Tag Archives: eggplant

When you’re away…

5 Jun

Unknown. Flowers at Denver Botanic Garden.

Over the last week, I had an out of town visitor, leaving me with little time for the garden. As part of a “tour” of Colorado, we visited the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was my first time there, and although it’s not as impressive as some on the East coast (although I since have heard that the Chatfield Botanic Garden is without a doubt more impressive), it was still pretty awesome. What could be better than being surrounded by plants, plants, and more plants? (Most did not have labels, much to my frustration)

Roof of Ting at Denver Botanic Garden.

I loved the Ting. Both this one in particular as well as the concept. A ting is a Chinese covered resting place in a garden. It’s a place to rest from the walk, take shelter from rain (as we had to do), and I would add, a place to reflect and express gratitude for the grandiosity of nature.

View from inside the ting

The week has passed and I am back to my routine, my garden, my meditation. While I was away, my plants wept at my absence. Early blight set on (or was it powdery mildew?). I found them sad, with yellow spots on their leaves, and barely grown. I sprinkled cornmeal around their base. Cornmeal is miraculous. Within two days new leaves had sprouted, and they grew about an inch. The tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and cucumbers all had it, and then didn’t. Cornmeal is a staple in my garden from now on.

Ildi tomato leaves. Was it blight or powdery mildew? Either way, cornmeal did the trick!

My tobacco plant was infested with June beetle bugs. They have devoured the beautiful leaves. I opted for a garlic spray this time. I chopped a garlic head, added boiling water and a tiny bit of vegetable oil, and let it sit for a few minutes, strained it, and poured it into a spray bottle. I sprayed the leaves, the bottom, the top, even a bit on the soil and around the pot. It worked! The leaves are still pretty chewed up, and the bugs came back two days after spraying, so I have to continuously spray them.

I love how there’s always a challenge in gardening. Boring, it definitely is not. There’s always a mysterious bug, or fungi to take care of. It keeps one on one’s toes. My garden might not look like the Denver Botanic Garden, but it’s mine, all organic, and as sustainable as I can make it with my resources. I nourish it, but in the end, it also nourishes me.

Mothering on Mother’s Day

14 May
Garden View on Mother's Day

Garden View on Mother’s Day

On Sunday, I took my mother and my son to a plant sale at St. John’s Cathedral where Plant a Row for the Hungry were having a small event. They didn’t have a big selection of vegetable plants, so I bought my flower-loving mom some Geraniums. As usual, I picked up a packet of free seeds from Plant a Row, and made a donation to the church’s nursery for a special Mother’s Day tote bag.

Goodies from Plant a Row 2012- seeds, coupons, sign, and tote bag

Goodies from Plant a Row 2012- seeds, coupons, sign, and tote bag

On our way home, and hungering for some plants, I decided to stop by Paulino’s Gardens. The place was packed! I bought my mother some more pretty flowery plants that she likes, and of course, I could not resist to buy some for myself. I bought a comfrey plant, which I had been on the lookout for since their leaves make a really nice organic fertilizer. I also bought a grown Borage plant, since my seedlings are still really tiny.

Comfrey

Comfrey

Finally, it was around 1pm when I made it to the garden. After a Gayatri mantra chant, I immediately set out to work. I gave the soil one last airing, gathered the babies, and got down and dirty!

The scoop: Three different kinds of tomatoes, Heirloom, BigBoy, and Ildi. Bell peppers of different colors, an Anaheim chili, and eggplants are the stars of the show. To help them, I invited some of their friends over: basil (to aid in flavor), borage to deter tomato worms and improve flavor and growth, marigolds (to keep flies and mosquitos away), chives, onions, and leeks. This year, I have been studying up on companion planting. After all, you are who you associate with (In Spanish, “dime con quien andas, y te dire quien eres”) This link has been super beneficial to me in determining who to plant next to whom.

View of the garden plot

View of the garden plot

After I did all the planting, I kept coming back to admire the garden, pausing to smile at the plants in their new abode, and marveling at an awesome Mother’s Day.

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