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Friday, May 25, 2007

How's Your Garden This Year?

You just never know what might happen when you ask a simple question like "how's your garden this year"? The other day, I asked my neighbor who lives next door to where I grew up how his garden was doing and he said he was only planting a few tomatoes this year. He was just not in good enough health to plant the rest of it.

Well, a good garden should not be left unplanted! So, this morning I went over there and tilled up the rest of the garden (it had been tilled up once earlier this spring by another neighbor) and with my niece Sophie's help, we planted some acorn squash and sweet corn. Later this weekend, I'll be back to plant some bush beans.

With corn, squash and beans, I almost have a "three sisters" garden. Almost because I'm not being quite true to how they should be inter-planted together. In this garden, each is in its own rows.

My own vegetable garden is all raised beds, which never need to be tilled up, so it was fun to run a tiller again, especially through his rich garden soil which really just needed a 'back scratch' to be ready for planting.

And I got to use his hoe, which he has probably had for 40 plus years. The hoe was at one time straight across with sharp corners, but after years of use, the corners are rounded off, one very noticeably so. I loved the weight of the hoe, the length of the handle; it seemed so easy to use, as though that old hoe knew what it was supposed to do in that garden. I let it lead me.

You can see in the above picture that I had my "tilling boots" on, an old pair of hiking boots with red laces that go back to my own college days nearly, how many years ago? Geez has it been that many years?

And up by their house I saw these beautiful yellow columbine flowers. I've never seen any that color, they almost looked like little orchids from a distance.
So you just never know what will happen when you ask a simple question. Who knew at this time last week that I'd have a second vegetable garden this summer? One big enough for lots of corn, beans, and squash.

How's your garden this year?

21 comments:

Kathy said...

That was nice of you and Sophie to plant his garden. I imagine it is hard on him to not be able to work in the yard. I know he was like Dad, just liked to be out working in the yard. By the way, IT'S RAINING HERE! Yeah!
Kathy, the older sister

OldRoses said...

Good for you! I miss that sort of neighborliness since moving to NJ. The motto here seems to be "Every man for himself". Is that a peony bush in the picture?

Nickie said...

that was very kind of you to help your old neighbor like that! I'm sure it will be very healing for him to watch the garden grow.

As for my garden this year...I must say so far its one of my best and I am loving every minute of it!

Alyssa said...

What a kind thing for you to do. I'll bet he will doubly enjoy his garden this year! And you got to test drive another hoe. You did luck out! What kind of squash and beans did you put in? I love planting those fast sprouting seeds - it's like instant gratification. The columbines are beautiful - not a very usual color. Some of them look like birds in the photo. Great post. Alyssa

"Early Bird" said...

Those flowers look like fairies in flight if you turn your head just so and squint....

Blackswamp_Girl said...

What a great, neighborly thing to do! His garden is now way ahead of mine, unfortunately. :(

Layanee said...

Hey, kudos to you and Sophie! I can't think of anything nicer than your hard work in his garden! That is truly inspirational!

jodi said...

What a life-affirming and happy post this is. How nice to see neighbours looking out for one another. It gives me hope for humanity--I hope your neighbour's garden blossoms and bears wonderfully.

Curtis said...

That was very nice of you to plant his garden. These days it seems everyones in a hurry or we think we are and have no time to do things like you did. I bet your garden does more than great this year!

LostRoses said...

Yay for neighbors like you! I bet he'll really enjoy his garden this year. You're amazing, May Dreams!

Annie in Austin said...

Carol, you are not only the best Blogger Neighbor - you're the best real neighbor, too. And how wonderful that you had fun while you were working!

Don't get dizzy watching those cars go 'round this weekend...

Annie

QT said...

What a heartfelt gesture. You are truly kind and yes, those flowers are gorgeous little gems.

anna maria said...

What a great thing for you to do. I bet it makes him happy that his garden in not lying empty and will be fruitful.
love the photo with the hoe.

Carolyn gail said...

It's no wonder you got the garden blogger's good neighbor award ! My neighbor has had hip replacement and I'm looking out for her garden while she recovers. It's very satisfying, isn't it, to do a good deed.

Pam said...

I agree with Annie, what a nice neighbor you are. And I'm guessing that you have helped his health a bit along the way - I know that my mother right now, as she is struggling with a recent cancer diagnosis, is taking great pleasure in watching her garden grow. I'm sure that your neighbor will as well.

eleanor said...

Maybe he'll share a few ears of corn with you. I'm sure his wife is also too old to can or freeze it. I think you are kindred spirits with him thru your gardens

Piana Nanna said...

You are very ambitious and generous and you truly deserve the title of "Garden Angel."

Carol said...

All
Thank you for all the nice comments. I truly feel like I am the one who made out on this deal, thoroughly enjoying for one season this large garden and the opporutnity to grow lots of corn and beans. He said "it's your garden now" and gave me free reign to grow what I want.

Of course I will share the harvest with the neighbors first, then my sister next door to them, (if she helps me maintain it!) There should be plenty for all.

(OldRoses... yes that is a peony to the one side of the garden. Along that side of the garden are also some perennials I "parked" there 16 years or so ago when I was moving from one house to another, and they are still there).

(Alyssa... we planted acorn squash, Illini super sweet corn, Contender, Blue Laker, and Yellow Wax beans, some zinnias and a few sunflowers)

(Annie... we wish we could watch the race, but it is blacked out on TV here around Indianapolis, so we'll listen to it on the radio, and catch the replay on TV later in the evening).

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Kylee said...

Carol, what a lovely thing for you to do for your friend! And thanks for teaching me about the Three Sisters gardening method!

sister with the homestead said...

Carol,

I know a little girl who is very poor after spending all of her money on a new kitten (there's more where this one came from). Maybe you could teach her the proper technique in using a hoe, and train her the correct way to weed out a garden. I'm sure you'd have a willing apprentice!

carletongardener said...

So nice to read about you planting the garden for your neighbor. Real neighborliness. I also have an ailing neighbor and I wish I could write the story you did.