Some People Have Kitchen Gardens, Mine Is a “Kitschy” One

Kitschy Garden, May 8, 2010

The saying is, “A watched pot never boils.”  For me, that “watched pot” is my little garden plot, which has become one of the joys of owning my first home.  (It’s hard to believe it, but next Saturday makes six months that I have actually been living here.)

Every morning when I let Annie out, I take a few minutes just savor all of the green plants; some mornings there’s a surprise or two, like the two butter-golden blossoms on one the squash plants.  In the evenings, there’s more time to water and hoe a bit.  The garden is a small one, so almost every plant gets scrutinized quite often; hence, it seems as if nothing is growing very much.  I know it is, and even more proof is in the photos I’ve taken, like the one from my post from April 21st, which I realize wasn’t that long ago.  I had just planted the beans a couple days before that, and now I can see that soon they will have blossoms.  The first tomato plant that I set in now has five little tomatoes!

When there was no more space to plant in the garden, I couldn’t stop with the attention.  First came a painted tin chicken and some found drapery rods, which I’ve stuck in to help prop up the growing tomato plants.  Then I added a rooster hanger for a plant.  Take a close look at the picture, and you’ll find a birdhouse, another chicken, a trellis for the cucumber vine, and, definitely, the over-the-top kitsch de résistance, a whirligig with a cat catching a fish on a line from its tail.  Being protected on three sides by the fence and the garage,  I’m not sure how much whirling is going to happen with that metal gadget.

For sheer beauty, the Christmas cactus can hold its own against any other flower.

Besides all the action in the garden, the plants on the patio are slowly beginning to recover from move from the apartment and the numerous smaller moves into and out of the garage during the colder than normal winter.  The Christmas cactuses had been in house, though, until the cold was for sure over.   Unlike last year, when a few blooms kept coming one at a time long after Christmas was over, this year by mid-January, they all seemed finished with their winter pageantry.  Then after they had been out on the patio for about a month and a half, I noticed three small buds on the plant that gets bright red blooms.  After a run-in with the garden hose, which resulted in a number of broken limbs (Happily, this is a great way to increase the number of Christmas cactus plants.  Someone will be the lucky recipient of the already growing cactus.), there were just two buds.  One opened during one of the 90+ days of this past week.  However, the last one waited until today, a much milder, overcast Saturday, when I could enjoy, what I expect is this plant’s last gasp at blossoming until next winter.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can grow Christmas cactuses.  They don’t expect a lot from you, but when their time comes in the winter, they will more than reward you for the care you’ve given them.

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