Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dirt under my nails

 Today we had a grand time together.  We worked in the garden in the morning when it was still cool.  It was a little sad to pull up all the tomatoes and the cucumber vines that had produced so much for us over the last few months.  But they have run their course now.

So we weeded and pulled vines, leaving behind those plants that were still producing.  This is what the garden looked like when we were done.

The peppers are still prolific.  I picked one that was at least 12 inches long.  It was a Mexican sweet pepper.  We will make some pepper jelly soon with the hot and sweet peppers.  It is my mother's recipe and the jelly is generally a big hit with people, especially at Christmas when we give jars to friends.

The okra is still producing little pods.  Okra loves the hot weather that we have had.  We will probably get another month of pods off the plants. I will hate to see the okra go because it has truly been hardy. 

We also aerated the compost so that the soil can be amended prior to planting.  I really like these compost bins. The soil is already rich here because the property was once part of a large plantation and all the land was cleared and planted, probably in cotton.  The fields were allowed to grow up and now mature trees of pine, oak, sweet gum, and magnolia cover a lot of the property. 
And here is what we picked today.  For lunch, C. made a bastardized version of ratatouille with the peppers, okra, eggplant, onion, and some tomatoes.  It was awesome.  Look at the size of that sweet pepper--huge, right?

After lunch, we went to buy seed to plant: beets, carrots, broccoli, winter squash, kale, mustard greens.  The actual sets for some of the plants that we want to put in weren't in yet so we got a few fall flowers to plant in the front flower beds.  I was looking for clematis because it smells so sweet this time of year.  I'll have to check at another garden center in town for it.   But we bought some globe amaranth,  a plumbago, and some mondo grass to put in large pots.  We also picked up a few cacti for the little desert gardens that we have going in some ceramic containers.

There is something so neat about being among the plants and looking for a few new varieties to try.  It was just a fun day.  Working side by side with dirt under our nails was fun.

It reminded me of the time when we had our first house, and I made a round flower garden for C.  I filled it will all kinds of flowers.  And we had our very first vegetable garden at that first house of ours.  That was a while ago.  We were much younger and filled with all kinds of ideas and dreams.  Now we are older and still filled with ideas and dreams.  And today we shared those things together without distractions.  Amazing what the promise of the coming season can do.


  1. Thank you for all your posts on my page and my only follower! I haven't noticed until tonight that you have commented. Thats a huge garden that you have! I have never attemped to grow anything but I think eventually a time will come where I will want to enjoy it. Your inspiring. Thank you.

  2. Loved this post Syd. I agree, the wonderful thing about gardening is that the joys still hold true no matter what age we are.

    Emptying the compost bins is one of my favourite tasks in the garden. :O) I love to see all that gorgeous dark brown soil that has magically come from leftover greens. :)

    I permanently have soil under my fingernails. :O)

  3. omg a garden to rival mimi kirks :) you guys will be the healthiest people on the planet at this rate :)

    Amazing. Dinner round yours will be awesome :) Can't beat fresh food.

  4. we shared things together without ditraction...nice. those are some great looking peppers....

  5. Good morning, Syd!

    What a wonderful post this was! The most impressive thing after I read it twice - was that your early dreams in the new marriage were the same as the current dreams in your long-time commitment to one another, with absolutely no reference to the pain that these dreams have 'sandwiched.' You have amended that time very nicely, and I admire you for keeping positive and also for not dwelling in the painful period. Great example of recovery!

    Good luck with the winter garden.

    By the way, I have sprouts of clematis all over the yard - - - it is very prolific here at my home - - - to the point of nearly strangling my Lady Banksia rose on the sides of my house! Yes, it is truly a late summer fragrance maker in the early evening.

    Anonymous #1

  6. You and C. have such a nice relationship. I am so happy for you two.



  7. Oh. I can't wait for that soon-coming-day in my garden. If life will just slow down and allow me to grab that joy.

  8. Loved reading this -- plumbago is indigenous to South Africa, so i like to think you will have a little of my homeland in your garden!

  9. What a beautiful day, working together toward a common goal. Are you going to share the recipe for pepper jelly? Wow, I want hubby to help me plant some okra next year. We are trying to figure how we can make a small enclosure for a garden that the critters cannot get into. Every time I see pics of your garden I get the desire to have our own little garden. Nothing like what you two work though.

  10. there's nothing greater than seeing things you planted grow. great post

  11. Love the photos of your garden. It gives me alot of joy growing plants. Living near the ocean is challenging to garden due to the wind and fog but I have learned what grows where. Observation and experimenting is a good learning tool.

  12. This post feels full of gratitude :) And yummy goodness.

  13. Your harvest is beautiful. It's so rewarding working side by side, dreams change but it's nice to have a common goal in mind. I like the season of fall...I always feel there is a lot of promise in the air.....

  14. This post really gets me. I am a soil scientist by training, but I do not garden in my current soil.

    For shame. But I really get how you are being a tender for many of our blogs. Watching how we grow, commenting from time to time.

    Nurturing like this takes time! Thank you for having the faith to be the gardener that you are and for sharing your story and your actions with us.

  15. Stunning garden! And gorgeous peppers to show for it. Nothing like a day spent with your hands in the dirt.

  16. what a beautiful garden you all have! I love your property... I hpe some time my wife and I an do work like that together and get such joy from it.


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.