Garden exploding

I can barely keep up with the garden produce. The zucchini has taken over, the basil is huge. Even I may get tired of pesto.









And the beans!



beans two

Do you see the twine? These are supposed to be bush beans but some of the seeds didn’t get the message. They are twining up the cucumbers and squash and have taken down some of the poles. Hence, my little fix – twine tied to the fence. I will be freezing them this year.

A groundhog moved into the abandoned burrow and has eaten all my mums. But Shelby is on patrol and the hog hasn’t made it to the garden.

shelby on guard




Salem and The Scarlet Letter


After my research journey to Salem this spring, I decided to reread both The Scarlet Letter and the House of Seven Gables. I read both but a long time ago – because they were on reading lists. Let me tell you, I missed a lot in The Scarlet Letter as a fourteen year old reader. I don’t know yet what I missed in The House Of Seven Gables - I haven’t read it yet. but I’ll be willing to bet I missed most of the important points.








It was clearly owned by a wealthy family.


There really is a house of the seven gables. Who knew?




This is one of the ceilings. and there was an attic for the servants and slaves to sleep in.

Puritanism and the witch trials are clearly part of the history – and not just the tourist parts either. We stopped at the Old Burying Point.







There were a lot of small gravestones for little children. Some families lost five and six kids. Heartbreaking. But one of the most poignant were the large memorials to the people executed during the witch trials. Since they had been found guilty of witchcraft the victims could not be buried in consecrated ground. It is thought the families slipped out at night and found the bodies and gave them a decent burial. But no one knows for sure. And the graves of course cannot be located.







Each memorial is inscribed with the name and date of execution of one of the nineteen victims. Sobering.

I read The scarlet Letter with an entirely different perspective.

Here’s a fun fact about Hawthorne. He did not want to be associated with the Judge who sent the accused to the gallows ( a direct ancestor) so he added a w to his name.

My garden = Rainforest



It is amazing how well a garden grows without critters. Shelby is doing a good job of keeping everything at bay.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Shelby in pursuit





My tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and beans are taking over.








But this is what they look like harvested.

cukes and zucchini







And I am going to have tons of tomatoes. This is ONE plant.



Cucumbers and Las vegas


Four of these beauties were waiting for me when I returned home from ALA. I mention that to show the difference in the climates. Las Vegas is in a desert and is unbelievably hot and dry.

I do not like Las vegas, and not just the climate. (as a gardener, the whole desert thing doesn’t work for me). But I also don’t drink, smoke or gamble. the casinos have no windows or clocks since they are trying to encourage people to gamble. Women in skimpy costumes walk around pushing cocktails. And the place smells of smoke. I admit, though, that I am a little more tolerant of the smoking. at least that doesn’t put someone’s family’s financial future in jeopardy.

More than anything, I got the feeling that I had stepped back in time, to the glory days of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

Vegetable garden

Now that the ground hog is gone, my garden is doing well. Something, and I think it is a rabbit, is biting the tops off my peas. But all the other plants are lush.

First, a note about recycling. I recycle all my kitchen garbage. Not bones or anything like that but all the peelings, spoiled fruit, coffee grounds and tea leaves. I keep a bucket in the kitchen to put the stuff in.


When the bucket is full I take it outside to Big Bertha, my recycling barrel.


I used to have a barrel that looked like darth Vader’s helmet but I couldn’t turn it. This one turns. In the fall, I spread the compost on the garden, cover it with black plastic, and turn it in to the soil in the spring. I took clay soil and after five years of this turned it into great garden soil. Then we moved but that is another story.

Anyway, with what I have in the earth boxes on the garden I have ten tomato plants. Why so many? I can’t bear to kill any of them so I let them live. And I will have tomatoes coming out of my ears this year. All the plants already have tons of flowers.

tomato flowers

We have already eaten swiss chard.  the cucumbers and squash are covered with blossoms.

s. cukes and squash

Finally, I have several rows of green beans. I fill in empty rows with beans. They grow well, produce heavily and, like peas, put nitrogen into the soil.


I also began a row of turnips. The beets are doing OK. My root crops don’t do as well as I’d like. But next year I plan to put in a row of kale and a row of spinach. I am pondering potatoes.