Jun 16, 2009

The Art of Puttering

Well, I'm going to call it an art. It might just be laziness or lack of organization. I'd blame it on becoming middle-aged, but I've done it since I started gardening at age 21. Another term for it would be 'The Wanders'.

You know how it goes. You head outdoors first thing in the morning, perhaps with coffee or tea in hand, for a short stroll through the pleasantly cool, quiet, dewy garden (though 'dewy' is perhaps a bit of an overstatement for what passes as moisture in this dry climate). The next thing you know, it's 5 pm, you're covered in dirt from head to toe, and dragging yourself back inside for a restorative cup of something and a serious snack, followed by a nap.

That's if you're lucky to have a whole day to spend in the garden. If there are other non-gardening obligations scheduled for the day (pesky activities such as working, doing laundry or other housework, running errands, etc) the wandering is curtailed but still proceeds according to the same formula, which goes something like this:

Start one activity. Realize that in order to do it, you must first get the proper tools. Leave to get tools. On the way to getting the tools, realize something else needs doing first. Do that, but by then forget your original plan and get sucked into something completely different. And so on, until at some point you get back to the original activity -- and realize you still don't have that vital tool, and the whole cycle begins again.

This is why, despite trying for 3 straight days this past week to get beans planted, I only got them in yesterday. Why did I suddenly need to move half my asparagus plants from one part of the garden to another -- right in the middle of setting the bean seeds out in cups of water to soak? Why was it so unexpectedly urgent that I move the compost piles before lugging finished compost over to yet another section of the garden that I won't be planting for another week, if then?

Worst of all, why did I allow myself to suddenly decide to spend hours exploring the gardening blogosphere, instead of even posting on my own blog?

But! I did get the beans in -- 5 varieties (what was I thinking?) -- and I wish 'em luck. All bush beans, most tried and true varieties for me.

Royal Burgundy (purple)
Roc d' Or (wax)
Triumphe de Farcy (filet)
Provider (green)
Fresh Pick (green)

And there are still all the pole beans I ordered seed for, except I need the Manly One to help me create and erect Bean Structures for support before I set their seed to soaking. I suddenly woke up yesterday and realized it is JUNE 15!!!!! our window of opportunity for planting is extremely short here, and if I don't get my act together ASAP it will be too late for my even the fastest-maturing pole beans. Oops.

At least the rains seemed to have stopped. Part of the puttering/delayed action has been the need to run inside every couple of hours to get out of the rain. Very un-desert-like but welcome. Of course, this means I must really, really, truly get a watering system sorted out.

The photo shows my newly-created rock border, with tomato starts planted and poker chips marking bean seeding spots. Especially when I am soaking large seed like beans or peas, this gives me an exact number to soak. Plus, when I leave them out overnight, the nature spirits get a chance to have a bit of a party.


  1. This looks really good!
    My beans are about 2 inches tall, just in time for later this week hitting 35 :) I'm sure another frost is going to sneak in.

  2. Looks like your desert turned into garden. Everything is appreciated. beth http://www.iflorist.co.uk.