Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand Who saith "A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" - From "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring, and I'm Really Getting Grumpy

John and I have had a few appointments away from home this week, but not as many as usual. You'd think this would have been a good week to work in the garden, but no; it's been raining all week (more like the last month), everything from downpours to drizzle, to misty little rains. Actually, this rain has been nearly continuous since early spring. Quite a change, as I've been accustomed to a short season of rain before the Georgia drought settled in.

Anyway, even this morning I had to go out in a drizzly rain to feed the chickens. And because we can't mow wet grass, the grass in the yard has grown to more than knee-high. As a child, I was not one to go out and play in the rain. As an adult, I am still not inclined to do so. Like this morning, I go out into the rain when I have to. Otherwise, I can admire the rain from the safety of indoors, or a covered patio.

So I haven't been able to spend much time in the garden - not more than enough for a walk-through inspection. Here's what I know about my garden right now:
  • I really need to get tomato cages up. I've got a few up, but there are still plenty of tomato plants starting to sprawl across the ground.
  • The watermelon plants seem to be growing very slowly.
  • The cantaloupe and pumpkin are growing thick and reaching out tentatively to spread.
  • Strong winds broke off one or two of the pepper plants, but they are still growing.
  • Some of the cucumber vines are starting to climb up the old windmill I set up for them, but they have a long way to go.
  • To my amazement, the broccoli plants in my container garden are finally having a decent show of heads.
  • I have two banana pepper plants in containers that have grown three feet tall and need support; but they have some beautiful big peppers on them.
  • A third banana pepper is stunted and drowning in a pot without drainage.
  • My container garden on the front deck is crowded.
It's this last point that has been getting to me the most in the last few weeks. Every time I have stepped out onto the deck to work in my container garden, it starts to rain. Then, it stops shortly after I give up and go back inside. By then, however, I am into some other project indoors and don't think about going back outside.

Yesterday I was trying to transplant some herb plants I'd bought the day before. I managed to transplant two before a misty little drop here and there became a drizzly downpour. I was determined to keep working in spite of the rain, and managed to also transplant three bush cucumber plants into large containers. At that point, I needed more room on the deck. I stepped around to the side of the deck to remove a large planter with two broccoli in it. I debated calling on John for help several times before I decided I could do it myself. It was just one turn and two steps to the spot where I wanted to put the container.

What I didn't notice, once I had the huge, heavy pot in my arms, was the stair railing. John took down the stairs last year to keep the dogs off the deck and out of the plants, but he didn't take down the railing, which was hiding in the tall grass. I tripped over that and some timbers he'd left on the ground, and went down with the big pot still in my arms. I hit my thigh on some wood in the grass, my neck on the railing, and my face on the edge of the table my herbs are on. My gardening efforts were quite suddenly over for the day.

I went inside, drenched and hurting, and climbed into a warm shower. There is some swelling around my left eye, but no bruising. The back, left side of my neck is very sore and showing a long narrow bruise, and my left thigh is sore.

On a brighter note, on Friday, John had the wonderful idea for us to go on a date! We drove over to Lawrenceville to the $1.99 movie theater to see Nicholas Cage in "Knowing." We've never been to that theater and thought it would be a nice inexpensive treat. (Laughing now, you'll know why later!)

We didn't call ahead to check the movie time until we were already on the road and on our way. We discovered that we were way too early for the movie - three hours too early. So we decided to have an early dinner. Along the way, however, we spotted a plant nursery, and John pulled in. Unplanned free time is a dangerous thing sometimes.

My senses were overwhelmed by the beauty I encountered. Heavenly scents! Stunning color! Textures! The delicate flower shapes! The various shades of green! And I couldn't afford any of it! Well, not until I stepped back outside and saw the wide variety of herbs in 4.5 inch pots for $3.95 each. I still couldn't afford them, but at that price, I could not afford to pass them up. So I decided on 10 herbs, making sure all had culinary uses:

Ginger Mint
Golden Oregano
Winter Savory
Lemon Verbena
Red Creeping Thyme
Purple Basil
Archer's Gold Thyme

I already have:
Lemon Thyme
Sweet Basil
Curly Parsley
Flat Leaf Parsley

It was really nice to see the variety of herbs at the nursery we visited. I didn't think I could find that significant a variety locally, and was very pleased. If anyone in Georgia is interested, the place is:

Still Lake Nursery
745 Scenic Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30045

We ate at Burger King in Snellville, and then hustled over the theater. We enjoyed the movie, but discussed the ending extensively. It was interesting, but (I thought) weak.

The whole evening cost us about $60.00 (insert laughter here). Not cheap at all, but we brought more home than empty drink cups this time!

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