Monday, May 01, 2006

Darwins Garden

Here in Finny's garden, we subscribe to the Darwinian method of plant selection. By which I mean, if a plant's (vegetable, flower, tree, lawn, or otherwise) health requirements run too contrary to my gardening schedule, I don't invite it back into the yard. Basically, this means I'll try any plant once, and if it croaks because it didn't get enough water, too much sun, not enough sun, had an unsuccessful run in with squirrels, broke a nail, snagged it's pantyhose, etc it's eliminated from the garden routine. Too high maintenance? No thank you. Plants must be able to survive on will alone at times when I'm disposed to work rather than tending the garden.

UNLESS, of course there's an unless here -- I'm a garden dork, remember? -- the plant has some extremely fabulous redeming quality that warrants special attention and time spent away from my couch.

A few unlesses for you:

1. Hydrangea : This water sucking, sun shy, pantywaist of a plant needs so much TLC I practically have to get a nanny to stay home and make sure that it is kept happy lest it wilt and die a horrific and crispy death in my yard due to my semi-daily negligence during the hot months. HOWEVER, it produces such stunning, long lasting gigantor flowers that I am virtually FORCED to find special ways to keep it alive and blooming so that I can boast unmercifully at summer bbqs about my plant growing genius. When it comes to these things, I am not modest. Especially since the increase in my summer water bill can be directly linked to the upkeep of the Mighty Hydrangea.

My secret? Would you like to know it? It's sinful, so if you are a holier than thou, by the book, tight ass gardener, AVERT YOUR EYES.

I use self watering pots.


I know. I got a big old ass lecture from the aforementioned type gardener lady at the fancy ass, "We do not stoop to the likes of Home Depot" nursery about the use of these self watering pots as though they were the Devices of the Devil. To quote her snatchy self, "We do not condone the use of those pots." As though they are some type of gardeners gateway drug that will lead me to crop dusting and growth hormones. I exerted a lot of energy not flipping her off while she said this. I then turned on my heel and headed straight for the evil Orchard Supply for two lovely, and proudly displayed, self watering pots for my needy Hydrangea.

And see, here are the glorious results from last years bloom and the new buds successfully reappearing for 2006. Yes, clearly, the work of the devil wouldn't you say?

2. Meyer Lemon Tree : Ok, so this guy makes it into the "High Maintenance Fancy Pants" category mostly because it's in a pot, which means that I have to water it by hand. Hubby's skillful installation of the drip system in the vegetable garden has made me OH so lazy and spoiled, which means that plants can now fall into the "Special" category simply by existing away from the sprinkler system. This guy though, he makes lemons, and so he gets special loves. He also got a "Special" haircut this winter per the instructions in my Sunset Pruning guide and a dose of Finny Gardening Aggression that left him with nary a leaf and mostly just a few sticks protruding from the pot. I'm not gonna lie, we were worried. However, he's begun to make a proud resurgence, complete with one encouraging bloom! Mama is so proud. Yeah, I hugged him, so what? He MAKES lemons. C'mon!

3. The Damn Lawn : Ok, so hubby loves this lawn. Let me clarify, he loves the back lawn. The front lawn gets not so much sunshine so ends up looking crappy by early summer. But the back lawn - LORDIE - gets all kinds of sun, and with a healthy watering schedule can look like a million damn dollars. And after the winter we had, it's just greening all over the place. Personally, I'm not a big lawn person since it doesn't get enough use to warrant all the space it takes up. But I have to hand it to hubby, his grooming, watering, fertilizing, obsessing has done us right - and the lawn does look good. This weekend, I decided to help out since Hubby was working 24/7 and away from his trusty sidekick, the mower. So, the mower and I had a chat and after a fill up -- we tackled all the lawn (crappy front and beautiful back) without a hiccup. The stupid trimmer was another story. We had many chats. First one centered on his "Special" needs gas mixture. So, I fixed him a cocktail and thought I was set to go. Uh no. I nearly destroyed my rotator cuff trying to pull start this bastard. We had another chat. This one centered on his inability to start properly and how he'd look nice bent in half and shoved into the recycler on trash day. After much negotiating, he started up and we did all the lawns and a satisfyingly large portion of our personal Green Monster, the back ivy wall. I tried hard not to drop kick it into the garage and instead set it gently on the concrete. I have a big bruise on my arm today that makes me regret being so nice. But, the grass does look nice.

Unlesses aside, there are some plants that always make it into Finny's garden. Namely, plants that produce food. Here are some young champs making their debut this weekend.

Monster Pumpkin

Better Boy tomatoes, not yet ready for full time

The garden, pre vegetable civil war


So, clearly, I had a yard centric, Dirt Therapy weekend without any real indoor craftiness. The extent of my craftiness can be described only as prep, since I did technically BUY the ingredients to make the madeleine cookies I promised and I did BUY the materials for my Backtack 3 project, but that's as far as it went.

After all the Dirt Therapy I prescribed myself a deliriously fabulous afternoon of reading. Specifically, reading my new book, under the tree, sitting on my newly cleaned for summer patio chairs while I half watched the yellow finches at the bird feeder and sucked down the better part of a sinful, once a year, vanilla chocolate chip shake. I won't go into detail, but my face is sore from the sucking. Too much information?

Good good weekend.


  1. I would say so! The lemons! The hydrangeas (my favorite flower, no less), the grass! YAHOOO FINNY! Man I wish I lived in a climate that could let me garden. You've got me so inspired.

  2. Wow, very nice lawn. I wish I had a yard the dog didn't own...


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.