It is an absolutely beautiful spring morning, cool in a soft way, with promises of some warmth later. Everything is looking green, and a week from Wednesday the CSA farmbox starts up. So, despite a nasty cold, I'm getting my annual rush from the new growth . This is one area where I remain a total infant. I'm still gobsmacked and thrilled everytime a seed I plant sprouts, or a dormant plant goes green again.
This year, my office lemon tree seems to be working on three baby lemons. You may or may not know that this scraggy runt of a herbaceous house-pet has produced one full sized, delicious Meyer lemon every nine months or so for the last several years, without, apparently, growing a single inch. There are always numerous fabulously fragrant blossoms at the start of the cycle, and 8-10 teeny lemons follow. Then, all but one disappear overnight, and the last lemon clinging on is The One. This is the longest I've ever gone with more than one hanging on. So we'll see.
I do miss having a garden, and have not adapted well to this change in some 8 years of apartment life. In addition to the Working Lemon, for quite some time I grew lots of herb and tomato plants, as well as flowers, on the steps of my little porch. Then, the year before last, some workmen came, unannounced, to do stuff to our porches. They moved my plants while I was at work, with reckless abandon, and broke and killed most of them. I was stricken, and didn't grow much last year- I didn't want to deal with that sort of disappointment again. But I did eventually plant several herbs in containers, and to my major surprise, most of the perennials among them came back this spring, turning green again in their little pots.
I was particularly astonished to find the tarragon looking bright and bushy, since it gets very cold here in the winter, and tarragon is supposedly only hardy in the ground to 20F. And containers, of course, freeze (and unfreeze) quickly, being surrounded by air. Actually the only herb that didn't make it was the rosemary. The sage, thyme, lavender and mint are all back, and I'm really tickled.
So, I've been seduced by these happenings into further outlandish container efforts. You will think me mad, but I bought myself a bare root dwarf (?) self-fertile, greengage plum tree, and a really giant fiberglass pot (Costco-$20, not even ugly), and there is now a plum tree on the porch. Or, I hope there will be. Right now, there's a leafless stick in a pot. If you have ever ordered dormant nursery stock, you know how daunting it looks on arrival. Basically, it's not that easy to tell the top from the bottom. I was a bit surprised that this one is as tall as I am, in its pot. I'm almost positive that the roots are in their proper place on the bottom, in the dirt.
I am crazy for plums of all sorts,. The gages are the hardest kind to find around here, and one of my favorites. So I have an insane hope that in a few years, I might be able to pick one or two from my not so little porch tree. In other plant news, turns out that sorrel goes rather well with fuschia, coleus and sweet potato vine in a decorative planter.
I'm spending this beautiful memorial day weekend with a truly miserable chest cold, wallowing in self pity, wrapped in afghans and drinking hot liquids. There hasn't been a lot of cooking, but I did manage a mid-sized pot of beef broth and boiled veges. I can't actually taste much of anything, but for some reason this is pretty much what I want to eat, so good on that. It is neither interesting nor attractive, thus I will spare you, and me, a photo. Of course, the same could be said about the soon-to-be plum tree pictured above, but there you go.