Tuesday, April 22, 2008


A little procrastination on Saturday morning led to a trip to my favorite local nursery. We've decided that we don't have the time right now for a full garden, or even a good spot for it at the moment...so we picked up a few tomato plants, basil, oregano, chives, parsley, lettuce and spinach seeds, and a strawberry plant just for kicks (I've got designs on a strawberry patch someday and reusing an old chain link gate for raspberries). We'll grow our mini-garden here:

This gets great direct Southern light, and hopefully the parsley will perk up a bit with the rain and sun. As for the tomatoes, it's always a crapshoot with them. My grandmother's family raised tomatoes and worked in the canning factory; they grew them on a rocky hillside, so they could vine out as as is their wont. The rocks are a natural trellis and keep the fruit from rotting on the ground, eliminating staking. We've been seeing those commercials for the Topsy Turvy hanging tomato plant growing system things...then Adam found instruction online and, with the kiddo's help, made a couple of his own:

Basically, they cut the bottom off of a 2 litre bottle and poked holes in it so we can hang them with twine from the eaves. Then they used a hair dryer to heat up the bottle near the neck. Once it was soft, they sort of turned the spout end inside out-- or more like, they caved it in, then planted the plant sticking out of the spout. I'll take better pictures of this when we get them hung. We'll see how they work. If they produce some fruit and eliminate staking, I'm all for it.

Our warm weather plants are finally making an appearance:

Canna lilies are poking through and the lantanas and four-o'clocks are starting to grow. I'm still harboring hopes of planting a Japanese red maple in the back yard...And let's not forget it's Earth Day! There's rumors that the Agri college is giving away 3 foot pin oak starters on campus today, and I'm hoping the rain will hold off long enough for me to get one!

Oh! And we have new neighbors:

Look closely. You can see a bird's eye up in there. We have a family of Blue Jays-- they have been mercifully not trying to kill us while we work under this cherry laurel, but I'm mostly trying to stay out of their way.

Meanwhile, back in the ranch...Besides new baseboards and backsplashes, there's empty boxes all the way to the ceiling!

Well. Aided by a table.

And finally, a pot rack. The kitchen is ALMOST unpacked.

We cling to the little things, ya know?


Karen in Wichita said...

I so want a pot rack. First we have to get the beam over the counter reinforced, though - it's the place where the back wall of the house was knocked out (and HEY the roof rests on that wall!), and I have more than my weight in cast iron. I'm thinking engine lift, so's I can get the stuff on and off...

I tried growing tomatoes in upside-down two-liter planters a few years ago. Works good, lasts long time (provided you get a container variety of tomato. Jet Stars will outgrow the things in 2.3 hours).

Amalie said...

We've talked about installing a ceiling mount pot rack when we build a permanent island. But for now, I kind of love this one. My mom picked it up somewhere a million years ago (actually more like 30 years ago) and never found a place for it. It does the trick.

And thanks for the tomato advice. I can't remember which variety we went with, but we looked for one with medium-sized fruit-- no 16 oz tomatoes for us! I think I'll go splurge on what they call a "patio" variety and plant one for comparison.