And with that I’m back home, in the place I love the most. My garden. 1 month (almost to the day) later… Our guitar shop http://www.cowtownguitars.com has successfully relocated to the Arts District, we’ve hired an employee and my days are free again to play in the dirt. Our grand opening party was last First Friday (you can check out photos here, courtesy of http://www.onethirtyeight.org) and other than a few more indoor plants to re-pot and some raised beds to assemble in the back yard… my work there is done. Mostly…
I’ll just leave you with some photos of my gardens over the last month and pick up where I left off last month, in the next few days.
The fact is, it is an excuse. If I were a different kind of person I might have kept gardening after a car drove through my flower garden, and into the living room… but the fact is I gave up. On June 4th, 2011 a couple of drunk teenagers with a BB guns, joy riding in their parents Chevy Malibu were chased by the cops into our neighborhood… it ended in our living room. The driver was arrested, but we were left with a massive hole in the side of our home and I guess now that I’m actually taking time to write about it… our hearts too.
We were very lucky that no one was hurt. The big boys were at their Grandma’s house and none of the neighborhood kids happened to be playing on the corner (a RARE day!) Our incredible friends and neighbors came over immediately and spent hours helping us clean. We weren’t the only ones amazed when the house was livable at the end of the night. Here is a clip from the news if you want to see it.
After the former wall was removed and our house was successfully boarded up I did spend a couple days transferring the plants from my demolished garden into the backyard. Here’s a photo:
The new spot in the backyard is now called “the salvage garden”, it made it through the summer heat and is now thriving. But after seeing my little flower garden, my first attempt at gardening in our new home, my baby really… completely demolished and subsequently stomped on day after day by “constructors” (as Gadzuki called them). I really did lose my steam. I quit.
I continued doing the bare minimum and managed to keep the gardens in the backyard alive through the long summer, but didn’t touch the front. After 3 months of construction, buying a new business with my husband and the kids back in school I was finally able to look at that little space again without feeling sad. I’m no psychologist but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just the superficial loss of my flower garden that was the problem. Maybe it was what all of those dead flowers represented. The truth is It could have been me, more easily could have been my husband (who was sitting in the living room when the car hit) and the worst thing of all… The most horrible thing a mother could ever think of; it could have been my baby. Gadzuki. Who was sleeping on the couch, under that window, just minutes before THOSE kids, drove THAT car across my lawn, through my garden and into my living room.
In the end I guess it helped me put things in perspective… I was spending 8 hours a day gardening and blogging before the accident. Afterwards my priorities shifted and all I wanted to do was spend time with my family. I needed to keep Jesse & Gadzuki where I could see them, and as luck would have it I was able to all summer!
2 weeks after construction started we bought a guitar shop, http://www.cowtownguitars.com for those interested. In a funny twist of fate I was able to keep them by my side and in my line of sight all summer long as we worked together in our new shop.
So as we get ready to welcome 2012, I’d just like to say that I’m back (and I’ve got the leaves and dirt in my hair to prove it). Today I turned composts #’s 7 & 8, tore out tomatoes/eggplants and added some brown matter to the old beds. The next couple weeks we’ll be busy getting three new raised beds installed before spring and before long we’ll be starting seeds in the garage! Thanks for reading and I can’t wait to share with you all of my trails and tribulations of the next growing season here at the Hotel Amoroso!
Happy New Year!
Next time: we’ll revisit the old compost pile and hopefully teach (and document) a friend as she starts her own!!
Ugh! Its been a long couple days here at the Hotel Amoroso. The Olive trees have been in overdrive, producing all of that sweet gold (pollen) that makes the circle of life continue and me want to end my own (life). Okay maybe I’m not THAT dramatic, but when the choice is between gardening with my eyes swelled shut or living the life of a shut in… only seeing my plants from the window, it feels like I could be.
My Birthday on Sunday was awesome. We partied, bbq’d, drank and enjoyed life in the backyard.
As promised… here is an update on all things veggie!
TOMATOES: They’re growing fast and most plants have small tomatoes on them. Even the Roma, which was broken in half by the hound dog the week it was planted. As you can tell from the photo below, the cherry tomatoes are taller than the great Gadzuki (and he’s only 2 years old).
Peppers, Zucchini & Cucumbers: A lot has changed in just 17 days since I planted. The Zucchini are already really big, the Cucumbers are climbing up and out of the planter and the Yellow Bell even has a small bell pepper!!
Eggplant, Onion & Garlic: Not a lot has changed… I’m almost wondering if the area might be too shady?
Carrots: They’re getting bigger everyday, but still not large enough to even get a baby carrot.
Radishes: The foliage is getting very large on these… unfortunately almost half our crop was wiped out by the birds. I can’t wait to harvest these and plant another round before it gets too hot. This time I think I’ll try a bird net over the top.
Next: I’m excited to show you how good the compost looks after just a month and a half!
This monstrosity used to live on my patio. We’ve lived here almost a year and just managed to move it a few weeks ago. I planted peppers, cucumbers & zucchini last weekend and it was truly starting to grow on me. But for our relationship to continue to mature, I had to do SOMETHING/ANYTHING about that hidious trailer park patio lattice.
So here’s how we spruced it up and what we used.
TOOLS: Drill, Screw driver, left over brown enamel paint, paint brush and two cans of spray paint for plastic.
Step #1: After originally trying to use the enamel paint to change the color of the lattice (and finding out the hard way that it washes right off with water). We went to Lowes and picked up some spray paint.
Step #3: My always helpful husband came out and spray painted the lattice for me. He’s a pro with a rattle can… I’ve always suspected he’s got some graffiti boy skills he just wont cop to.
Step #4: We decided to let the paint dry over night… so we took the kids to see HOP (great movie!)
Step #5: This afternoon we drilled the lattice back into place (leaving off the side panels because they were bowed out) and here is the final product:
I dont’ know… I kind of think it looked better back at Step #4. What do you think faithful readers? Should I leave it off? I can probably find another spot in the garden for the lattice. And I feel pretty good about fixing the planter up and re-using it vs. recycling or trashing it all together. Tell me your thoughts…
Next time: we move inside the house and tackle pothos!
Here’s an update on all of the veggies. I’m also happy to report that with my last show (for a while) over and out of the way, I’ll be gardening and blogging a lot more. With temperatures on the rise & sales at the nursery on the horizon I’m sure I’ll have a lot to talk about too!!
The Radishes: The good news is that they adjusted to the “thinning” just fine and even the rows I planted in the trenches recovered well and are growing just fine. The bad news is the birds ran out of olives after we raked last weekend and took out the first row of seedlings. I think we’re about 10 days away from our first harvest!!
The Carrots: As it turns out, the carrots seeds I thought I killed with my watering by osmosis experiment, came up! Just as the package would have suggested too, If you know me its not a surprise… patience is not something I excel at. We still have a while to go, I haven’t even thinned them yet… But I was pleasantly surprised to see that this method of watering worked even with seeds.
NEW!! Eggplant & Onions: Just this weekend my sweet nice husband surprised me with $60 to do what I wanted with in the garden! I took (his) hard earned money to STAR Nursery this time, to see if the prices were any cheaper (they were). I picked up a bunch of veggies… ‘Black Beauty’ Eggplant and some Green Onions are what I planted here.
Tomatoes, Lettuce & NEW!! Corn: Well you can see that planting the tomatoes the 2nd weekend in March didn’t do them any harm… even though we did get a little freeze after they were in the ground. All varieties are thriving, the only one that seems to be struggling is the Roma (my hound dog got at it), but even it’s still doing well.
Also, I added some ‘Yellow Pear’ Tomatoes this weekend and ‘White’ Corn stalks against the wall… more for Gadzuki’s amusement than anything.
NEW!! Squash, Zucchini & Peppers: Last weekend we removed a HUGE planter from the patio and moved it over by the tomatoes. This weekend I cleaned it out and planted. Thats why the majority of my budget at STAR Nursery went to mulch & soil. But I did manage to pick up some ‘Yellow’ Squash, ‘Italian’ Zucchini, ‘Japanese’ Cucumbers, and ‘Armenian’ Cucumbers for the bottom level. My idea is that they can climb over the edge and down to the ground. And on top we have ‘Yellow’ Bells, ‘Anaheim’ Chiles, ‘Green’ Bells and Jalapenos.
Some exciting news!! One of my gardens is going to be photographed for a local magazine this week AND one of the students from Mrs Henderson’s Science class got so excited about my compost that she’s started her very own!!
Next: We’ll check in on the seedlings I started in the garage and later in the week we’ll get an official temperature on the compost!