Do you remember this?This is a photo from my post creativity 2 – make mistakes , nearly two years ago. Despite heroic efforts on my part, I was never able to overcome the effects of gravity, and the plants kept falling out of the frame. But I liked the idea and I persisted.I replanted the succulents into the garden so they could growand thriveand establish roots.And then I tried again. I found this weird little box at Goodwill for $1. I thought it needed some succulents. So, far, it’s Gravity: 1, Jodie: 1.
About a year ago, my biggest (75% of my annual income) client retired without notice. What ensued was what I can only call “The Year of Work.” When I wasn’t working, I was searching for other clients, jobs, etc. I gardened and created very little, and I missed it terribly.
The garden missed me, as well. This is my vegetable garden today. Riley is quite disappointed in the weeds and the chaos. All I can do at this point is to dig up the good stuff (asparagus & strawberries) and start over. It’s mostly weeds and I don’t have the gumption to fight them.
And then there was the winter: The heavy, wet snowfall in March was too much for my evergreens.
Branches snapped right off.
And a whole tree toppled over.
It was a hard year on my garden, and, I have to admit, it was a hard year on me, as well. But no more.
This year I will continue to work hard on my business. But I will make the time for those things that make me happy. That means relaxing with my family, gardening, and creating. Thus begins The Year of Jodie.
I’ve been thinking about my favorite vegetable to grow, harvest and cook, and to my utter surprise, it’s swiss chard. It’s super good for me; it has vitamins K, A and C, and it is anti-inflammatory & has anti-oxidants.As a plant, it’s easy. It always grows; I’ve never had one die on me. It forgives me if I don’t pick it at just the right moment. It keeps growing all summer, and it’s pretty. It’s simple to prepare. I rinse the leaves off, pile them up, slice them lengthwise 3 or 4 times, then chop it up. I saute it in olive oil and water with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (because red pepper flakes are good with everything). It’s tasty just like that. But I make a ton of it and keep it in the fridge to do this:
- add to eggs and omelets
- spread over sautéed chicken & top it with swiss/parmesan cheese
- spread on top of pizza
- add to any kind of pasta
- add to soups and beans
- toss into salads
- spread onto toasted bread (with or without cheese – oh never mind – WITH cheese)
So I have to give an A+ to swiss chard: healthy, easy, simple, delicious.
I haven’t seen a hummingbird yet, April 29, which is late for me, but Spring is in full bloom here in South Jersey.Some of the Columbines are over 4 feet tall. Sigh. I remember when Columbine was just a flower.Aren’t they pretty?
The bed by the front porch looks to have a promising year.The bed by the driveway looks pretty good, as well.The raised bed herb garden has some winter survivors as well as popsicle sticks promising good things to come.And here, my dears, is what my beloved party garden looks like on this very day. A sad, sad remnant of our glorious fall season together, as witnessed below.But, happily, my Sad Clematis has hung in there.Love Spring.
I never know where I’m headed when I create. Whether it’s a meal, a quilt, a garden, or a blog post, I just have to jump in and see where it takes me.
Sometimes I make something great that doesn’t work.Despite heroic measures on my part, I was unable to overcome the effects of gravity; the plants kept falling out of the frame. So I gave up.
Sometimes I make something bad that works.I wanted to try free motion quilting, but I knew I wouldn’t be very good at it. I did it on the back side of my daughters bolsters – the side that goes against the back of the couch – so no one sees it.
And sometimes, I just have to keep trying until I get it right.BEFORE – Here’s a little seating arrangement under a cherry tree. After years of cleaning up petals, pits, and poop (the birds LOVE those cherries), I took out the seats.AFTER – I used the pavers to make a little wall, filled the area with soil and made a cute little garden instead. Now all of the cherry tree debris just disappears.
It started with a sad clematis.
Then I noticed a lilac had taken over the party garden.
I decided to dig up the lilac and put the clematis in its spot, where it will get the sun it so desperately needs.
So I dug. And I pulled. And I snipped and clipped. And I dug.
This is after day 4. Party garden disrupted. Wall collapsed. Tools strewn about. Lilac stump not even budging.
This is after day 9. Looks like you could just pluck it right out of there, doesn’t it? . . . Nope
Finally, two weeks later, things are looking up. The clematis is still just a bitty thing on the trellis (right in front of the blue jungle gym). But we all have hopes for a better future.
I finished my main vegetable garden excavation and rebuild (pictures soon) using untreated scrap wood my husband has saved from our many house projects. That kind of got me loving the idea of using up the rest of the scrap wood by making structures for the garden.
Here’s my first little project – a trellis for my Heirloom Cardinal Climbers. I’ve read two biographies of Frank Lloyd Wright lately and am feeling quite architectural. Who knows what else I will come up with?
I got the Cardinal Climber seeds from the great library seed bank we have in my area: Library Seed Bank Can’t wait until they get growing!
Even though I’ve been gardening for more than 15 years, I still feel like a doodling newbie. THIS year, fresh from an organic heirloom gardening class and armed with heirloom seeds, is the year I take it seriously.I’ve already planted a dozen different types of seeds. I have them in cheap-o plastic greenhouses in my attic. My office is in the attic, so I have a heater up there; the greenhouses are next to the heater.There isn’t much light, so I put a fluorescent light on top. I turn it (and the heater) off at night.
I’ll let you know how it goes . . .
I just finished an organic heirloom gardening class, and I am wildly excited about companion gardening. That’s the art/science/voodoo of grouping plants that are beneficial to one another. I am planning small clusters of companion plants instead of one large plot with everything lumped together.
I can feel a full garden re-do coming on . . .