4.05.2009

I want to be a farmer

At least that's what Nate told one of my friends. He may be off the mark, but probably not by much.

Since we got married and I was introduced to the potential bounty of Utah's earth by Nate's parents I've had an attraction to growing things. Or at least an attraction to attempting to grow things. I can't say I've been very successful. Usually my dirt is crappy and I end up over-watering. I think my house plants are most happy when I go on vacation and leave them be. So I'd say my thumb, while not black, probably tends toward yellow. But at least I try.

I think right now Nate wishes I wouldn't.

Two and a half years ago we moved into this house in the land of the endless summer. The previous owner had been here since the home was built and had spent much time and money on the landscaping. Or maybe she hadn't - she owned a local nursery - so maybe the plants were at cost and quite possibly by the end of the day she was too tired of looking at organic material and preferred to just sit in front of the TV.

Regardless, our yard was full of plants - few of which were species I had ever seen before. Research has proven fruitful, as have some of the trees. We have:

a pomegranate,

a fuyu persimmon,

a pineapple-guava (a distant, exotic cousin of the guava family, with edible flower petals),

and a naval orange.

We've also got a plethora of decorative trees:

weeping juniper

something pruned like a poodle.

coastal pine - also pruned like a poodle.

crepe myrtle - too early to bloom

holly

blue spruce

osmanthus heterophyllus (false holly) - I don't understand the obsession with the poodle-dos . . .

another pruned tree/shrub thing

african tulip - it hasn't bloomed this year. By the end of June it should have gigantic orange blossoms like this:


cedar - although it looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree to me

japanese maple

We've got flowers and shrubs:

dwarf nandina

some kind of daisy

columbine - it grows wild and survived a bout with RoundUp (purely accidental, of course.)

azaleas - the big one is WWII era, according to our next-door neighbor.

asparagus fern and alstroemeria - at some point they should flower.

grass

euryops daisy - I butchered it a couple weeks ago, but it's coming back.

gazania with slug damage.

some other flower I can't remember the name of

My yard is a veritable botanical garden - assuming you can ignore the rampant weeds, noisy trampoline, and Things running amok. You'd think with the vast variety of plants I'd be content to leave it alone. But that's not the case, much to Nate's consternation. We (and when I say "we", I mean Nate - under my direction, of course) have planted:

a satsuma mandarin tree (clementine),

a lime tree,

and a nectarine tree - it's the stick with a yellow tag.

We (again, Nate) also recently planted 2 varieties of blueberry and are looking for black and raspberries - apparently planting season is earlier in the year, so I haven't had much luck.

But the most exciting (again, exciting for me) is the 70' x 6' garden we (again, Nate) put in about a month ago. In preparation we (I) ripped out bougainvillea and ivy-like vines and we (Nate) tilled in 5 cubic yards of topsoil, chicken poop, and gypsum to help break up the native clay.

Now we've got arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, carrots, celery, radishes, tomatoes (3 varieties), beans, peas, grapes (black and Thompson seedless), corn, bell peppers, spinach, romaine, artichoke, cucumbers, pumpkin, and zucchini.

If I had more energy I'd add photos - but the plant-lings are still too small to admire much. Don't worry, as they become bragable I'll post pics.

3 comments:

Shelley~Maren said...

Awesome post Cecily! I'd love to be a farmer someday! I love that you have fruits and veggies growing! How awesome! Andrew planted a fig last year, and I brought my Tomato plant from Buffalo, and planted it in their yard. This year, he's got a 40 x 20 foot garden to fill. I can't wait till the cold snaps leave!

Definitely post more pictures! I love this stuff!

merathon said...

wow--i want your yard and i REALLY want that garden you're growing! your harvest is gonna be AMAZING!

The Trotter Family said...

So for those of us who don't have food storage, we can always head over to Cecily's house!