Hoe de Hoe

A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.
H. E. Bates

And so it began yesterday, down the rabbit hole, into the secret world of gardeners :P Fellow gardeners I have not seen since last year, new garderners I have met, all came by to scoop up some of peapod's dahilas. Everyone alive with excitement and plans.

First over was peapod, yes a chinese gardener that I now call peapod, because all she talks about are peas. Her passion is peas.
She talks about peas like she just won the lottery :P In my travels she asks that I keep an eye out for bamboo poles...I make a notation in my book...than we walk around my garden sipping green tea, stopping at each plant to discuss its merits or not. She admires my new gum boots. I show her the necessary accessory needed for gum boots, my new pitchfork....awesome

This proceeds until almost lunch time, a steady stream of old and new gardening friends...groundhogs all awake now and ready to rock and roll.
Hammie comes by to dig up some plants. She has brought us lunch, we lay in the sun eating strange bread from the iranian grocery. The bread has our interest, hammie has ripped it into pieces, and we hold it up to the light, it is paper thin, like silk, before we roll each piece up to plunge into the array of dips she has brought. We examine each piece of the silk (the bread) we turn it over and make it flutter...we see things in the bread, and no we are not doing any drugs.

I decided to show hammie a neighbourhood garden. A portuguese couple. Now portuguese people are excellent gardeners, and this garden is outstanding. On our way to the said portuguese garden, where I know our visit will be cause for a nice plate of food, we see something very interesting.

A yard we pass...we approach..we stop..we discuss what we see...than we decide we must investigate. In this yard someone has created an array of inuksuk, like those rock piles the inuit make. Upon examination we are amazed at their creation. Hammie being a tall drink of water, is able to look down at them, and begins to ramble on about gravity. The owner of the garden appears, and tell us the story of her husbands obession. No matter where they go, he watches for that "special rock" he can look at a rock and know immediately that it will balance nicely in his creation. We are detained here for awhile, as these garderners are very interesting :P

As we continue along, I must answer all hammies questions, about what this plant is, where you have to plant it, what it likes and what it does not like. The day is hot, like a summer day so we amble alot. :P I conclude as hammie leaves that yes, I think I will take hammie fishing with me.

All day a procession of excited groundhogs pay me a visit, as I try to get my own work done in my garden Awesome, my compost pile is steaming, things are cooking there.

So ehm...come on lets hear about your garden
My garden is neglected- for a start we only have grass in the front garden as I got annoyed with the waterlogged mud in the back garrden and got it half paved and half gravelled. The front is pretty small with a couple of little planted areas which I hacked away at a couple of weeks ago and stuck a few little flowers in to to try and brighten it up a bit. I just never have the time to do gardening- maybe you can come over here and give it a going over!!!???
Would love to talk about it, but we won't be getting at it until the snow all goes here in central Ontario

Right now it consists of recycled yoghurt containers, in our windows, with sprouts sticking up.
wow pea that was a wonderful description of 'a day in the garden' that i think we can all relate to. i myself spent the weekend on top of a mountain, hiking and sunny so gardening will begin in earnest this week. i did come home with some bees though, mason bees, which love to romp through the garden in early spring, with their inquiring little minds, checking out each blossom. they go to bed by june and sleep until next march. what a life!

my seeds are doing extremely well, heirloom tomatoes, sunflowers, beans, sweet peas, and i am sure this year, once again, will be my bestest garden year ever. not that i have ever said that one before........

Well ehm...what you got growing in those yogurt containers bogie :P I feel bad that you cannot talk about gardening yet :P One plant that seems to freak some east indian gardeners I know is a dutura I have. Wow when they see this plant in my garden they pratically run down the street screaming. "Very bad plant" make you crazy" I only grow it for its beautiful flower and strange appearance, and because ehm..you can grow it easily in the garden here. Here is a pic, except my trumpets are yellow :P

www.tradewindsfruit.com/red_angels_trumpet.htm (external - login to view)

Here is a good way to learn about food :P
www.pbs.org/pov/borders/2004/earth/index.html (external - login to view)
Well, here is the "garden" for now.

We are townhouse-condo folks, so restricted to balcony gardens and whatever we can appropriate, without condemnation, from our surrounding property (end unit).
thanks bogie, but the seedlings must get lanky, you must have to turn them daily. Galaniomama of course has her seeds just humming along....she has a GREENHOUSE! pretty hard to fail eh?

I have a mason house to my mason bees, but that was cute the way you described them...ladybug ladybug fly away home...sorta like that...cute :P

Now here is something interesting, take the foxglove, a interesting flower for the back or shady part of the garden. Upon closer inspection however you will how this clever plants "evolution". First its flowers are shaped like bells, most are the color purple, because bees are attracted to that colour. :P Each flower also have like a brick walk way or path that leads to its centre. This is for the bees so they know which way to go. :P Ever wonder why there are these tiny hairs on the landing pad of the flower.....very clever...to keep smaller insects out :P ...Hey this plant is smart

The busy bee squeezes through on his way to the nectar, As he is tripping pollen from the stamen ends up on his back, If the bee has been nosey than he will have pollen from another foxglove. Then we have pollination. :P

Ehm...of course science is a wonder thing...it explains things, but this does detract from the amazing wonder of actually watching all this unfold on a bell, on a foxglove, in a garden...nope science only
enhances it. Watching this and playing certain kinds of music well ehm its a real trip :P
Reverend Blair
You should get a walking tractor, Peapod. They are the ultimate gardening accessory.
Well I don't have fields to plant rev :P I would not need a walking tractor, I like to do the walking myself. My garden is old and established, its got lots of trees and shrubs, lots of "rooms" kinda on the lush side :P sorry its the climate...out here we grow lettuce in our hanging baskets just for something different. :P Now henry down to serious business..galaniomama and I often mess around with Hypertufa, an old british trick :P Henry take a look at this garden...its an unbelievable place.

www.pbs.org/wgbh/victorygarde...ens/sunyatsen/ (external - login to view)
Dexter Sinister
Ah pea, a wonderful topic, and a very evocative description of a fine day in the garden. Unfortunately, my garden is still under about 2 feet of snow and it's -12 here right now, so I'm a few weeks away from being able to get my hands dirty in my favourite way. Mrs. Sinister and I have lavished much care and attention upon our yard, and puttering about in it is our favourite hobby.

The front yard we've xeriscaped over the last few years, and tried to create a series of microclimate zones in it. First we removed all that boring old grass, backfilled it with a foot of good soil, then had five big rocks (and I mean BIG, like 6-foot diameter wild mountain boulders; no pet rocks here) dropped on it. That was an exciting day: a huge truck backed over the sidewalk and tipped the box up, and these huge stones came bouncing out of it and crashing onto the ground. Vibrated every house in the neighbourhood, people came rushing out their front doors to see what the Hell was going on. Then I built raised beds all around the perimeter and filled them with low-growing junipers, and we landscaped the rest around those big rocks. They're too big to move with anything less than giant road building machinery, so we worked around them where they lay. There are raised beds on multiple levels, gravel paths, clumps of native grasses, a beautiful big Linden tree, a dwarf apple tree that draws birds in crowds, and a wide assortment of shrubbery and flowers. My favourite is the thing the lady at the garden center called a Jerusalem flame bush. Its foliage is a startlingly bright green, and it produces huge numbers of small, very bright red flowers that last a long time. It really does look like it's on fire at a casual glance. Nobody walks or drives by without slowing down a bit to look, and I've seen people stop and take pictures of it.

There is no better feeling in the world than sitting beside my favourite lady in the cool of the evening on a bench I built, our backs leaning against a big sun-warmed rock that's still radiating the heat of the day. Blessings upon you pea, for reminding me of that on a cold and wintry evening when I was feeling a little down. I feel much better now.
Thanks Dex...a fellow gardener I happen to like gardening more than fishing, so I will rant on for the next few months about it. I should really thank my parents for forcing their 5 slaves to work their garden :P I hated it when I was a kid, but later I realized what a gift they gave me. Wait till I tell you about watching ants and aphids working together on rose branch..unbelievable.
Dexter Sinister
Quote: Originally Posted by peapod

I happen to like gardening more than fishing

ooh, edging into dangerous territory there...


I hated it when I was a kid, but later I realized what a gift they gave me.

Yeah, right on the mark. Me too. I hated a lot of things my parents made me do, but I can see now that they were right. I was able to teach myself how to play a guitar as an adult because my parents made me take piano lessons in my foolish youth, so I understood the theory of music well enough that I didn't need a teacher when I picked up a guitar. My dad made me help build cabins at the lake properties he bought, and I hated it at 15, but it meant I knew how to build garages and garden sheds and a lot of other things when I acquired my own properties, and now I'm a much better carpenter than he was and that's my second favourite hobby. Two examples out of thousands...

So of course I made my children do the same, and they hated it as much as I did, but now that they're in their early 20s themselves, they see the value of what I made them do. There's a lot of thankless bull**** in being a parent, but there's also a day when the reward comes due, and it's worth everything it cost you, and more.

Well, I wandered a bit off topic here, so let me legitimize it by ending with this: gardening, taking care of the earth and the plants that grow in it and the creatures that are drawn to them, is one of the best things you can do, and you should teach your children that.
hey pe i put my radishes and peas in today you got to love our weather!
Mom this year I bought seed tapes for vegies with seeds no bigger than grains of sand :P I will start my seeds soon, but I dunno know its kind of early. You know if you soak hard seeds overnight in tea, they will sprout faster. It works.

You know mom..I am kinda getting nervous around here now, to many people like me. I always watched what went on in the playground....ehm like well before you know it...its these things have patterns or so the dude says anyway
Where did you get the seed tapes from ?That sounds great for carrots! I just dug up the last of my carrots today so I can't wait to plant this years crop.
i dunno about these seed tapes thingees. a little too far fetched for me, thank you very much. i like to see the seed touch the blanket of earth, without the added compound of paper. dunno about this one.... we will wait and see grasshopper
Sorry mom, I did not see your question, but I answered it over in another thread. :P Here is a link to my old garden, in my home town :P I miss that garden, but not the money pit the old house cost I made the walkways and paths with hypertufa, a old english idea :P I will post pics of my present garden as it starts to come alive

photobucket.com/albums/v404/podpea/ (external - login to view)
Hard-Luck Henry
That's beautiful peapod, I'm not surprised you miss spending time there. It looks very "English", a sort of ramshackle, Victorian country garden style (I mean 'ramshackle' in the nicest possible way - Victorian gardens were/are extremely formal affairs, an attempt to dominate or own nature; yours looks like nature has lent a willing hand). I think there really must be people with 'green fingers', and you have them.
hehehehhe ramshackle :P that me henry a bit of this, a bit of that, whatever strikes my fancy.
Always a work in progess henry. That the best part. Do you belong to any societies henry? like you know the rose society, things like that. I am seriously thinking of joining a lily club. Mostly to get my hands on some unusual bulbs. I must say lillies are one my favorities, few enemies, not much care, beautiful flowers, and some heaven scents. I like the unusual ones...this year after waiting two years I will have three bulbs of the "giant himalayan lily bloom. They will only bloom once, but they make bulblets. I never grew them from seed, but bought the bulbs, which were pricy...but so worth it. You otta see them in bloom and how they smell...makes the bugs go crazy. Here is what they look like...awesome at the back of my shady part of the garden...

lilies.thompson-morgan.com/uk/en/product/7268/1 (external - login to view)

I like architechural type plants, they create some very nice effects...So many different types of gardens and gardeners. You know I know someone who has a very small garden, they are determined to make it a black garden "gothic" they call it. I am amazed how many plants you can get that have black or shades of black in their flowers...the most amazing one is the the "bat" plant they have...I know someone that just has a white and silver garden..its like sitting in a cloud. I put bits and pieces of it all in my garden.
Ten paks mentioned rhubarb..I have this yummy plant, but I also have a plant called indian rhubarb wow what a plant, mine is three years old now...and its quite a piece of architecuture. Fist only the flowers come up, just stocks coming out of the ground, straight up with a huge cluster of pink flowers, no leaves, than after the flower dies, the leaves appear, each year bigger than the last....mine is darmera deltata
elib.cs.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/img_query (external - login to view)

Oh boy better stop now...Does anyone have a favorite plant in their garden??
....See twila, next time you come to victoria, you have to pay peapod a visit and get some strange and unusual plants for your new garden :P

the most amazing one is the the "bat" plant they have...

i know what you mean with that plant, it is gorgeous!!! did they actually grow it from seed. i keep looking at the british seeds, but they are quite expensive here. i think you might get three to a pack, which is kinda a drag.
ehm...I have heard that ding bats are found of the bat plant :P
henry take a look at this I spent hours here...lets here which
visionary artist is your favorite. I think its ferdinand cheval for me...have you seen it henry????

www.pbs.org/independentlens/offthemap/ (external - login to view)
Yo Dexter, I must introduce to my new favorite vegie I am growing this year :P Already the vine is 4 ft high and climbing. I don't know if you can grow it where you live, but when it goes to seed I will send some your way if you like.

Family: Basellaceae
Genus: Basella
Species: rubra

Malabar is not a true spinach, but its leaves, which form on a vine, resemble spinach and are used in the same way. It comes from India, and is distributed widely in the tropics, particularly in moist lowlands. In Florida, it is rare, even in home gardens.

Here and in the tropics, it grows well in a variety of soils, seemingly without regard to fertility. Moisture is important and the plants make their best growth during warm, rainy periods. A small amount of shade seems to be beneficial, although open-sun culture does not present a serious problem.
Malabar spinach can be grown from seeds or cuttings. While not essential, the vine should be trellised. Two vines are sufficient to supply a small family all summer and fall. Vines are somewhat ornamental, so can be trained to climb over doorways for easy accessibility. The thick, fleshy leaves are cut off together with some length of stem to keep the plant pruned to a desired shape. Stems that are too tough to eat can be put back in the soil and rerooted. Plants started in Gainesville in August made excellent growth during the fall months.

When cooked, Malabar spinach is not as slick in texture as many greens, such as spinach. The Bengalis cook it with chopped onions, hot chilis, and a little mustard oil.

Its also a awesome looking vine
that spinach vine you have is awesome! we will all be popeye's by the end of the summer....or olive oil's. ha ha.....yeah, there is also that purple haze bean you can grow. it's got those big purple leaves and the actual beans are long and a deep colour. they are pretty neat too. some amazing stuff you can find for your corners of the world. escapism. simple and pure.
Dexter Sinister
Thanks pea. I doubt that malabar spinach would grow very well here if it's a tropical plant. Warm rainy periods don't happen here very often. We get warm dry ones, or cold rainy ones, and rarely have more than 120 frost-free days between spring and fall. But maybe if I put it in that well-sheltered spot on the south side of the garage...

I've never heard of this plant. I'll have to do some research to find out if it'll grow around here, sounds like a nice one to have, but it or its seeds certainly wouldn't survive a prairie winter outside. Ah, so I save the seeds and start them indoors; if it's as good as it sounds it'd be worth the trouble.

And now, since it's a nice day, I gotta get back outside to my real life ...
Yo dexter, check out this story and the photo gallery

www.thetyee.ca/Photo/2004/06/...id_of_the_Box/ (external - login to view)
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