Sunday, May 30, 2010

Adenium being impressive this year.

To the right, last year.

What a bonus it feels like to have beautiful, easy to care for plants in such a harsh climate. Too bad these blooms don't come mid-summer to make it all seem less... bloody hot!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tiny Tidbits

This salad came entirely from the garden. Finally a little tomato progress. Lettuce last year was more than I could eat and tomatoes kaput! This year the weird weather we are having (for us here weird is cool in the 70s lows in the 60s at night at this time of year) has had an effect. Lettuce a bit beefy...

I'm not prepared to declare victory over tomato season yet however. I bought an heirloom plant and it has, one, exactly one small struggling tomato. Ugh. Where the desert tomato experts?

You know, I generally do not like to use harsh chemicals. I won't in my garden and try to buy fragrance and dye free household products, and few of them. I figure the smaller number of cleaning products I use keeps the chemical cocktail a little less potent. But a few years back my mother-in-law was visiting. There was something dirty in the kitchen that was bothering her so she bought Greased Lightening. Major double degreasing action and I don't want to know what kind of petroleum products it contains! I didn't want to just chuck it in the landfill either so I just kept it.

The other night I was scrubbing the tile floors. I made the water as hot as possible, had the scratchy pad, my relatively innocuous floor cleaner in the bucket, had the scrub brush, even got down on hands and knees... nothin'. For some reason I pulled that Greased Lightening from over the stove and sprayed it on a tile and, without any grease of the elbow sort, using the backside of a scratchy sponge, the grey sticky disappeared and I had a whole new tile floor (well, one tile) again! I hate to say it, but in an effort to maintain some honesty and integrity, I have to admit, as much as I am against it I am Greased Lightening my entire tile floor in my kitchen... Maybe I will donate to the Gulf cleanup as my penance.

Surprising Potatoes

Having never grown potatoes before this first round was a low-expectation experiment. I had some red potatoes that had gone all rooty so I chopped 'em up and stuck 'em in the ground in a spot that was doing nothing at the time and proceeded to ignore them.

These big bushy plants came up and I thought perhaps I'd have some success. Then the bugs chomped them so much that they all wilted and died. "Ah well," I thought, "it was worth a shot" so I pulled on plant on Sunday and low and behold this beautiful potato came up with the roots! I got out the pitch fork and ended up with more than 20 beautiful red potatoes! I roasted a few that night for dinner. That's a nice Sunday surprise!