Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"The road to hell..." by way of glyphosate

It's controversial in gardening circles but I did it. I finally let the neighbor (while my nasty seeds floated into his yard) spray my weed patch with Roundup. Why I was so cowardly and resistant about this, I don't know. Maybe it's because of that pesky -cide suffix. Maybe because glyphosate is alleged to form environmental xenoestrogens. A friend told me that Roundup causes breast cancer, about which there is no definitive scientific proof (Scientific American - 1997). I've had breast cancer, and my illusions that taking impeccable care of myself will give me immunity to most catastrophic illnesses have already been shattered. And now I know that life is too short to be a slave to weeds. So what's a little chemotherapy and radiation burn, ya know? I don't plan to use herbicides indiscriminately but I wanted to get control over a tenacious area where previous efforts had failed. I did slink back home guiltily to Dr. Earth and he forgave me my indiscretion - this time. You can beat me up now, if you want. Steal my lunch money, too.
p.s. I did use some clove oil organic herbicide on a patch of dichondra and I have some grieving earthworm widows now.

Friday, March 14, 2008

What's blooming in the North Bay




Nasturtium "Margaret Long" & phalanges "homo sapien"

Narcissus (of course), abutilon, freesias, dianthus, anchusa, iceberg roses (no joke, they bloomed all winter), dutch iris, pacific coast iris, lavender, california poppies, nasturtium 'Margaret Long,' saponaria, white scabiosa and I picked and ate my first alpine strawberries of the season about two weeks ago.

Here are photos of just a few (some kinda fuzzy - all taken with my camera phone).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How did you grow that? & other "mysteries" of gardening revealed

Here's what sometimes happens when you take a home grown, bedraggled bouquet into an office of kind-hearted hospice co-workers (disclaimer, I'm making this up).

Q: How did you grow these flowers? You must have a green thumb.
A: I dig a hole, stick something into it and wait. While I wait I dig more holes, stick in more somethings and wait some more. Occasionally I water the somethings. Sometimes I throw the rotted fecal matter of four-legged herbivores or flightless fowl around my yard. When the somethings are unattractive or overly buggy I rip them out, or ignore them and let them die of natural causes (read: neglect).

Q: May I come see your garden? It must be beautiful.
A: Ha! No. It's homely as a mud fence and I could never endure the shame. I'll keep bringing in the flowers, though.

Q: What's your favorite flower, and why?
A: *gasp!* How can you ask me that with a clear conscience? Which of your children do you love the most? I love all my flowers! (pssst - it's sweet peas because they're pretty, they smell great and they are well-behaved.)

Q: I've always wanted to garden, but I kill everything. How do I get started?
A: Take one bit at a time. Start with the easy stuff. Put on old clothes and get yourself and your digging fork outside. Tell your family they'll have to fend for themselves until first frost.

That's all I know about gardening, period.