Thursday, April 28

april again: and this time, there's a Tomato Pirate Captain

It's that time of year when I start talking incessantly about my plants.

But I did something unprecented this year.  (I like to change things up for my long-time readers.  Nothing keeps people reading like keeping them guessing!  "Is she going to grow tomatoes this year?  Auughh!  I've got to know!" *) 
Gratuitous picture of a cactus flower.
Here's what I did:  I planted seeds. 

Some of you already know this because, technically, I already wrote a post in which I detailed my planting of seeds.  It hasn't been all instant success and cheering crowds exactly, but that's what's so great about seeds it turns out.

It's totally rewarding to watch a plant grow - like when you got to pick out a new pencil after winning the class Spelling Bee in fourth grade.  But when seedlings start to come up, it's like you've just won the Whole School Spelling Bee and now you get to have your picture in the paper with the principal and maybe also get a new pencil. 

It's amazing for me to see that first seedling poke up through the soil because I know where it came from, and I know I'm pretty much the one who did all the facilitating.  Specifically, it came from one of about thirty-seven different seed packets bequeathed to me by Lisa when she moved to the Netherlands which I shook indiscriminately into pots that I subsequently failed to label effectively.  Whatever that seedling is, it's beautiful because it is and I helped it to be.  (Even Raphael with his ridiculous green thumbs leaves my vegetables and herbs to me pretty much.  He might fear that I'll wind up killing them, but he lets me teach myself my own lessons.  And that's why I love him.)  
Party in the tomatillo pot.
So.  I may have been premature in my assessment of total destruction for the tomatillos that Lila pawed up a month ago. She did manage to paw up a few - no doubt about it.  But I had failed to count on the exuberant liberality with which I besprinkled seeds about in the first place.  I probably wound up planting dozens and dozens of tomatillo seeds.  Those suckers are very small.  You feel like you've got to aim for overkill or none of your efforts will amount to anything.  The happy result of all my flailing around of seeds is that, instead of no tomatillos like I feared would happen after the horrible pawing incident, I currently have seventeen healthy, enthusiastic plants, some of which are half a foot tall already and putting on what's got to be close to an inch daily.  It's a party every day in the tomatillo pot.  I couldn't be more proud and Lila couldn't be more thwarted.

Baby bell peppers, exploring their world.

Pirate Captain of the Plants. 
Yarrr!...mouth is filthy!**
In other plant news, we also have several - ten, twelve, sixteen? - bell peppers, a tentatively sprouted potato that keeps escaping its pot via the dog's paws, a brand-new basil plant (replacing the other three or five or whatever it was that died this winter), chronically ill rosemary, lavender, mint with funny white spots on its leaves, and a single tomato plant which I have reason to believe is a Roma.  The tomato the biggest and most handsome plant in the garden.  It's like the Pirate Captain of the Plants.   

There are also five pudgy little guys with big round leaves that started coming up last weekend.  They look like watermelon seedlings.  I was almost certain I planted watermelon seeds in only one pot, but these things are coming up in two pots.  It's a magical and crazy world, my friends. 

In citrus tree news - and I know this is what you've been holding your breath for - I'm sad to report that the lemon tree didn't fare so well during the Big Freeze in February.  We had to cut it down to a stick and hope fervently that it would survive.  Thankfully, it's pulled through.  But I'm not anticipating a robust crop of thirteen lemons this November like what we got last November.

More optimistically, the orange tree is loaded with tiny, adorable oranges. (Mini-oranges for 6-inch people who need to make teensy mimosas, perhaps?)  (Oh, how I love mini-fruits!)  I'm not going to hold my breath that any of them are actually going to reach adulthood, however.  In two years, the orange tree has produced exactly one full-sized orange which was eaten by a vampire exactly two seconds after reaching maturity as evidenced by the giant hole in it that was abruptly there when I returned home from work one evening. 

Infant orange.  (His future is uncertain.)

The lemon tree has moxie!

*  Are you kidding me?  Of course I am.  Do I not always grow tomatoes?!

**  Haha!  Private joke.  Family to trip to Cape Cod, blah blah blah.  Never fails to crack me up.  Oh God.  And it's been years.


Just Another Jenny said...

Dude! I have a 6ft orange tree and it has NEVER gotten a single orange or flower!?

Do you fertilize it? We take ours in the house in the winter (getting to be quite the feat as it gets larger and larger) but I have NO infant fruits!!!

Just Another Jenny said...

I don't even have pre-pubescent flowers...

julie said...

But you didn't win the fourth grade spelling bee...yaarrrrr mouth is lying!

Jenny said...

It wasn't meant to BE me - it was a euphemism for how it feel to grow plants! Anyway, I did win a class spelling bee once (was it fifth grade?) and then lost the whole school bee with "vacuum". (My nemesis!) And later there was the whole "juniper" incident at Baker which I'm still bummed out about. I don't actually remember pencils being involved in any of these. I just assumed pencils HAVE been involved in some spelling bee somewhere.

And JAJ: Yarrrrr orrange tree is obviously struggling! And I be sorry for ye! Maybe it be th' climate? We don't use fertilizer ourselves! Fertilizer's for landlubbers! Yar!

Anonymous said...

Hey, what's going on? Why do entries of late????

Jenny said...

I want to know the same thing!