Thursday, June 12, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle

Last night DD and I went on an excursion to Lowe's looking for a tomato plant. Not just any ole tomato plant, but one of those hydroponic contraptions that grows the tomatoes upside down in water -- sans dirt. They've been out a few years, so I figured Lowe's would be a pretty safe bet to find it. Welp, no go. The guy told me "We don't have that new fandangled technology."

Hmm. Fandangled tomato technology? Ok.

So I came home without a tomato plant, and guess I'll probably have to order my hi tech tomato plant through a catalog.

Why is it soooo important that I have this kind of tomato plant and not the regular dirt tomato? Waylllllllll ..... my backyard is a bit of an anomoly when it comes to urban gardens.

Aside from the squirrel population, I've had a cat problem. Alley cats, not your average Garfield house cat. These things are bold and love to use my garden as a litter box. Now over the last 2 years, I've waged war against these monsters, and have lined the top of my yard with hard, plastic spiked mats which have done a good job keeping them out. But they're not weather resistant, and I'm afraid the cats are slowly trying to reclaim their squatters (literally) space in my garden. Next step: nails on planks.

I'm not eating anything that a cat has been peeing on -- hence, the hydroponic tomato plant.

Here's my garden the first year in my house:

Nice. Simple.

Then all hell broke loose.

After the first year, I decided to really try my hand at gardening. Vegetables, flowers ... the sky's the limit. Here's what ensued:

Year 2: I planted 3 pepper plants - red, yellow and purple. The purple must have been on fertility drugs -- it took over the entire garden. It multiplied, several times, and I ended up with about 30 purple pepper plants and about 500+ purple peppers.

Year 3: My neighbor gave me 2 sunflower plants that she dug out of her garden. I planted them, and oh. my. Gawdddd. They grew 30+ feet high -- over top of the electric wires in the back of the house. There were probably about 150 blooms that drew every yellow bee in the tri-state area to my backyard. I couldn't even go into my yard for all the bees. It took my drunk friend Jay climbing on the neighbor's roof with a saw to unravel these from the wires, and finally dismember them for removal. Buh-bye sunflowers! (and thanks, Dooblevey!)

Year 4: I decided some perennials would be good so I wouldn't have to keep buying new plants every year. I ended up with a garden kit from White Flower Farm. It's easy -- know the dimensions of your garden, how much sun you get, pick a garden plan. They send you the starter plants and a little map that tells you where to plant them. The company does all the planning so the short plants are in front, tall in the back, colors organized -- nice! The only problem was, my fertile soil could've used about 1/10 the plants. These plants TOOK OFF!!! They were busting out of my garden so bad they were cracking the concrete. I had to pull up several of the plants to thin it out. The only remains are 1 "little" lavender plant that is actually a huge bush. It smells wonderful and looks beautiful.

Year 5: I gave it a rest.

That brings me to this year. For the first time, my garden looks beautiful. Everything has bloomed and it looks really pretty. Lilacs, hydrangeas, roses, lavender, peonies, rhododendrums, clamatis (that sounds like chlamydia, which isn't growing anywhere around here), and a new crop of lilies that just started blooming this week. (I was gonna post a pic but am having technical diffuculties.)

I don't know what kind of mess I'll have by mid-summer, but for now all is well.


schue said...

Tomata Technology? interesting. Hmmm, I wonder what will go crazy in your garden this year?

Sandi said...

I would love to plant a vegetable garden in yard, but between the rabbits, deer, groundhogs and bear, it's not going to work.

Los said...

Someday, maybe I'll get around to having some sort of vegetable garden ... but our yard has rabbits, squirrels, a groundhog, and even raccoons ... it might be a losing battle.

Michelle @ White Flower Farm said...

Dear Lisa,

Thank you very much for writing about the plants you purchased from White Flower Farm on your blog. May we have your permission to use your photographs or comments in printed material and on our Web site?

When we use them, we will also give your name as well as the town and state where you live.

We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you again. Feel free to contact me directly at:

Customer Service

Kelly said...

It does look beautiful

Kelly said...

I will most certainly come down and take pix.