June 4, 2011

peaches and payoffs

After our initial work in the garden last summer, it has been fun to see some of the plants beginning to take off this year. Many of our native and butterfly-attracting plants--Mexican Sage, Lantana, Liquorice Mint Hyssop, and others--had to be chopped down to the nub over the winter, either because that's how they best perform (as with the sage) or because our hard freezes killed all the plant above the ground. Lo and behold, most not only survived, but they are flourishing.

Liquorice Mint Hyssop

Another great surprise was the speedy and delicious fruiting of our J.H. Hale peach tree. We didn't get the tree in the ground until nearly April, despite many warnings in our garden books to plant trees in February and March. In addition, the J.H. Hale, a dwarf variety, is one of the few that require cross-pollination from a different variety of peach tree. Luckily, the tree was holed up at the Great Outdoors nursery with a number of other types of peach trees early in the spring, so it was duly pollinated and produced a lot of lovely flowers when we brought it home. Not 2 months later, we had a lovely crop of large, sweet, gold-to-red fleshed, freestone peaches!

Owen thought they were the best. (That's his finger reaching for another peach... )

Sometime in April, again throwing caution to the wind in terms of recommended planting timelines, we also put in a larger Loring peach tree not far from the first. This way, the two should cross-pollinate, creating more and tastier peaches as the years go by. The Loring, having been planted in late April, did not produce this year; but it seems to be surviving the heat so far and I have high hopes of having an excellent peach crop come 2012.

April 26, 2011

Starting Where I Am

For a while now, I've been contemplating returning to this blog; but I have yet to figure out exactly what I want to do with it. Is this a food blog? What would be my angle or unique vision for it? Is it now about the different elements of my life as a mom, freelancer, and homemaker? Or is there something entirely new or more interesting I could do here?

However, as the weeks go by and I get more and more consumed by motherhood and mired in our landscaping to-do lists, it's clear I need other outlets. This is one of them that I used to enjoy. Maybe I should give it another go.

So I'm trying to start where I am, as Buddhist nun Pema Chodron suggests. The Buddhist author--who, in my opinion bears a strong resemblance to the British actress Judi Dench--has written a lot of reportedly "western-friendly" texts on Buddhism. I picked up a copy of Start Where You Are ages ago, and have yet to read more than a few pages. But Buddhist ways of being have been percolating into my consciousness quite a lot lately. And then there was this: My favorite yoga studio in town is hosting a six-week zen meditation class.