Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Your first look at Mr Bunches' Garden Of Hope. (Thinking The Lions)

Every year, Mr Bunches and I plant a garden and Mr F unwillingly helps out and/or spills the dirt from wherever he can because he likes dirt but hates gardening.

I, too, hate gardening, which is why I don't really garden, per se.  I do not mow my lawn. I do not weed my flowerbeds.  I am in year 12 of a five-year project to turn my backyard into a beautiful wild perennial garden.  There is even a rudimentary 'path' around the yard.  It is probably horrifying to my neighbors.

When I do garden, I am as likely to get distracted by a bookstore, kidnap babies, or almost die of bees  as I am to actually grow plants, and that is only in part because I am bad at growing plants, in the sense that I think plants should be able to grow by themselves, the way everything else (e.g., people, goats, that weird branch of the federal government that tracks your Sears card purchases to see if you are a terrorist) does, so I don't want to be out there helping them.  Watering? Weeding? Do kids need that stuff? No. And kids are the highest-maintenance things there are.  So plants need to learn to fend for themselves.

The other reason I am bad at gardening is that my yard is secretly filled with nuclear waste or something, because nothing grows except weeds, and that apple tree that the neighbors' dog bit in half years ago. It is doing fine.  Everything else I plant dies nearly instantly.  I have three pine trees that are turning brown.  A bush that had been around the entire time we lived here died this year.  Another two in the back yard are gone.  Even my tulips didn't bloom this year. That is, one did but it died pretty quickly.  All around me my neighbors have beautiful yards full of flowers and trees and things that are not Zombie Plants, and my yard is just a mass of weeds and, somewhere, a path.  Don't try to tell me that if I put some effort into it it would get better.  First off, I'm not going to put effort into it. It's plants.  They are everywhere.  Look around you! I bet there's a plant within eyesight right now.  You can't stop them! Unless you plant them in my yard.

Secondly, when I do put effort into it it goes badly, like the time I bought half a weed trimmer.  That is a true story.  I needed a weed trimmer because everything in our yard is a weed, probably even the path is weeds now, so I went to "Home Depot" (motto: do not under any circumstances ask where something is because nobody know, they'll just say aisle 12") to get a new weed trimmer, and they had an entire aisle (of course they did) devoted to weed trimmers, because we live in a country where where the city of Madison is debating whether or not to force the homeless people to go somewherre besides the downtown -- not help them, just move them -- but we can choose among 153,457 different makes of weed trimmer.  I would support a YOU SUCK tax that imposes a 10% surcharge on anything that I personally dislike or think is stupid, with the proceeds going to raise the minimum wage provide housing and counseling for the homeless, and maybe funding Kansas schools for the final month of the year so that our now-most-backwards state (congrats Alabama you're only 49th!) could educate their kids.

Anyway, I went to "Home Depot" and wandered around the aisle trying to find a weed trimmer that wasn't wifi-enabled or GPS linked or made out of chainsaws or whatever ridiculous level of armament we now employ against dandelions so that men can feel like men in their yards for an hour before tucking their polo shirt back into their khaki expandable waist shorts and going back in to watch simulcasts of ESPN radio shows on TV.  And I finally settled on the least expensive one, a small weed trimmer that cost about $40 and promised to trim weeds.  I knew it wouldn't be capable of fighting off Charlize Theron for fuel or whatever, but I didn't need all that, so I bought it, went home, opened up the box, and found that what I had purchased was the lower half of a weed trimmer that needed to be attached to the upper half (SOLD SEPARATELY!) before being used.  On the plus side, I could buy any number of a bunch of attachments to store in my 'man cave' in between bouts of drinking hops-infused homebrew and hitching up my khaki shorts.  On the minus side, I could not trim weeds without investing another forty bucks, and so I have not trimmed any weeds in two years.

I still have the weed trimmer half, though.  So if you bought the upper half mistakenly and were too p***ed off at Home Depot/America/Dad and Mom for ever making you garden as a kid to go get the other half, let me know and we'll work out a deal.

Anyway, for the past several years we've moved from planting the garden in a 'spare' flowerbed, where it was overtaken by weeds, to planting seedlings in cups in hopes of then transplanting them into the yard where they could be overtaken by weeds,  to this year, when we planted the seeds in buckets and stuff (TM) where they would be flooded by rainwater before they could ever hope to make it far enough to be overtaken by weeds.

A few weeks back, we went to the hardware store -- NOT "Home Depot," because fool me once, that's capitalism, fool me twice that's how Americans keep voting for the GOP -- and bought a set of seeds Mr Bunches picked out.  We then gathered up various buckets and flowerpots and stuff (TM) we had laying around, dug some dirt out of a random location by the wagon planter we made in the backyard out of an old wagon and some backyard (suck it, Martha Stewart!) and put the seeds into the pots.

We had them on the front porch, where immediately a guy trying to sell me aluminum siding knocked one off the porch the next day.  He rang the bell and as I was trying to unlock the multiple security systems that keep Mr F from running away, I saw him through the door's window picking up the pot.

"Would you mind putting that back?" I asked him as I got the door open.  He claimed it was already knocked over and that he was just putting it back up but whatever he was obviously casing the joint.

So much for the carrots!

The zucchini -- MR BUNCHES PICKED THEM NOT ME!-- was sitting on the front porch the next day when it rained.  Oh good rain, I thought. Crops need rain.  When the rain ended the zucchini was under 4" of water, as it had sat in the exact spot where some runoff from the roof had hit.  Most of the dirt was washed out by the torrential waterfall the zucchini had suffered through.  What little wasn't washed out was dumped over by Mr F who did I mention likes dirt?

That same fate -- a dumping by Mr F -- befell one of the flowers we'd planted, so we are left with exactly four hopes for a successful garden this year.  It would be our first ever, after last year's late season drought killed the corn plant that had sprouted two ears.

Here is what we've got so far:

These are sunflowers.  I know it looks like I took them in the middle of the night using a flash but I didn't.  That's just some weird effect caused by the superbright sun this morning, a superbright sun that somehow is completely failing to warm the Earth.  It's FORTY DEGREES.  On June 2.  Screw you, Wisconsin. As soon as I can I'm leaving you.

Here are radishes, which are not growing the recommended 2" apart from each other.  I don't line up my plants in neat little rows.  This isn't Nazi Germany.  Every day I pick a radish to see how they're doing.  They're pretty skinny.  I have low-carb radishes growing here.  I'm going to be a millionaire!

And this

is probably the kind of flower shown on the package.  To make sure I could later identify the flowers, you can see, I kept the packages by them.  To make sure that I couldn't, I inadvertently tore the name of the flowers off the top of the package.  So I will go out on a limb and say this is "probably a yellow flower."

The fourth plant, the pumpkins in the wagon planter, I was not allowed to take a picture of today because we were waiting for the bus and Mr Bunches, who is in mortal fear of missing the bus, would not go with me to look at it and would not let me go by myself to the backyard to see how it is doing. I'm sure it's fine. What could go wrong? *sees pack of weeds armed with crowbars moving slowly towards backyard. * Probably nothing.

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