Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lasagna Garden: Not A Pretty Picture

The lasagna garden is finished and as you can see it is not a lovely thing. In fact, it looks a bit like I've murdered someone and buried the corpse out back (would that be good fertilizer?). The so-called no-till garden is created with layer upon layer; beginning with cardboard, and stacked with newspaper, sticks, yard trimmings, composted leaves, orange peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, and finally a layer of soil. It will eventually decompose itself into a wonderfully rich bed and I will plant my cucumbers and my zucchini there this summer. But right now, peeking up in neat little rows across the top are teeny, tiny lettuce sprouts. Also, coming in just adjacent to that bed is the arugula that I planted last fall. Patsy and I had a taste of the leaves and Patsy enthusiastically endorsed it as the "Best Arugula, Ever," (in valley girl-ese).

Today, the Putterer was expecting some putter time. Throwing caution to the wind, I took the day off in hopes that I'd get outside and work in my garden. But the weather was not cooperating, windy and cold. So instead, I visited Brookside gardens and took a lovely stroll to see the early spring blooms--the Lenton Rose, the weeping cherry trees, the redbuds, the forsythia and a host of other unrecognizable plantings. In the childrens' garden, I made note of how smart the gardeners are in re-purposing garden waste materials as borders for the beds. Vines were bent and twisted into little fences and tree trimmings were laid artfully along the path. Then, I wandered through the sale books in Brookside's library and came home with a stack of $1 offerings, including Helen M. Fox's 1973 The Years in My Herb Garden; a 1963 Golden Nature Guide to Trees; the Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Wildflowers and a 1948 Wild Flower Guide by Edgar T. Wherry, this one complete with pressed leaves and flowers still in its pages.

Patsy and I had lunch and did a little shopping in downtown Takoma Park, only to arrive home to find that the plants that I'd ordered over the winter were now beginning to arrive. So, picking them out of their packaging, and carefully releasing them from their boxes, and watering them thoroughly, and squirting them with mist, and setting them under the fluorescent light in the mudroom to acclimatize to Silver Spring, I managed to putter a bit today. Outside the tall oaks and tulip poplars are swaying in the wind. March is going out like a lion. The Putterer

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