Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Signs Of Spring

Tender shoots of new growth are showing on one of the roses. It's a good time to green the old thumb. Breaking off shoots in passing to control the  developing form of the plant is the easiest way to maintain it and the least risky or taxing to the plant itself. I don't worry about fertilizing this rose: I just bury compost at the base. The odd onion and cigarette butt take care of pests, and a banana skin provides favorite nutrients. All I have to do is remember to water. 

Cutting onion tops to garnish food generates ever more and greener onion tops. Shallot tops are an elegant alternative, as are garlic tops. All the alliums were salvaged from the compost stream. When something in the kitchen insists on sprouting, I give it its way.

The lawn needs mowing. It's worth ten minutes so early in the season, because doing so generates thick growth and cheerful messages of support from passing neighbors. I was pleasantly surprised to find no pet waste on the parking strip.

Now and then my casual approach to gardening generates a welcome surprise. A couple of weeks ago, someone set the stub of a Napa cabbage  on a piece of street furniture, a newsstand or something. The remnant started to grow over a couple of weeks of unrelenting rain, so I took it home and pressed it into the compost border with the toe of my shoe. It's a-growin', for zero effort. Whoever used the plant had broken off the leaves rather than cutting them, and the irregular stubs left may have collected enough water to get the new growth going.

Last summer I stepped a couple of elderly organic carrots into the same border, just scraping a shallow trench with the side of my shoe. The seed they set is growing vigorously in someone else's vegetable garden. I'll keep an eye out for shoots of my own, since pencil-sized carrots are delectable. Carrots resemble a toxic native plant, so they are a good double-duty substitute in a faux-native landscape -30-



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