Tierra Firma

October 28th

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I have a pot of orange marigolds sitting on my windowsill at work making my office smell like a monsoon wedding. Just their color, with the morning sun striking their blossoms (which remind me of a kid who hasn’t combed his mop before climbing on the school bus), makes me warm. At home, the basil and squash are pumping chloroform but the pumpkin vines have shriveled and soured like I forgot to take them out of the bathtub. As we approach November, it’s time to reassess the garden and plot the next move. I’m considering planting tomatoes early just to see how they’ll do. We have so few below freezing days in Phoenix, I might as well play around with this new globally warmed version of gardening in winter and see what we can harvest.

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The pumpkins? I cannot get them on board with my gardening strategy.  They loved Matt. They disdain me. This is my fourth attempt in six years of living in this home to provide friends with pumpkins for the Fall holidays. Instead, I’m buying bunches and placing them in my garden to be festive. And perhaps to show the earth and these wimpy vines their potential — like taking a tour of an Ivy League school in junior high. Shape up! Look what you too can accomplish!

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I’m thinking of adding some trellises also and trying plants that need to climb, like beans. I saw a new cookbook at Liberty Market’s shoppe this weekend that I fell in love with. I’m going to pick it up soon, or check it out of the library. I love the idea of someone cataloging heirloom beans and sharing their histories.

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Yes, trellises and heirloom beans. I know I’m an odd duck, but at least I will be a well-fed odd duck. Mmmm… duck.


Posted in
Arizona, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie
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11 Responses

  1. I got a couple of pumpkins to grow but only after I artificially pollinated them. I took a soft paintbrush and got pollen from the male flowers and put them on the female flowers. I’m sure there are more scientific terms I could use, but I am by far not a professional gardener!

  2. Garden, Friends, Party, Work, Travel, Sewing, Crafts, Cooking, Mentors….your life is rich. Big smile here.

  3. That Rancho Gordo cookbook is really wonderful, probably my most used cookbook.

  4. I have one word for you, missy: CACTI!!!!!!!!

  5. Oh, please don’t hate me when you read my post about pumpkins later this week. It’s already drafted and scheduled to post. But – good luck with your beans. They’re one of my favorite things to grow 🙂

  6. The only way i was ever able to grow pumpkins when I lived in New mexico was to fill a giant pot with compost, and plant them in there. I also had a drip feed on them and a good over hanging eve..
    good luck on them beans!

  7. Definitely do green beans. I planted them in August and we’re just now enjoying impromptu lunches of them now. Hopefully they’ll still be around for Thanksgiving – finally, something to brag about to my family in NorCal.

  8. Marigolds are the traditional Dia de los Muertos flower so you’re all set. Bummer about those pumpkins. Good luck with th beans.

  9. I’m living my garden vicariously through others this season and probably next spring since I just moved to a house with only a patio with shade. If you want to plant tomatoes early you might consider waiting until February for transplants or start from seed in late December in seed trays. You won’t be so disappointed. I LOVE growing tomatoes and I am so going to miss it!

  10. No advices from me, I’m not able even to grow weeds! So your garden will always look amazing to me!

  11. I never even knew I liked cacti until i had to live without them! I bought a jade plant to sit in my window and one of the girls from the Rehab center gave me a tiny cactus which is growing rapidly and seems to love living in my flat! They are expensive and considered exotic here! Love your photos!!!!