Wednesday, August 15, 2007

green{er} thumb


i have this dream about growing chrysanthemums. (alas, these are from trader joe's) the girls have wanted to grow some ever since the early days of reading this favorite. the elderly filipino man who lives across the street from us grows the most amazing spider variety ones in his front garden. i have asked him his secret but could not understand his response. (his english is quite broken - we call him "mr. big mountain" because that is what we think his pronunciation of his name sounds most like. as well as the fact that he is big and strong and has the most amazing smile - this name seems to fit nicely.) they really are the most amazing chrysanthemums i have every seen. the blooms fitting into my two hands cupped together.

i am learning how to work our soil. our dry hard-packed clay soil. the plants we put in this spring are doing well. especially considering the drought and heatwave we have been going through. i haven't lost any yet. and now we are starting to dream of the cooler days of fall. (october - i know you are just around the corner... hellllooo halloween...) thinking about four beds in the backyard to try our hand at square foot gardening. (inspired by this book. i am so loving it - every page gets me looking to try something new. blueberry bush in a pot - yes!)

and more natives around the pool.

and that chicken coop being filled. (we have had a chicken set-back. the chicks we were looking to adopt ended up being all roosters - and this mother hen just wasn't prepared for that. we have a new lead through path to freedom and are hoping to have two - or three - hens soon!)

and mustn't forget. room in the raised beds for chrysanthemums.

happy wednesday!


amy h said...

I've never tried chrysanthemums in my own yard, but I always assumed they were easy. My mom once didn't know what to do with some potted ones someone gave her, so she stuck them in the ground behind some trees in our yard. We never watered them, and they just came up every year! Maybe that was just luck? :)

kirsten said...

Loving that you're going native with your plants!

You may be interested in a book called "Gaia's Garden" by Toby Hemenway. I'm taking a permaculture design certification course this summer and it seems that you may be interested in some of the topics we've covered. Primarily soil building... permaculture has a "no till" philosophy on building soil - so sheet mulching and/or planting a leguminous cover crop in your heavy clay soil may make it much easier to plant out next spring... with little work on your part! Keeping chickens or ducks is also a big permie thing. My instructor has three Indian runner ducks in his urban San Francisco back yard for "slug patrol"! They are so cute, and each one produces one gorgeous cerulean-colored egg a day!

Looking forward to seeing the transformation of your yard!

Alicia A. said...

I have this (wonderful) picture in my head of you guys, with your modern house and your funky decor, out there in L.A. with your handmade clothes on the clothesline and chickens scratching around while you're lounging by the pool. It makes me smile. The best of it all...

Tracy said...

ooh thanks kirsten - will look for it.

and love the idea of ducks - hmmmm... would have to make room in the pool for them wouldn't i alicia?! xo