Friday, July 30, 2010

Garden Sprawl Friday

The garlic trimmed and cleaned:

I have yet to cut the tops off the above variety, as the stalks were still fairly green when harvested. I don't know if it makes any difference, but it just seems right to wait until the whole stalk dries up before cutting it.

And the last of them that got pulled:

While the first pictured garlics are nicely wrapped (their stalks above ground were also the last of the three varieties still standing erect), I regret not having pulled up the other two varieties earlier. Moreover, what I did especially wrong was actually pull them up - without digging them with a trowel, and prying them up, from the bottom.

Since the stalks were fallen over (as is supposed to happen) and weak, what happened is when I pulled the stalk up, it ripped off the top portion of the wrap of the garlic bulb, leaving the garlic bulb still in the soil. Lesson learned. The garlics are still perfectly good of course.

What is amazing though is the gratuitous multiplicity in nature. For each variety of garlic pictured, I bought three whole bulbs. So altogether there were nine bulbs. You plant the separated cloves from each bulb (a bulb of garlic is merely the ring of wrapped cloves). Each clove turns into a whole new bulb. It doesn't take long, saving just a few more bulbs than last time each harvest for planting instead of eating, before you have quite a...garlic operation.

Another nice thing about garlic is that your bulbs will develop a hue, a tinge of colour totally unique to your micro-climate. Thus, two sets of the same variety grown in two different regions will be...well, could you call them the same variety?

The cantaloupes, in the true spirit of sprawl:

The potatoe and cabbage bed:

The cabbages have steadily been disappearing (thank goodness) instead of just sitting there going to waste. I dug up one of the potatoe plants and came to the conclusion that I will wait a further couple of weeks. If you're going to have potatoes that aren't "new potatoes", you may as well let them get good and big. The pole beans are beginning their climbing of those poles in the back; they are late, late, but not too late.


This evening one of the cats caught a blue dragonfly and was unsure about eating it. You could hear the poor thing burr-clicking its wings, still alive, but damaged.

The tabby, being delicate about real meat (she likes her kitty treats), played at it, but didn't really get to eating. So she was joined by her sister: the meat-eater.

The tabby took off. The dragonfly was still alive, and I was unsure about what to do. I knew I should make an end of the dragonfly, as it was clearly beyond recovery and suffering. Just then, thank goodness, the silver one took over - and didn't waste any time.

Crunch, crunch, crunch, the whole thing went down.

Cats are mean bastards.


Enbrethiliel said...


You have cats.


Now I feel as if I never really knew you . . .

Enbrethiliel said...


You have a dog, too, right? Right?

Paul Stilwell said...

The cats aren't mine! Yes, there is a dog - a golden retriever.

You saw me say, "Cats are mean bastards."


Enbrethiliel said...


I know cat owners who will say, "Cats are mean bastards" with the same expression on their faces that other people have when they say, "Babies are miracles from Heaven." In fact, I was just telling one of them about this post, and she looked as if she was going to melt with delight at the phrases "torturing a dragonfly" and "put it out of its misery." She squealed when I quoted the "mean bastards" line verbatim. It was as if I had stepped into the Twilight Zone.

But thank you for clearing that up. And thank God the cats belong to someone else! =P

Tim J. said...

That looks like a Maine Coon Cat. We have one, and he has actually been mistaken for a raccoon by neighbors. He weighs 23 pounds.

The Schnauzer loves me, the Dachshund and the Border Collie love my wife especially, but the cat hates all of us equally.

I have to admit, he's my favorite. Does that mean my Man Card is revoked?

Paul Stilwell said...

Enbrethiliel, LOL. Those cat people...Twilight Zone indeed. I should probably mention that I once did have a cat. It was a stray kitten I was given by a lady on my paper route as a kid. It has since passed away. He was a cool, non-sneaking sort of cat. I get this feeling, this hunch, this odd vibe, this vague sensation that tells me you hate cats; I don't know what it is, but I just seem to sense it. ;)

Tim, I saw your cat at TLBC! I remember saying to myself, "Lord, that is one big cat!"

But a cat that size, one could almost get away with calling it something other than a cat, like with the neighbours thinking it a racoon. Though a cat, it's like it fell out of the bounds of Catdom just by sheer size. Which makes the cat almost heroic. So the Man Card is retained.

Enbrethiliel said...


I don't hate cats, okay? In fact [said in an overly defensive tone] if I had to choose between getting "The Complete Works of Ayn Rand" for Christmas and a stray kitten, I'd choose the stray kitten! And I'd buy a nice pitbull puppy to keep it company, so that it has a friend. I care!!!

Paul Stilwell said...

Oh I know you would take the stray kitten. You just don't get crazy cat-lovers. Same here.

Now pitbulls...