A Little Fennel Keeps Things Interesting



I must say I could not agree more with Vita Sackville-West’s quote about gardeners, and those (like me) who aspire to be gardeners. She said: “The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before.”

Vita, short for Victoria Mary was an English poet, novelist, and garden designer—thus I am assuming she knows (or knew since she died in 1962) whereof she speaks. In contrast, I am a gardener-wanna-be, but that is alright because my eldest son, Adam (yes, the rock god—and yes, he would kill me if he read this) and his girl friend have once again planted a sumptuous (as in opulent) garden in my backyard (which I am free to harvest when harvesting comes around.)

I helped choose some of the plants we are growing, but thus far have done little else than admire the beautiful garden they planted so precisely. Onions, five types of tomatoes, and fennel (yes, fennel) were my contribution to the garden which also features a large variety of hot peppers (and a few not so hot peppers for my not too spicy palate) peas, chives, and a variety of lettuce(s). There are also a few marigolds dispersed among the plants—my son is convinced that they help in pollination and keep our cat from using the garden as his personal litter box (it worked last year—on both counts!)

Adam has been in charge of our garden for probably the last seven years, and each year it gets better. Like Vita suggested in the quote above, he is always looking forward to doing something better than (he) has done before, and each year he hones his skills dramatically. Last year we had bumper crops of tomatoes and peppers, and he kept the garden weed free—which is quite a task in itself. I water the garden on occasion, admire it profusely, but other than that, it is his baby.

This is the first year we have had the garden planted early and we are quite proud of ourselves. I have even planted most of my flowers (having checked Accuweather and been assured there are no frosty nights in our future). I stick with tried and true plants (those I have not killed in the past) but have added a little ivy and other plants (that I do not know the name of) to fancy up my containers. Everything looks pretty darn good right now—let us hope I can stick to a watering regime in the heat of the summer so that I do not end up with dead flowers and brown leaves.

I did skip over the fact that we are growing fennel this year. This is our big adventure. You have to have something you are a little unsure of to keep things interesting. We are hoping that we did not plant it upside down (I am pretty sure we didn’t). I will also have to widen my cooking horizons to include this little gem in my repertoire, but I am sure I am up to the task. I have been talking to people about our experiment and have received a lot of advice on what to do with it—turns out it is quite a versatile veggie!

As per usual, I will end my yearly gardening column with a few quotes I found amusing about the topic du jour—hope you find one of two worth a smile:

“Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Work Like Hell and Fertilize.” (yep)

“The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat
and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold
drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.”
– Texas Bix Bender, Don’t Throw in the Trowel

Two by Doug: “A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.”– Doug Larson
“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if
green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” – Doug Larson

My favourite: “If life deals you lemons, make lemonade. If it deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.”

And finally: “The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over
never weeded a garden.”

Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of Adam’s garden, LouAnn!

  2. Yayy for veggie gardens :). Mikey planted ours last weekend, plus he planted his pumpkin patch with plants he started inside. I bought him seeds for giant pumpkins from Amazon. It’s tradition for us to grow pumpkins for the neighbour kids. I bought my hanging baskets and mulch for my gardens, and Mikey filled my planter boxes with fresh soil, but I still need to buy flowers. Maybe if Mother Nature would cooperate I might get some flowers planted!!

  3. Tim always preferred to have a veggie garden over a garden of flowers

  4. Yummm, fennel! Bring some when you visit us!

  5. Show us a photo.. when you feel it’s grown enough/ Sounds ‘good’ and beautiful.. Diane

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