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Sunday, September 16, 2012

gardening 202

I really hope I’m not boring y’all with all these posts about gardening. Dear reader, please let me know if you have, in fact, become bored.

Anyway, yesterday we went along to Builder’s to get the most basic things we needed to get our veggie garden started: a steel rake, some veggie seeds and compost. We also had to get some plastic garden chairs to use inside since we’ve been rendered couchless. Standing around watching television is just not ayoba.

Meanwhile, the couch stands outside, still strong after enduring another storm outside. What will we do with it, I wonder?

For a long time we've been discussing planting ivy and other creepers along the bare concrete walls lining the driveway to make it look more homey and less industrial, so we had a nice long stroll in the nursery section at Builder’s Zambesi. The section was poorly attended but we discovered a healthy, marked-down flowering jasmine plant all by ourselves. Since none of the existing plants in our garden are bothering to flower this year even though spring is two weeks old already, we decided to buy it on the spot. 

The One wanted to get a marked down navel orange tree which was also flowering but I hadn’t been adding up the prices of everything we were adding to the cart so I thought we were already over our credit limit and said no. In the end we only spent half of what we could have.

Jasmine was planted with great ceremony in a tight little bed next to the driveway paving by the gate. The flowers are already spreading their sweet fragrance which I love. In my mind their balmy perfume will forever be associated with the beginning of spring.

After thoroughly watering the wonderful new addition we got started with the veggie garden. The One dug up half the large bed where he will plant the marrows, beans, lettuce and spinach seeds which we bought. I prepared another bed tucked in a corner for tomatoes and butternuts. The One said I didn’t have to water the new beds because he thought it was going to rain later. I should have listened; I watered anyway only to feel stupid later when it came down in buckets. It also hailed again.

We watched a very silly American comedy, proudly sitting on our cheap new plastic chairs. Suddenly we heard a loud crack and The One sat next to me no more. The back legs of the chair had cleanly snapped off and he was on his back next to me, wearing the remainder of the chair around the middle. I guess you get what you pay for.

This morning we got up lazily around 11:30 and inspected the damage in the garden. A pile of hailstones was left under one of the gutter downpipes, slowly melting in the sun. Even though the stones were tiny they had come down in such volume and with such velocity that the poor recovering pumpkin was peppered with pockmarks again, as were the shiny new leaves of the week-old mountain cabbage tree. One of the frangipani branches we stuck into the ground lost two limbs in the downpour.

We returned to the veg garden and finished preparing the beds. The sun shone warmly on our backs as we toiled and it was hard to imagine that it had been so cold outside the night before. Clouds drifted languidly in the warm blue sky. We dug the beds over and mixed in compost. I planted the tomato and butternut seeds in my little corner. The One will plant the rest of the seeds this week.

I hope these veggie seeds we plant germinate as quickly as the flower ones I planted just last week. They’re sprouting all over the bed. Let’s hope they will be spared more hail.

Written by I