Sunday, May 17, 2009

This is about gardening, mostly






In the used car trade, there’s the phrase “TV side.” That’s the best looking side, the one you want to show in the ads.

Everything and everyone has a TV side.

Take my homestead. I could show you the raised bed with thriving tomato, bean, and pepper plants. The raised bed is surrounded by some David Austin roses, night-blooming Jasmine, espaliered apple, quince, rosemary, living lawn…

And then we wander over to the crash and burn side. It’s a bit like a moonscape over here. The melons consider whether this planet is worth the effort. The corn clearly is heading back to Oklahoma, in spirit. The surrounding grass is, to not put too fine a point on it, dead. Close to here is where Albert shits out seeds after eating ten pounds of loquats a day. That dog puts on a lotta weight come fruit season.




I don’t know what went wrong. But then again, I don’t know what went right. Well, that’s not strictly true. I now know by the obvious results what worked and what didn’t.

So what I mean is, afterwards, I figured it out. And that’s fine to figure things out, we spend half our life trying to figure out what went on before.

But it doesn’t change anything. I posit these same conditions will never occur in the same place at the same time ever again. And if you use an old template for current conditions, the mistakes you make will be worse, just because you are so sure, this time, you’re right.

28 comments:

  1. I love this post because it says something lucidly that I've been thinking about lately--easy to love, when you agree. Plus, the photos are knockout.

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  2. Though I would prefer iterative sampling to reinventing the wheel each time.

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  3. I covet the tv side of your garden.

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  4. All you can do is jot down what the conditions were, if you remember, and make a note to do what worked, if you remember, if the opportunity comes around again. Easy enough.

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  5. Kierkegaard: Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

    GG

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  6. I call it "Beauty and the Blight" here at Casa Carrier. But the beauty in your yard far outshines the blight. Pic 2 is especially spectacular.

    BTW, why are mushrooms growing prolifically in my raised-bed, no-dig gardens?

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  7. Oh! I like the Kierkegaard comment. But I'm not convinced I even understand the past -- and I'm a trained historian.

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  8. This is definitely about gardening, mostly...but you also got some nasty looking pics here.
    Still, all n all a nice wholesome post.

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  9. Susan, I know this one! The mushrooms indicate lots of good compost. You can pick them out or leave them to die (they will on their own). Takes about three weeks.

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  10. I hollered, not laughed out loud. I saw Albert's butt and it just went downhill. WHEN do we open SHALLOW GRAVES, KB? Maybe when I get home from France ( Read - Ms. Gotrocks) we can find a proper site for it. It's hard to tell if it will take off better in LA or AL. Who knows. If I have anything to do with this business venture it'll go belly up ( or as Wayne would say, "Tit up") pretty quickly. Keep in touch.
    Ginger

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  12. Ginger spice, how did that guy get in the picture?

    WV: acare. I don't acare. We had an earthquake, but I didn't afeel it.

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  13. I call it the money shot and it usually helps to stick a kid and the front end of a dog in it.
    Your garden is lovely. I'm curious, did you start from nothing and do the entire landscaping yourself?

    I see pomegranates and apricots and guava. I lost my grape vines and the squirrels got to the peaches despite the disco balls.

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  14. I want to sit there, patting a dog, writing in a journal, drinking coffee out of some cool mug I would probably find in your pantry.

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  15. I just heard about the earthquake. I was in aTokyo the only time I experienced one. Very astrange. We actually had one just north of us a few years ago but it didn't reach us here.

    What you're showing of your garden is pretty wonderful, especially the veranda and the lushness of it all.
    The good garden/bad garden thing is something I'm familiar with. I have spots in my garden that are worth noticing and a lot more that aren't - unless you know that when we bought the place it was littered with tires, rebar, tree stumps, broken fencing, trash, more tires, piping, conduit, and other more esoteric stuff so when I look at it everything looks good in comparison. What drew us to the property in the first place were the violets, wild strawberries, huge live oaks, pecan trees, lots of wildlife and 1/2 an acre of space. Someone recently told me that gardens don't look good if they're done in one fell swoop because they don't have layers that you can only accululate over time. I hope that fix aworks cause it's going to take time.

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  16. PJ and PA know -- I could show you a whooooole different side.

    I started with a blank slate in the early part of this century, and made some good choices, and some really bad ones (running bamboo leaps to mind).

    PJ, you had/have a much bigger job than I had/have. But layers -- I'll add that to my landscaping vocabulary.

    Laurie, you could try that, but the dogs you be leaping up to lick your face and spill coffee on your notebook.

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  17. what earthquake?

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  18. First of all, the 'good' shots of your garden aren't just good, they're gorgeous! You definitely understate your green thumb!

    As for Mother Nature, she's one flaky bitch. Vindictive, too. All it takes is one little expression of pride in your garden, and then, WHAMMO! A plague of locusts or some other type of smiting. No wonder farmers walk around with their heads down all the time. They're constantly abused by Mommy Nature Dearest.

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  19. I like to say I taught the good hiker all she knows about fleurs, and that she used me as the goto person on all things plant related. She would only say, in effect, "In your dreams, you did." And of course she is ALWAYS right. So. Nice garden. Kin i come by 'n have a closer looksee when I'm older?

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  20. Good Lord - if the Garden of Eden had a Shagra-La, it would look like your backyard.

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  21. Groupie gone wrongMay 18, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    I think Kierkegaard is cute.

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  22. A beautiful spot to have breakfast lunch or dinner. Nice place from a Tabla Rasa!

    There may be a bright spot in Albert's shit site: Ten pounds of loquats and seeds a day? next year you might just have the beginnings of an orchard.

    About Afterwards.There are many quotes I like from Thomas Edison. Two of which I think relate: "I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success" (and) "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

    A side note: Sorry I missed the Altadena event, I seriously planned on trying to make it, support the effort, and meet some of the personalities behind the pages. I'm always up for meeting new and interesting people... unfortunately work intervened. Maybe another time.

    I also need to take a brek from the blogs, (I'm a bit on overload) I'll check in from time to time and maybe be back soon. Who knows, it's a wait and
    see thing. So for now, take care.

    Bonne nuit,

    Mid-Town G

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  23. edit: last paragraph; brek=break

    Afterthought: "This is about gardening, mostly", sustainable gardening, and you have a following. Are you sure this isn't a cult?

    WV: petub (Albert needs one)

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  24. Don't be gone too long Mid Town, you'll be missed. Though I am glad you are so much in demand. Maybe sometime you can let us know where we can view your work...

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  25. Nice garden you've got there. We used to keep planting plants, (obviously) and the rabbits ate it. Year after year we played this game of plant and devour the garden until I just gave up. sometimes you need to walk into that brick wall 5 times before it sinks in. Stubbornness I suppose. Then again, I am a Finlander - You can always tell a Finn, but you can't tell them much.

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  26. the only good side of my apt if out the window

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  27. Wow The Place Is Full Of Greenery !! I Like Such Places !! Thanks For Sharing

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  28. thank you Unseen. I followed your link -- you have a very fun site!

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