Day 10: Garden Lovers

When life is giving you rough spots there is always something to come along and give you a laugh. The garden certainly did that yesterday, as Smith walked in with a coupled pair of carrots. 


Apparently a pair of carrots can meet in the garden and like each other so much they can marry. 


Carrots, intertwined for life. Now that ought to make you smile. 


Smith put another smile on my face when he brought  some bulbs he'd found in the local nursery. I had not planned ahead and had no bulbs to plant in our new front garden.  I swear he found the last bulbs in town, which means our spring will be just a little brighter. The weather next weekend looks warmer than today, so I'll have time before winter sets in to get them in the ground. 

If anyone could be more grateful for their hubby, I'd like to meet them. You have no idea all he has done for me the past month. He is the best guy around. I think I hit the jackpot. 

It Can't Be Over!

I refuse to believe summer is over! The weekend was cool, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the waning summer and packing as much into the weekend as I could.  My contribution to Carole's ToT is here to tell you all about my fabulous (long) weekend. 


1. I made 4 batches of Vicki's Roasted Tomato Sauce. Everything I pick on any given day goes into the batch, which means a variety of flavors from one to the next. So many hidden treasures go into the sauce. One batch might have carrots, the next eggplant and squash. One batch we had to mark HOT just so we'd know it had an over abundance of hot hot peppers. It's ALL delicious and can be "doctored" when preparing a meal this winter. 

2. Saturday morning first thing I had a pedicure (love my red toe nails) and a manicure (buff to make the nails shine, no polish, thank you). It feels so good to have the cuticles cleaned up and the nails cut short. 

3. Smith and I had a chance to have lunch together and we went to our favorite tacqueria, Lonestar (of course). I always have the delicious fish taco and the fruity, flavorful ice tea. 


4. Saturday night we celebrated at my sister's wedding. Two happy brides add up to a crowd full of happy people. The cake was fabulous and the cake cutting ceremony the best ever! They cut the cake and each held a piece as if they were going to smash each other in the face, but the intended targets (which they both hit) were the unwitting groomsmen standing behind them. Maybe you had to be there, but it was a hoot! 


5. Sunday morning I went to a new to me coffee shop, the Coffee Garden, which has been around for a very  long time. It is a staple of the 9th and 9th district of SLC and even ran one of the big names out of the neighborhood (THE big name). I also had my first macaroon and enjoyed every.single.bite. (I'll have another, thank you.)

6. Sunday I, also, made progress on my Ropedance, which is a bit of a feat, as I need to keep a chart to check off each row. Staying on track is difficult when I in a  social setting, but I foresee it getting easier over time, as I make progress and become more familiar with the pattern. 


7. Monday morning I went for a walk around Red Butte Gardens and ran across a cipher left by another visitor. Maybe you can read the code, but I left it for the next person to puzzle through. 


8. While walking through the park I ran across a Sea of Susans. I got a kick out of seeing the sunny bright yellow faces and when the name a Sea of Susan's popped into my head a had a little giggle. Colorful blossoms were everywhere, as autumn has not yet taken over the garden. 


9. FINALLY, I finished the beading on my Alabama Chanin T-shirt! Monday afternoon I had time to sew the shoulder seams and sew in the D.I. Y. label. This made me especially happy. Next I will follow Vicki's lead and baste in the neck band before sewing it in place. 


10. We had BLTAs on the patio. The weather was perfect Sunday evening and since Smith worked the early shift, we had a lovely evening together.  We cooked bacon on the grill using the skillet he picked up at a garage sale a couple of years ago and enjoyed a tomato or two from the garden. Since I don't eat bread, I added a soft cooked egg to my bacon, tomato, avocado stack.  

How was your last official weekend of summer? Please don't tell me summer is over, as I want to live with the illusion of summer for a little longer. 

Green Weekend


Smith had the weekend free, which is a very rare occurrence and we took full advantage of the time. Our front garden was denuded, which was our wish, and we spent the weekend planting anew and making the garden our own. The garden had not been updated since the 1970s and we felt the bushes needed to be removed and the ground replanted. Withe the consent of our neighbors we added the Japanese Maple and planted shade loving plants, which should fill in over time. The idea is to add ground cover as needed. I'm very pleased with the way it's looking, so far. 


Smith harvested the first of the garlic from our big garden and it looks like this year will be a banner year. With the temperatures climbing we try to keep the garden watered and the early plants from  feeling deprived of moisture. It means at least a trip a day to keep the garden hydrated.

The weekend was spent in a blur of gardening and time with friends, loving the sun, wishing the summer were longer, and enjoying the heat. Truly, you'll think I'm crazy, but I am happy to soak up the sun (as I've said) and enjoy the heat as I can. The temperatures will climb into the 100s this week and will be even hotter next, which I will admit, is a little too much (and too early) for my delicate constitution (JK), even if it is dry heat. In any case, bring on the summer! 

How Does Your Garden Grow

Last week was my week of contemplating, of time with friends, quiet time, busy time. There was little (just a little) knitting, and just a little sewing and a blur of life going by.  What remains a mystery to me, is how so many people can get so much done in the same 24 hours of the day I have. I try to fit it all in, but come no where close to all the things I desire to do. 


The weekend was all about gardens, but I didn't even have time to make it up to Red Butte. In the community garden I weeded several beds and harvested the end of the radish crop. I then bought plants for the front garden of our condo. Management remove bushes that hadn't thrived during the dry winter and add a layer of top soil, leaving us a blank slate to plant. We bought plants for shade and still need to find a ground cover we like. Spare time this week will be spent searching through nurseries for ground cover.   

18627738710_522ff13971_kThe weekend few by, summer is in full swing. and I'm enjoying this warm and beautiful time of year. How's your summer going? 


Words in the Wild


Three years ago, the grade school children in a near by elementary were asked if they'd like to join our garden. The teachers and students were both very excited about coming to the garden, and the parents were supportive, too. They children can walk from the school to the garden and a different grade comes every day to care for their plot. The parents have helped the children care for the garden throughout the summer months  by making sure the kids can stop by and do right by the plants. They have all gladly signed up to become a part of our community.


The children paint signs and rocks to mark each area they plant. They learn about bees, birds, and lady bugs and how important they are to a garden. They paint signs to welcome and encourage the bugs to stay.


One of the best things about sharing our garden with the community at large is to bring an understanding of the process of growing and working together. We share our pathways with people who wish to walk through, we share our labyrinth with people searching for peace, and we share our harvest with everyone we can. We love to share (please ask first) and we love to teach about the process of growing from beginning to end. 

In the Sun

In the center of our community garden is one of only 18 known labyrinths in Utah. Being in the garden has a calming effect on me, but  when I walk the path of the labyrinth, a silent prayer of love flows from my heart. I am not a believer in any religious tradition and I pray in my own way. Walking the labyrinth opens my heart and fills my spirit with calm. 


You can see from my shadow, we had a weekend of sun. Smith and I spent Saturday together, going out for breakfast and then running errands. I find errands are more fun when you have company. Later in the afternoon Smith worked on the greenhouse (of course!) and I walked the labyrinth and the pathways of the garden. 


Sunday, while Smith was working, I stopped by the monthly Wasatch Market to buy a loaf of GF bread. A tamale booth caught my eye and after talking to the owner, and after having a taste of the chicken tamale, I decided to try a mole tamale for lunch. It was delicious, but the very best part was sitting in at a picnic table to enjoy the warmth of the sun. (I am an idiot and do not remember the name of the vendor, but I will be back next month to buy more tamales and make sure I note their name.)

The sun is now hidden behind gray once again and a storm, with minimal rain, is headed our way.  Sadly, the next 7 days have temperatures in the 50s...even during the storm. I'm not one to complain about warm weather, but it would be nice to have a little snow, at least in the mountains. February, I'm happy to see you, but please bring us some snow. 

So friends, how was your weekend?  

At Rest, For Now


The garden sits at rest even though the temperatures have been above normal and the winter lackluster. The few stalks that remain are mere ghosts of their former selves. The wheelbarrows are in repose, waiting, ready, wanting to be used.


On days when garden catalogs are not enough, a gardener, or two, can be seen in the walking along the pathways, wistfully dreaming of the spring planting season,  summers warmth, and autumn's bounty.


Smith and a buddy have been spending their extra time working on various projects in the garden, but at the top of the list has been the community greenhouse. Last fall they framed in the structure with PVC pipe and during the warmer days of winter, they've covered it over with plastic. On the day they finished I walked inside to find the humidity high and the ceiling covered with "dew" drops.

Smith in greenhouse
Last week Smith set old pallets, and our old carport garden box, inside to use as shelves to hold planters and flats. Over the weekend they were raised up to table height. Other gardener's are starting to drop by and check out the new space and excited to use it.

With the warm weather and the growing sunlight, gardeners are starting to turn their thoughts towards spring and a planting season that is less than 7 weeks away. Soon this place of quiet will turn from its rest into a bustling, greening spot with hopeful gardens of early sprouts. A gardener's motto is often, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained!".