Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Pruning Basil

 I think I've mentioned that I always pronounce basil in the English way because the first time I ever heard the word was on Fawlty Towers. Isn't that unbelievable? That show was in the 1970s. The only herb I'd heard of was parsley, the curly garnish that no one ever ate. How very far we have come.

Anyhow, my basil plants didn't make it this year, so I bought some starts at the Co-op from a local, organic farm. They have grown tremendously under the lights. I kept reading that I should prune them, but you all know how hard that is to do when your plants are big and healthy. I went to my favorite YouTube gardener, MIgardener. His name is Luke and he is the dearest person, as well as offering a ton of information. This is the video I watched. Afterward, I went right out to the kitchen, and did what I needed to do. Here are my before and after photographs.

They should really take off now and be nice and bushy rather than leggy. Quite a difference. And a side benefit is I used some of the cuttings to make the first pesto of the season! My recipe is here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Spring CSA flowers, and a Farm and Garden report

 This year's spring CSA flowers came from the woman who lives maybe ten minutes away. I love getting them in the spring, when I am so hungry for the sight of them. We did have lovely daffodils, but a whole swath did not come up. 

We've actually had some disheartening problems. Many flowers did not come back. The gorgeous cleome and amaranth in the big garden didn't appear. We had to replant all the started tomato seeds because we tried something new in watering, and they got waterlogged. We've dug up areas of the patio and terrace gardens and plan to put some vegetables close to the house, hoping to fool the dear deeries. I still have to get some serious supports to thwart them.

I had taken some chances and planted some zone 4 plants, hoping they might work, but after coming back one year, they did not appear this spring. I guess global warming has missed us for now. So that is one of the reasons that our flower gardens are a bit bare. The daylilies never, ever let us down. They cheerfully come up before anything else, those green, green leaves just calling out "spring"!

Anyhow, I have huge basil plants (bought from a local farmer), medium sized tomatoes, and some lettuce under the grow-lights, and we are finally getting some warmer weather. Some years spring is a little slower coming than others.

And here are the four weeks of the wonderful, wonderful CSA flowers beginning May 4.

Each week there are two bouquets, and I usually put them all together for a couple days, and then separate into smaller vases. This week the small bouquet was full of poppies, and I put them into their own containers right away. I adore poppies but they do not last long. They are the strongest lesson from flowers - to fully appreciate them every moment because they are here and gone by.

Now, you'll see the dirty windows (and window sills)! I will clean them when the screens go on. It just hasn't been warm enough for them yet.

So, what do you know?! An actual blog post from me. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Today's picture and Quote du jour - Moonlight

 Last evening as I went up to bed, the (full) moonlight was streaming in the windows, and I thought about Emily's line in the Thornton Wilder play, Our Town. I don't seem to have a copy in the house, and couldn't find the whole play online. I did find the quote, but hoped to get more context. I think she was doing her homework, and maybe talking to her boyfriend out the window. But I could be way off.

"My, isn't the moonlight terrible"

This was taken with no flash at 10:24 pm.