It was the best of times. It was the worse of times...
On the positive side the garden is thriving, happy and fragrant with the scent of heirloom roses, herbs & the sweet almond tree. Fruit is hanging heavy on branches or waiting to pop through the tree's blooms. Loquats (one of my five fave fruits) were generous this year, its fruit unusually large and oscillating between tart and sweet. All citrus and even the cherry of the Rio Grande have experienced growth spurs. We've had new butterflies and birds visit daily, and also, in larger quantities than in the past. Trees I feared dead have revived (pitomba, avocado & cinnamon). Roses and flowers in general are blooming like they fear getting fired. I finally figured out the best soil mix for our raised beds. Fennel, chayote, sweet potatoes, potatoes & choy are growing and self seeding without any care on my part...
And then there's the bad...remember the crazy plant guy I blogged about a few weeks ago? Remember how I mentioned that his biological father was about to be released from jail? Well, he was...and guess where he is living these days? Yes, you guessed it, right on my street, with the step dad, the mom and the crazy dude. All but the step dad (allegedly) on drugs. I wonder how long it will take for that house to implode. I wonder if I need to get a body guard.
And then there's the snakes. I don't mind snakes. I know they are good for the garden. They help with rodents yada yada yada...but it is the surprise factor that gets to me. So every time I go out and a plant brushes my ankles I jump. No. I JUMP. So I may need to go on some sort of meds. Do they make meds for the jumps?
And then there's the ants. I wonder if we should just hand the title for this property to them.
And then there's the squirrels. Destroying everything I plant. Digging through seedlings. Not allowing any of my sunflower seeds to germinate. I see roasted squirrel in my future. And I am only half kidding. Seriously, people do eat squirrels. They are a pest...I cute pest, I give you that, but a pesky pest nonetheless. Any recipes you care to share?
And then there's the bees. I love bees. I respect all sorts of pollinators. But these behave a bit too much like Africanized bees. This is the second year they set up shop on the north wall of my neighbor's house. That wall is only a few feet away from what constitutes our south veg garden, where the main veg crop is grown in raised beds. I thought that by doing the right thing (not wearing perfumes, not wearing bright colors, not swatting at them, etc.) I'd be fine. But apparently they did not read the memo and have decided I just look delicious. Each time I walk to the compost pile or go check on the veg beds they torpedo towards my head, neck and arms. No stings yet. Yet. Not sure how to handle this going forward.
So the bottom line is: we have the best garden/crops thus far and the most wild life ever. However, we cannot immerse ourselves in it and, instead, are sentenced to experience it from a distance and behind closed windows.
It still beats having grass.