This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Mothers and gardeners have something important in common -- they both come to realize that there are things they can do, and things they can't; situations they can control, and those they can't. At some point they likely determine that there are fruits they can cultivate,  and some they just can't -- though, I'll admit, I have yet to concede anything in my garden or with my kids!

Today I spent a couple long, sweaty, itchy hours working on my tomato bed.  I pruned extra foliage and added strings and raised others to keep the tentacle-y vines "contained", off the ground, exposed to the ripening sun, free from molds and fungi.
I managed to tame this bed somewhat, to get it "under control".  But I turned around towards the pepper bed and realized there are tomatoes, volunteer tomatoes, that I will never control.  They sprout up every where.  And tend to take over.  This is the pepper bed.  And that is a big ol' cherry tomato vine lying on top of the pepper plants.

The only thing that is growing in this box that was actually PLANTED in this box is the dill, which you probably can't even see.  The tomato and the tomatillo are both volunteers.  And have taken over.

I decided to leave these PLANTED tomatoes to themselves (other than the store bought cages) -- no pruning.  I'm curious, this is an experiment -- the tomato plants themselves are store bought and therefore not as near and dear to my hearts as the little former seedlings in the big bed.

Despite encroaching tomato plants, I have managed to grow some nice peppers this year.  After a complete pepper failure last year, I'm enjoying these beauties:

I even picked a couple today.
I ate them in my lunch lettuce wraps and Gregorie made quick work of the carrot.  I did manage to grow her part bunny, part bear.

My carrots this year have not been that successful.  I do have this lovely bed of them growing though
and I can't bring myself to thin it!

I have decided that if my beans won't grow and my blackberries want to take over the tipis, so be it.

And I have resolved that sharing strawberries with the wild things is just part of the game.

I have learned that I CAN grow calendula and cucumbers (after several failed attempts),

But I cannot make my crookneck squash produce a female flower.

And while I cannot stop this planted pumpkin from overriding its cucumber neighbors
or this volunteer pumpkin from shading the chard seedlings,
I CAN make this pumpkin have sex.
By picking this male flower
And pollinating this female.
I left them stuck together for good measure.  

I can make (or at least help) the hops grow up the twine

but I can NEVER tame the mint, sage, or borage!

Frankly, the potatoes look a little out of control too!

I cannot make my husband clean up the dog poo.  But I can clean it up myself.  I'll spare you the picture.

And finally, I cannot keep my children from making messes.

But I can make sure they clean up!

At least most of the mess...

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