Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garden pictures!

It's my day off this week, so naturally I wasted a lot of time relaxing - sleeping in, lounging in front of my computer, on the couch with a book, and now back to the computer again. I did get a few things done, however!

In the past week I've pretty well finalized my garden plans for the summer, purchased and planted a lavender seedling and a peppermint seedling (I am ashamed that as a gardener I can NOT get those two plants to grow from seed), and finally got those pictures onto Rick's laptop. As I type this, they're being uploaded to Gmail, so I can email them to myself and show off my awesome accomplishments!

I also planted strawberries today. This is the third or fourth time I've tried to grow strawberries with those little "grow your own" kits. You know the kind: the cute decorative container, the inadequate amounts of fluffy potting soil, and the sad dessicated remains of several strawberry plants which are supposed to magically come back to life when you put them in dirt and add fertilizer. What can I say? The pot was one of those classy glazed ceramic ones with holes in the sides so you can have strawberries coming out all over the place, and the kit was cheap. Cheaper than buying strawberries shipped in from California all summer long, and much cheaper than buying the live, healthy seedlings (some already setting flowers) from the outdoor nursery at a certain large home improvement store. If they fail to grow this year, though, I'm going to spring for pre-started seedlings next spring. There are a lot of plants I might give up on growing, but I will not give up on strawberries!

And now, to make up for the last post's dire lack of pictures, I present to you my very own chunk of Pittsburgh soil!

It doesn't look like much, but this is the future site of the city's best edible landscape! Visible on the edges are the garlic bed and newly planted nasturtiums (on the far end), and on the right side is the porch wall where my tomatoes and beans will be trellised this summer.

My garlic, planted last November. It's coming up healthy and strong at the front of the yard, and I'm -very- excited!

The kitchen garden, with my salvage-built cold frame and a new bed for the peas. In back are sugar snap, in front, heirloom "Little Marvel" bush peas. In the cold frame are "Black-seeded Simpson" lettuce, "Cherry Belle" radishes, and Cherriette radishes. Spinach was on the menu but I didn't have seeds, so I'll be planting that after the first crop of radishes come out.

There you have it - the beginnings of a great year of urban gardening!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I need a new camera.

I did stuff today. It was my only day off after a 7-day work week that started at 8am last Monday, and tomorrow another 7-day work week starts with another 8am meeting. I am not happy with this arrangement.

But even though it was my only day off, which means that I will have no time to just lay around the rest of the week because there is SO MUCH to keep up with around here, I did stuff today. I gardened, mostly. I took advantage of a 30-day trial of the Mother Earth News garden planner to plan my front-yard garden. I cleared out the front beds, added new fertilizer, aerated and pulled dandelions. I planted more radishes, the seedling sugar snap peas and bush peas (an heirloom variety called "Little Marvel" that dad sent to me last year) and the nasturtiums (including an heirloom called "Empress of India" that has gorgeous purplish foliage and promises deep red blossoms). I took pictures of everything - the seed flats full of gorgeous little seedlings prior to planting, the new garden bed and the cold frame I promised to get pictures of last month, and the porch with our patio table finally on it, ready for spring.

But I can't get the pictures uploaded. The camera's CF card works with the printer, but the printer doesn't have any clue how to find my computer to save the pictures. The computer can see the printer, but I can't figure out how to manually access the CF card and the documentation for Ubuntu, while comprehensive, was not written to the standards of, and is therefore useless to me. I think we have a portable card reader somewhere, but I don't know where (and I may have dreamed up its existence). And the camera's USB connector is missing, presumed buried under something.

So there are no pictures of the garden, and I have concluded that rather than waste my time trying to find the camera connector, the card reader, or another program that will let the desktop interface with the printer, I'm just going to add "camera" to my wish list. Or maybe I'll bother Rick until HE uploads the pictures. I think he knows how.