Thursday, June 23, 2005

Meditation on the Garden

A few gardening tips:

Plant hollyhocks once, have hollyhocks forever. They border on being invasive. 6 years ago, I planted what can best be described as unique dark crimson red (the color of dried blood, really) hollyhocks. They were part of a Burpee hollyhock mix--unfortunately my mix was heavy on the crimson and light on the pastels that I would have welcomed. Not only did I have 6' tall, dinnerplate-sized Vampira blossoms in my garden, to make matters worse, they attracted Japanese beetles from all over the county, which then proceeded to hoover up my precious peach rose bush as well. So I ripped up the "Interview with the Very Tall Vampire" plants and gave them to my hollyhock-crazy friend Audrey. The next couple of years, baby hollyhocks came up and I dutifully dug those up and gave them to Audrey as well. Last year, more baby hollyhocks came up and I weeded them out. This year, two hollyhocks have come up and I surrendered. They win; I lose. I don't know where they're coming from (I thought they had to reseed??) but I hereby declare defeat. (In the picture, the big green spiky thing between the peach rose and the fading pink peony is The Unstoppable Hollyhock.)

Lettuce: so easy, so yummy! Spinach, too. They both make tomatoes look like a challenge.

It turns out you need to thin your radishes and carrots assiduously or you won't get radishes or carrots. I learned this when the radishes started going to seed and I pulled them up and got nothing. Why doesn't Victory Garden tell you this stuff? Sigh.

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