Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thanks, Love and Playing Cupid

Regarding my last post, I just wanted to thank everyone for all of the great advice, insight and stories. I've said this before, but I think the best thing about blogging is being able to connect with other folks from around the world who share similar passions, values and goals. Sometimes I wish that we all could live in the same village...our days spent digging in our gardens, raising our animals, working on our crafts, bartering our goods...and leave the rest of the world to duke it out. One can only dream!

Back to the real world - after a particularly stressful day at the office today, I came home and went for my usual evening stroll around the garden. Doing the rounds, I started thinking about how much I truly love my garden, flaws and all. In essence, it's become another member of the family. It's almost instinctual for me now - I walk out into the backyard, take in a deep breath and then exhale slowly. Instantly, I feel better. Call it what you will (garden therapy, maybe), but everyone should have access to this kind of stress relief. The smell of fresh celery, tomato plants, onions and dill floats in the air as I go about inspecting my plants. I love it.

Inevitably, I always find something new to ponder over or that needs my attention. Recently, I decided that I would hand pollinate my first few zucchini flowers. This one (pictured above), I did a couple of days ago. I was pleasantly surprised tonight to find that it has since grown nicely. Next will be the cucumbers.

As fun as it was to play cupid, I did wish there were more bees around at the moment. I can see it now...chickens next spring, than a bee hive the year after?


  1. Your garden is inspiring and so well organized. Not a weed in sight.
    My zucchini plants are just growing flowers. Maybe I should do hand pollination also. Which ones are male and which ones are female? Can it be from the same plant?

  2. I agree with you about blogging. It's so wonderful to meet all you great folks!!! I learn so much every day from everyone. That would be nice to live in the same village.....I can see it now...Governor Granny and all!

    Nice job with the zucchini,

  3. I would have an issue with that village. My husband wouldn't want to live in it. He hates to get his hands dirty and doesn't like eating veggies. I on the other had love it. My life has been extremely stressful recently and the garden is great therapy.

  4. Yes, I love my garden too. Go to my blog, I have an entry I think last month where I wrote about How your garden can give you the love you back. I think that was the title ? Maybe it was How your Garden can Love you Like you Need to be Loved ? I love my garden too. take care, Gina

  5. Love the village idea! Count me in! And Daphne's husband could still live there, and commute to work ;-)

    Thomas, as for chickens... I would be more than happy to chat with you or show you our set-up should you ever be heading to Maine for a weekend away. Most of the comments were dead on in my experience. I think the most important thing it to be ready for their arrival with a fenced in run and secure coop.

    We have found our local friends are more than willing to care for the hens as on a daily basis it takes 5-10 minutes a day. Our paper girl is also willing (with Mom-supervision). In return, they get the eggs.

    If you read the very first year of posting you will get more of our experiences with henkeeping. Oh, and you can purchase all female chicks at feed stores --no roosters!

    As for the rabbits --UGH so glad I don't have that problem! A dog would go a long way toward solving that, but you may not want to add that responsibility.

    And BTW, your garden is beautiful! I'm with you on the soothing, stress-reducing effects of the daily garden tour.

  6. Walking in the garden alone either just when I get home from work, right before dusk or just at sunrise are my most favorite parts of my day. The garden is alive. It's going to have it's flaws and perks, but it's always serene.

  7. My hubby loves to stroll the garden after a stressful day at work. I love it when he visits the garden before work, dressed in his Navy captain's uniform in his garden shoes. I need to capture that moment with a photo before he retires next year.

    We also desire to have chickens and a bee hive. Hubby and son have taken bee classes, but timing with job and family has not enabled us to devote the time. Perhaps next year.

    Happy Gardening and Happy Father's Day to you, Thomas

  8. Ah, bees........ I think that might be our next step, but, we may luck out on this. A local bee keeper is looking for a place to put other hives and has contacted us. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he'll pick our little meadow!

    Gardens are some of the best therapy you can find and it doesn't cost $200.00 for 45 minutes! (I worked for psychs for 20 yrs).

    "There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but, our hearts must be still to hear it" - anonymous author, but, such a true quote!

  9. Bees!? Oh Thomas you need a farm.

    Your garden is so neat and orderly, it is no wonder you find a stroll through it calming. I would in mine if I wasn't swatting misqitoes constantly.

  10. vrtlarica - the flowers with the narrow stems are the male ones and the ones that have an elongated ovary that swells are the female ones. I basically remove all of the petals from the male flower and dab what looks like a cotton swab to the center of the female flower (what looks like a curdled up fist). Don't you love my oh so technical language haha.

  11. Robin - Gov Granny it is!

    Daphne - do we need to stage a veggie intervention with your hubby?

    Antique - thanks for the suggestion! I will have to check out your post.

    Ali - Thanks for the kind offer! I just might have to take you up on it. I'm sure it's beautiful where you are. We love visiting Maine. I'd love to buy some land there one of these days.

    Ribbit - You're right, alive is the best word to use to describe a garden

  12. Lorie - I hope you get what you desire! That would be a great picture of your husband to have.

    Toni - You're so right. This is the kind of therapy I don't mind paying for.

    Kelly - we have a ton of mosquitoes as well. I have about an hour of calm to stroll the garden after work before they attack.

  13. What a great village it would be! I too, love my strolls in my garden, usually my favorite time of day is in the evening after my kids go to bed but there's still a little light out, and scents are everywhere. Since it's nighttime, I am not bothered by seeing the insects, damage and tons of beans that need harvesting, instead only seeing the whole of it! Honestly, even if I didn't have a large garden, I would plant containers all around me on a little deck and get the same satisfaction. What a great post, and thanks for reminding us during the time of year we tend to get overwhelmed by all the insects, heat, etc about the joy of it all !

  14. Where do I sign up for that village? &Sigh* one can only dream. I think I will be hand-pollinating my squash too this year. Where are all the bees? Even the mason bees seem lacking and I designed my garden around their needs!

  15. Just the other day I was thinking about the hippie communes of old, and wishing I and all you guys in our blogging group could live together on one big farm. Wouldn't that be fun! I'd gladly take on the job as Governor of Blogville Gardens ;-)

  16. Gardens are one of the easiest places for me to relax. Just step in and everything is fine and wonderful. It's a little crazy that they can have such a huge effect on my mood.

  17. Oh what a lovely post. I know just how you feel. I miss my garden when I'm at work.

  18. The village sounds like utopia to me. I agree that a garden stroll is one of my favorite daily activities. I often go out after midnight when I get home from work with a headlamp on to inspect the plants.

  19. Amen Thomas! I adore my garden. It is my sanctuary and it feeds my soul and my body. I can stand in my garden and smell sea air, hear wind in the tall trees, and watch bumble bees drone quietly on about their business. To step out of the frantic pace of modern life and savor the quiet calm of the garden if only for a brief time helps me to keep my sanity and perspective.

  20. What a nice garden! Thanks for the reminder of how refreshing a garden can be. I need it now, my garden seems like a war zone to me, with so many critters intent on eating my dinner...

    I am having only female flowers in my zucchinis so far, keep looking every morning for a male to show up :-)

  21. Even though I work in the garden all day when I return to close the greenhouses in the evening I always take a walk around and maybe sit on a bench for a while, the garden is different then to any other time of day. Anyway I like your blog and look forward to more posts.

  22. Very lush green and neat garden.
    Gardening is one of the best stress therapy, I talk to my plants every morning and evening.
    You have 3 zucchini plants? That's a lot of zuc to put away once they start producing full time.