Next Steps in the Garden

Dear Liza,

I am going by the vegetable garden just about every day now. I have even started keeping my gloves there, so when I stop by on a walk, I can dig and not get all muddy.

Here is a picture of the basil plant we just put in. I am hoping to make pesto this summer, so it needs to get growing!

One of my latest jobs has been weeding the south parkway of a pretty (but destructive) weed called Lesser Celadine. It comes up in spring, with shiny round leaves and pretty yellow daisy-like flowers. It fills in areas where “nothing else will grow.”

The problem is, the reason nothing else will grow there is that Lesser Celadine had small tuber-like roots that actually poison the soil, so nothing else CAN grow there. That way, the ground is clear, the next spring, for more Lesser Celadine to grow. To pull them out, you need to get all the roots. It is tiresome but satisfying work.

Once I had enough weeds to fill my trash bag, I headed home. It was even warm enough to enjoy lunch out in the balcony!


Grandma Judy

Back to Brunch, and a Stop by the Garden

Dear Liza,

During the Covid shutdown, we were very careful about going out to eat. We ate mostly outside, or got take away. But Saturday Brunch IN is one of the joys of living in Portland. So, since we are all vaccinated and the infection numbers here in Portland are super low, we took a short drive up to The Fleur de Lis, a delightful French bakery in the Hollywood neighborhood.

A pair of musicians were playing a guitar and mandolin as we got there, reminding me of Laurel and Milton playing in their old coffeehouse, The Key of C. The music was lovely and felt like Weekend, with a capital W. It was past lunchtime, so we had quiche and grilled cheese, and Grandpa had a fine cinnamon roll. It felt like ”The Before Times.”

We stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home from the bakery, picking up things that are better or cheaper there. Raisins, nuts, frozen fish, and wine filled our basket. I even picked up a small basil plant for the garden.

Once we were home, I grabbed the basil and headed up to the vegetable garden. I ran into old friends Morgan and Abbie, who are almost finished with their early childhood teacher training, excited to be out and doing the good work.

I was happy to see my transplants doing well and getting bigger. The lettuces look so pretty next to the tiny violets that come up on their own. You can see the crushed egg shells I use as a mineral supplement for the soil.

And while we were playing in the garden, the fellow came over from the Hospital next door, and turned on the water! Hooray! Last year it wasn’t turned on until late April, which made watering the plants a long, heavy haul.

Right next to my plot are these tiny grape hyacinths, another set of volunteers who make the garden such a joy to be in.

Spring, right? Fantastic!


Grandma Judy