Well it turns out that the squirrels just up and left of their own accord. I have no idea why they would want to leave considering the cornucopia of delights waiting just outside their front door, but I’m not about to complain. And with their leave the peas have flourished. The ‘Carouby de Maussane’ plant has grown lush and has been pumping out pretty flowers and fresh peas on a daily basis.
I admit they rarely stay on the vine long enough to make even a small handful — nothing lasts very long since I tend to munch on whatever’s available when I’m out there with the watering can.
I’ve been very happy with this variety and will definitely grow it again. The plants are slowly starting to reach their end with the full heat of summer kicking it out on the rooftop. I’ll let them go for as long as they continue to produce and may just start a fresh crop in late summer when the intense sun and heat subsides out there. Or I’ll replace the plants with something else — I haven’t decided. I started another crop of the dwarf ‘Tom Thumb’ variety a few weeks back and they’re getting close to the flower-producing stage. They grow in smaller containers so I can control their heat exposure more closely. In the meantime fresh beans are starting to form from pretty purple flowers in another container across the deck. Here they are looking like microscopic penises!
- From: Centre Stage Chicago (July 2, 2006)
“To boost my odds, I enlisted some expert tips from garden guru Gayla Trail, whom I met at a planting demo she gave at Old Town’s luscious A New Leaf boutique. Founder of YouGrowGirl.com (a must-bookmark for any urban gardener) and author of a book by the same name, Gayla is a self-taught master of metropolitan planting, whether working in containers on her fire escape or tending the city plot that she’s turned from a garbage dump into a blossoming flowerbed.”
See full article online
- From: 2 Magazine (Summer 06)
- From: Vegetarian Times (July/August 06)
Interviewed for an article on composting, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Composting 101Ã¢â‚¬Â
Guest post by Renee Garner
Never one to adhere to tradition, I have started swallowing my grassy yard up with perennials and edibles. Several factors have prevented total success with the work so far, though, and a major one has been communication between my spouse and myself. This was especially apparent one evening at dusk when he felt the urgency to mow the yard. Around 6 PM he revved up the mower and began the attacking the grass voraciously; the most recent planting escaped both of our minds. The next morning I proudly surveyed the landscape, until my eyes happened upon the shredded stalk of my blackberry bush. . . and the rose vine. . . and the oriental poppy. . . and. . .
Well to be honest, I was in no position to complain. He couldn’t see well at that time of the day and I stayed inside lazily reading a magazine with a fan keeping me cool. This humid Southern weather envelopes us for a period stretching sometime from June through October. I had no interest in pitching-in by going outside to coach him along. So, I figured, the price to pay for that luxury was a couple of plants mowed down to a severe state of pitiful.
Last year I was decidedly more creative with my resources. Was it cooler, or was my endurance higher? Though expensive if you consider the price of a bottle of wine, I took my ever-growing collection of wine bottles out in the yard and began picking away at the rocky soil, trenching a line for a glass bottle border; the image is of the area mid-process, a very long process I might add. Or, considered in another light, not long enough drinking and too long working.
Immediacy was a major goal. Plastic was to be avoided at all costs. Gayla’s Willow Edging came to mind, but with the temperature averaging in the high 90s, I was more in the mood to brainstorm in air conditioned comfort than forage for twigs. Enter the hardware store. At the opposite end from the nursery, towards the lumber, where DIY items may necessitate a more thoughtful approach, but productivity ends up much cheaper.
Lo and behold, surveyor’s stakes ($6 for 20-25) and lattice edging (around $1 for a 10-foot strip). The thick flat strips meant less time in the heat, the stakes, well, they’re meant to be pounded into the ground. Thanks to the heavy and constant rain we’ve been having, the ground was soft enough to make the task even easier. I took a hammer and started each stake, placing them about 2 feet apart. I then took a sledgehammer and pounded them further into the ground to the desired height (I used 5 lattice strips tall), and began weaving away. The result is fairly sophisticated for my haphazard gardening style, but it’ll save my plants from being coupled with similarly-priced mundane plastic edging!