Thursday, March 27, 2014

Catalogs & Whimsy Gardening

Garden catalogs!... morning snow and all night howler gale. A day of wintry layers, and an apricot tree in bloom, yesterday full of bees and fragrance and now thrashing in the wind.

Robins are hopping about, tilting their heads and looking for worms with pert monocular vision. How little we actually see.

I peeked around the door, piled on layers, and returned the bird feeder to the great outdoors. Bears, it seems, have lumbered out of hibernation, grumpy and on the prowl.

Two mornings ago, I found the bird feeder empty, its hanging loop twisted round and around, muddy tongue slurp-marks on its roof.

Ten feet off the ground in a pine tree being just an ursine romp.

Last two nights, I've brought the feeder indoors. Black bear had snuffled around on the ground for fallen seed. Apparently miffed about the feeder-trough gone missing, a great paw had flipped over a heavy wooden bench.

I settled in with a gardening-goodies catalog and sound of the wind, remembering the wonders of Kindergarten, a bean seed sprouting and twining. Jack and the Bean Stalk, in a paper cup.

The catalog brought me into a digital world of pricey heat mats, grow light setups, timers, cloches (tall plastic hats) to put over a tomato plant at eight dollars each, cold frames at hundreds of dollars a pop.

The targeted demographic seemed to be black and stainless steel kitchens, microwaves, wifi, flat screens everywhere ... and a sudden itch to grow veggies.

Hm! Kind of exciting actually. If there's a little bit of earth around the living space, cheaper options abound:

Cloche: Plastic cider or milk jugs with the bottoms sliced off, to tuck a tomato or pepper plant safely to bed on a chilly night, or cold windy day. Though it may snow, and all bets are off.

Cold frame: Straw bales in a square or rectangle with old windows across the top, in this strange spring which feels like Little Ice Age.

     Storyteller Books, 2: 


At March 27, 2014 at 1:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've used the milk jug hothouses and the window cold frames. Nothing like free.


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