A plan for the man

My Baker Creek Heirloom seeds arrived today. The was much celebration and joy and exuberant shouting. At least I felt that way. January can be bleak, so this day always signifies the climb from bleak-greyness to lovely spring greens that will hopefully find their way into my children’s mouths.

I think my handy husband likes this arrival too as it serves as the break-from-the-starting-gate for a spring project for him. The fence and gate project. We purused the internet this morning, googling “chicken wire garden fencing” and found a ton of terrific ideas and photos. I particularly like what this couple from Georgia did with their back yard garden, offering sensible ideas for an effective fence with a functional gate.

They have a great series of photos at the link above. I couldn’t figure out how to copy and paste their photo here on my site, but it is worth a look if you too are thinking about resorting to a chicken wire enclosure to keep bad bunnies and good dogs out.

Now we only have to wait for Home Depot to have spring seed trays in stock. Why do they make me wait? Ah well, in the meantime we will play elevator music, and…. Here! Enjoy a nice photo of last year’s asparagus! This was the first batch. The first of three years of untouchable shoots. Sure are pretty.



New year, new garden

Happy New Year!

I have now reached the advanced age, and presumed wisdom to realize that making resolutions about a better organized, slimmer or more accomplished me is generally a waste of time, or at least a short-lived-and-soon-to-be-forgotten exercise that leaves a slight taste of regret.

What has become a significantly more rewarding use of time on cold January Sunday mornings is pursuing the Baker creek Seed Company catalog and staring the garden plan.


This year, as in years past, Jim jumps right in once the catalog is opened and wants to know what he can build or create to improve the garden. After a quick trip outside to walk the perimeter, he decides he will create a gate and fence to full enclose the garden, protecting our tiny crops from small furry, hungry vermin and larger furry canine interlopers looking for a warm place to plop their furry butts. What a good man.

This year we will order two varieties of beets, our usual lettuce blend, a bit of (hopefully) wilt-resistant squash, the annual hot peppers along with anaheims, a little tomato and basil for caprese, peas and beans. Gracie wants sunflowers again. We will try (sigh). So far we are 1 for about 30. That’s one successful plant over three packets and three seasons. But hey… It was pretty.

Welcome 2014!



Bartoo backyard garden plot 2013

Bartoo backyard garden plot 2013

The garden has expanded a tiny bit further to capture the spot of sun in the back.
The addition this year? Asparagus!
A planting like this is an adventure because it is a) a first for this yard, and b) will take three years to mature. This gives plenty of time to ponder and observe. And allows for the possibility that a mistake can span three years. Enticing!

Waiting for spring



As March begins, the seedlings in the family living room are coming up nicely, the

compost has been turned and the Garden Planner HD app is filling up with what I suppose will be filling the Bartoo backyard in 2013.

Now we must wait.

According to the USDA hardiness zones

The Bartoo backyard is in zone 6b, a nice middle zone that has fairly evenly spaced seasons. The people within zone 6b must wait until April 15 ( also tax day) to plant garden annuals because this is the date at which we may safely presume the last frost has passed.

I don’ t think so. I believe the frost I see outside my windows today, March 3, is among the final ten of the year. Time for the countdown.

Call it impatience. Call it foolhardiness, call it doomsday mongering, I think we have been at least a zone 7a for the last three years, and with global warming producing temperatures a full degree above normal in the last continental assessment, I am feeling pretty confident about a 7 a or even 7b here in Nashville.

nevertheless. When I googled last frost dates I found this site http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states
according to the almanac, April 6 is the average last frost date with a fifty percent chance it will actually fall before or after that date. That sound like a reasonable bet. So planting day will be April 6, which conveniently falls on a Saturday.

wish me luck!


Cicada invasion

Some things require fewer words, more pictures.

Cicadas hatch on the shed

Cicadas hatching on the shed wall

Cicada gargoyle

A new hatchling held by our front stoop gargoyle

Sam eats cicadas

Cicada chow! Sam finds the tender ones tastey

More video:

So there. Enjoy.

Spring = Homicidal Robins

Here I am, minding my own bussiness at my laptop, when a robin flies into our window. I just assume it was an accident, until it had slammed into our window about 5 times. Mom says the robin probably sees it’s reflection as an intruder, so it tries to ward it off.
To make this more amusing, the cat is now stalking the windows…


Bamboo Fun-Wacom

Since I got a new laptop and like to draw, I got a bamboo fun. It’s a rectangular pad (mine is silver) that comes with a pen. It just like drawing on paper, but for your computer. Here is an example of what it can do:

Hehe…It’s a happy Turtle. 8D

It can draw in color, and has a pressure sensitive pad. That means the harder you push down on the pen, the thicker the line is. It’s really fun and easy to draw with!