Category Archives: gardening

The envy of Rose Street

Some of you may recall the air strike our landscape gardener called on our front yard. After several weeks of installing sprinklers, building a retaining wall and installing grass, we are now looking quite respectable.

We still haven’t finished putting plants in the front. I’m still researching drought-tolerant and shade-loving varieties. Stay tuned.


Filed under gardening, home life

Like an air strike

The wife and I returned from our anniversary dinner Saturday to our darkened home, as I forgot to turn off the front porch light. I had posted a message on freecycle about a small maple tree we wanted to donate.

As I pulled into our driveway, I noticed a pile of roots on the front yard.

“Hey, what’s that? Did someone come get the tree?”

“Looks like it, there’s a big pile of HEY! WHERE’S MY YARD!??!”

While we were having dessert in the garden of a bistro, under the shade of a pear tree, our gardener friend from church, Luis, was taking a backhoe to my front yard. He’s replacing the old, galvanized-pipe sprinkler system, after I ripped my heel on a sprinkler head that stuck out of the ground a few inches. Amelia shredded one of her toes on the same sprinkler head. We’ve named it “The Widowmaker”.

For the record, Amelia asked me to put on my shoes not 30 minutes before I tripped on my sandals and cut my heel. At least it didn’t happen on our anniversary weekend.

Hurt me, hurt my woman, you leave me no choice but to call in an air strike. At least that’s what it looked like afterward. If you look closely, you can see the twisted galvanized pipe.

After seeing the wreckage on his iPhone, my brother commented “Ay !  War torn Yugoslavia, reporting from the front lines.”

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The tomatoes are here!

After nearly five months of toil the first cherry tomatoes are turning red.

No sight of the other heirlooms yet, although there are quite a few blossoms on the other plants.

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Filed under gardening, Heirloom tomatoes

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post…

I just finished a pretty good post and I lost it during a botched save and publish attempt. No sign of it in my draft queue. Instead of throwing the iBook through a window — which would only punish the innocent, since this is an ongoing WordPress issue — I bring you the following pictures of my tomato garden. It’s amazing how much they have grown in two months. I must say, I’m pretty proud of them, especially since I grew them from seed.

UPDATE: The previous post was saved. See below for details.

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Filed under gardening, Heirloom tomatoes


I started planting various things from seeds and bulbs in January.
In mid-March, my tomato plants were seedlings.

I didn’t remember what those were.

By April 1, my tomato plants were beginning to look like tomato plants.

I still didn’t know what these things were.

Now it’s June and things are taking off. I finally figured out what those things are: coleus.

And the tomato plants? Ready to make babies!

I’ll let you know how they taste.

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Filed under gardening, Heirloom tomatoes

An act of aggression

As most of you know, I’ve been trying to grow a garden from seed since January. All seemed to be going well until the bug community decided my plants made an excellent snack.

Members of the slug and worm community, the coleus is for decoration only. Go eat a weed already!

If the coleus wasn’t bad enough, they chewed a few of my heirloom tomato plants down to sticks. My babies! I’ve been growing these since January. The gauntlet has been thrown down. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “Of course you know, this means war.”

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Praying in the garden

I knelt and prayed in my vegetable garden this morning. It wasn’t a theologically profound exercise in which I invoked the Almighty to intercede in the affairs of man, ecce homo.

No, it wasn’t a grand, pompous affair. I simply asked God to help me with my day and to represent him well in everything I did. My hands rested face down in the dirt, a reminder of Abraham’s declaration to God that he was “but dust and ashes.” (Gen 18:27 NASB) My prematurely wrinkled hands looked oddly beautiful in the soft dirt, inches away from my incoming crop of zucchini and green beans.

I couldn’t overcome the temptation to pray for my minuscule patch of land, that the assortment of heirloom tomatoes, carrots, chili and bell peppers, zucchini and green beans would somehow be a blessing to everyone who comes to our home. As corny as it seems, I’ve become personally involved with these plants. When my bell peppers didn’t take off — and still haven’t — I scratch my head and go over everything I’ve done to give them a good start. When my impatiens and violas I planted from seed didn’t germinate, I went online for answers.

I’m sure God must feel this way about us: watching, nourishing protecting and then wondering why his initiatives don’t take as he expected them to. It must be frustrating to see us make a mess of things continually and having to rescue us. I’m so grateful he does.

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Filed under gardening, prayer