantel’s trilogy of historical novels about the life of Thomas Cromwell, will be published in March 2020. The long-awaited novel will cover the final four years of Cromwell’s life, starting with Boleyn’s execution in 1536, and moving to his own execution for treason and heresy in 1540.

  65. 65
    Villiageidiocy says:

    @satby: I haven’t checked out the subscription of Criterion, but I think Ive seen at least some of their movies available through my public library. I believe it’s through RBDigital. Your library, of course, has to have a subscription to RBDigital and you have to sign up too (for free, btw). RBDigital seems to lean towards art school stuff. They don’t carry block busters. You are limited to 10 movies/week, and a 15’ film short counts as much as a 2 hr movie.
    I watch mine through Roku, but you can get an app for your phone/ipad or watch through your computer.
    I love my public library.

  66. 66
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I actually knew that. I was checking to see if you read my now so infrequent posts😈. Love our Red! Sugar Fire work has been holding up the work here which is OK. My stuff is always backburner. Someday, I hope you can see what she’s done here over the years (since 1995). Our “Salle Roche” is quite the art piece… “art apartment”??? (my contractor/carpenter who drives in from Bourbon, MO to work has taken to calling himself an “art carpenter”… did you ever know Sprague when he was around in Soulard???). Anyway, Red outdid herself on the countertops in the kitchen (all left over product from other jobs over the years) and the steam punk inspired, mosaic slate and copper bathroom. Love our Red. But you knew that.

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Quinerly: I’d love to see the place someday. Sprague… Sounds familiar but I can’t put a face to the name.

  68. 68
    StringOnAStick says:

    I am limited to 4 large rectangular self watering pots on the edge of the driveway but it works. I had planted bush beans and seedless cucumbers after Mothers day as is the usual “all clear” date here, and then it snowed 6″ and stayed cold longer than my hoop greenhouse over them could hold the heat so I planted again yesterday. The cucumber variety is “Picolino”, 5 seeds for $5 and I planted my last two seeds so I hope we’re done with cold weather surprises this spring. I’m keeping the hoop cover up to keep the soil warm.

    I gave up on tomatoes in pots since it is never that great a result here and I can get great ones at the farmers market. Green beans and cucumbers work great in my pots and fresh ones are never as good as home grown. I plant the variety called “Strike” because it is continually productive instead of all at once then a second flush later. The season is so short here that by the second flush there isn’t much time left and the cool nights really slow down production.

  69. 69
    StringOnAStick says:

    I’m also likely being overly optimistic about how well my garden adverse husband will take care of this stuff after I get my remaining natural knee replaced in early July. He’s in love with Monty Don’s Gardeners World series, so that might help but he cringes every time Monty lists the weekly chores for the viewer’s gardens. Thankfully the next door neighbor is helpful and attentive!

  70. 70
    tybee says:

    @StringOnAStick: spousal unit had one knee done on jan 2nd this year and the 2nd knee done on may 1st. it’s been amusing.

  71. 71
    oldgold says:

    After looking at Marvel’s photos, this jealous tirade welled up in me. Obviously, my thumbs are not green, but my eyes are.

    Gardeners, who raise flowers and vegetables, have it easy. They have fancy-schmancy seed catalogs, temporary greenhouses popping up like mushrooms in the Sping and ubiquitous sources of advice.

    As a weed gardener, these resources are not available to me. Yet, year after year, with damn near 24-7 dedicated indifference and purposeful procrastination, despite suffering Biblical like drought, floods and pestilence, I raise in West of Eden a varied and bountiful
    potpourri of tares and grasses.

    Despite perennial certified letters from neighbors and city officials, noting in detail and with photographs my gardening accomplishments, I remain horticulturally humble, persisting like parthenocissus quinquefoliathe to the belief that a weed is but an unloved flower.

  72. 72
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sprague was more “Down Street” and “Broadway Oyster Bar.” True hippie musician and carpenter. Gin drinker. Hung with Bob Merritt, B. Burkhart, Amant, D. Class, Hans, C McKenzie. Not a Venice Cafe guy. Did loads of work in Soulard over the years. Quit drinking, moved to the river. Kinda came out of hibernation for my project. You probably could remember his behavior when he drank. Different person now. Hope to get you over here someday. Red has done some really fun stuff here over the years.

  73. 73
    Jager says:

    We replaced our old septic system with a mound system last summer. We planted ground cover on the mound, Now I’m spending half my life keeping up with the weeds growing on the mound. The guy who built it for us, suggested we plant a garden on it, I’m skeptical, any thoughts? Plus I’d have to fence it to keep out all the animals who live up in the canyon with us.

  74. 74
    TomatoQueen says:

    @debbie: Hallefuckinglujah indeed. This will make up for a host of ills, omissions, droughts, and oversights. But seriously, from what I understand, Mantel’s health is always precarious, so she gets extra applause for effort in the face of adversity. Oh Mr Rylance…

  75. 75
    laura says:

    After weeks of tedious weeding in the long raised bed, and despite the ample layer of mulch, the weeds are back. I’m going to the home despot to find a steam injector and burn them out by the roots. Otherwise, the milkweed blossoms are getting ready to bloom, the shade garden is getting some hostas and coleous and nasturtiums. I’ve got way too many zinnia to start and, well, there’s always room for just one more Mexican sage.
    Yesterday dragonflies were zooming around and Peewee the hummingbird was guarding the yard from the powerline above the orange tree. Rain today here in Sacramento, but a gentle lashing instead of a gulley washer.
    Marvel’s garden is always an inspiration, I wish I had the skill and the time…..

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: @TomatoQueen: Reading Wolf Hall was such a pleasure. The prose was just remarkable. My only regret was I had never seen/read A Man For All Seasons. I was vaguely aware of the POV, had read a bio of H-8 and knew the broad outlines of the More legend, but I came to despise him while reading Wolf Hall. I can’t remember if it was at that time or before I learned that TM was a cult figure to American rightwing Catholics, which might have colored my own POV

  77. 77
    debbie says:


    They really should have waited for the entire trilogy before putting it on stage or film. I think the lure of the limelight took her away from completing it. I can’t imagine there won’t be issues with continuity (hope I’m wrong, though).

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    A Man for All Seasons may not be historically accurate, but what a film! This, along with Becket and Lion in Winter, are all among my very favorites. I’m sure someone will come up with shortcomings for all of them, and to that I say, Bah Humbug!

  78. 78
    Miss Bianca says:

    Going to help a neighbor clean out her garden spot this morning. That said, I am in awe of what Marvel and other dedicated gardeners are able to accomplish.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    John Cole says:

    Those raised beds are beautiful where did they come from?

  81. 81
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: d Lion in Winter, are all among my very favorites. I’m sure someone will come up with shortcomings for all of them, and to that I say, Bah Humbug!

    Hepburn and O’Toole left teethmarks on every tapestry and every piece of furniture on the set, gods bless’em, and as quotable a script as ever written
    -So, Eleanor, are you still like a Democratic drawbridge, laying yourself down for every passing traveller?
    – These days, there’s not much traffic.

    – Henry’s bed is Henry’s province, he can people it with sheep for all I care, which on occasion he has done.

    – She had perfectly straight teeth. Of course she smiled to excess, but she chewed with real distinction.

  82. 82
    Kristine says:

    @satby: Ah–thanks for the tip!

  83. 83
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    What family doesn’t have its ups and downs?

  84. 84
    Kristine says:

    @Quinerly: Photos of steampunk-inspired bathroom would be great!

  85. 85
    Kristine says:

    @debbie: I love that movie.

  86. 86
    Miss Bianca says:

    @opiejeanne: “Fighting The Buttercup” sounds like it ought to be the title of its own short story. Or perhaps an essay. : )

  87. 87
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:Regarding More, let’s say that the Reformation brought out the worst in some people whose inclinations were previously much more progressive. What is so ironic is that both More’s and Cromwell’s vast intellectual gifts were by circumstance hitched to a man who eventually became ruled mostly by whim and appetite.

  88. 88
    Lyrebird says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I might be too late to catch you, but anyhow… I only grow easy peasy plants, and I have managed to grow nasturtiums without too much trouble. Helps that at least around here, squirrels don’t like them.

    Baker’s Creek tomato report: all the purple tomato plants are just shriveling up, but the Peron’s are going strong.

  89. 89
    Lyrebird says:

    and hey, Marvel, that is one amazing garden!!!!

  90. 90
    Marvel says:

    @John Cole: Johh, a local builder (Garden Spaces Sustainable Landscapes) buillt ’em. They’re a bit taller (18″) than usual and the wide brim gives us a flat space needed to anchor seasonal bed covers. The soil is our favorite blend: 1/3 mulch, 1/3 peat, 1/3 pearlite.

  91. 91
    Quinerly says:

    @Kristine: will send some in when finished. The “inspiration” was leaving the exposed copper and the exposed metal electrical conduit, Edison light bulbs and fixtures. Red has incorporated metals, and odd industrial type items in the slate tile mosaic with copper tinted grout. We made a copper tubing 3 tier towel rack and another piping toilet paper dispenser. We have used old keys as a countertop in a sealed mosaic pattern. I found some neat old patent diagrams on metal for a 1880’s faucet, toilet, sink, and drains. Plus, an advertisement for “Madam Rowley’s Toilet Mask.”😈 The bathroom is still evolving. One wall is the original limestone 1880’s above ground foundation for my house. It’s all a bit “trippy” and time consuming, but we are having loads of fun doing it. Thanks for your interest. Have a great day!

  92. 92
    low-tech cyclist says:

    No garden to speak of, but in the past two months, my lawn has gone from looking like a disaster (to the point where I was considering getting a professional outfit to resurrect our lawn from the dead) to the best it’s looked in a decade.

    I’ve got no miracle secrets to share. Just a shitload of grass seed, normal sun and rain, and crossed fingers that the crabgrass preventer I applied earlier this month keeps the crabgrass from choking out the lawn in July. (I’d have nothing against crabgrass if it lasted through the winter, but it dies in early December, leaving a sea of mud in its wake.)

  93. 93
    debbie says:


    Power would seem to bring out the worst in a person.

  94. 94
    jnfr says:


    What do you do for flea beetles on your eggplants. Mine usually get eaten by grasshoppers.

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think it’s less that Mantel was lured by the spotlight and more that a fear of failure bordering on terror probably set in because the stakes are so high now. Hopefully Mantel will be able to push through and finish the trilogy despite knowing that thousands of people are standing by to tell her that she is a miserable failure who never even should have attempted the project if she couldn’t stick the landing.

  96. 96
    debbie says:


    I wasn’t one of those saying that, in case that’s what you are implying. First, the book is already written or the publisher wouldn’t have announced the publication date. Second, Mantel herself says the play and television productions did in fact take her away from writing the third book.

  97. 97
    TomatoQueen says:

    @Mnemosyne: What I’ve read of the publication history is from the Guardian which has been at least somewhat sympathetic to her. The main issue is Mantel’s health, which has been her curse and obstacle all along and about which she’s somewhat reticent. I get the impression that she has learned to be in no hurry, in spite of everything, so that she can get her projects to a satisfactory level, and that takes time. The last hiatus was at least in part caused by staging the first two books, so she’s been writing the third volume along with writing a play based on her own work–advantage, author, while the public learns to be patient. Then once that phase of the story was done, volume three could proceed to the author’s satisfaction. Production schedules in the UK are rather short–they do short series and adaptations which plays merry hell with people schedules too. But it won’t be long now.
    I saw Man for All Seasons as a child, when it came out, and then a few more times as an adult–and it’s a marvel in itself. Anne of the Thousand Days preceded it and both are from stage plays, and I think stand up well. So my sense of the male characters is of willful, sharp-witted men with sonorous voices playing power games.

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  99. 99
    Marvel says:

    @John Cole: Natch.

  100. 100
    Anne Laurie says:

    @satby: What they told me about perennials is “First year sleep; second year creep; third year leap.”

    It’s not an infallible rule, but it’s kept me from giving up on more than a few plants!

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