Monthly Archives: October 2008

From “dastardly” to “divine”

Columbine petal

Who'd a thunk it. A few short months ago, James Alexander-Sinclair said the following  in a comment on this very blog you're reading at this precise moment: "Ah-ha. So this is where the dastardly Kate (may the pigeons poop upon her laundry) hangs out."

Got that folks? "Dastardly." (Excuse me while I wring out my handkerchief; the memory still makes me weep.) If you think I made it up, you can check it out yourself. It was in the comments on the very first post in what shortly became known as the Sock Wars. (As for the remark about the laundry, the pigeons, and the poop, well–the less said, the better.)

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Potato Harvest in a Teacup

I dug up the last of the potatoes a couple of days ago.

Potato harvest '08

These are the ones I actually stuck a shovel through; the rest I'll wash only just before eating. It was beautiful out—in the sixties right into dusk, with that warm, low, autumnal sunshine striking through the trees.

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Cat-lovers of the world–unite!

If you've managed to escape LAPCPADPOUB (or let's all post cat photos and dire poetry on our blogs) day so far, you lead a charmed life, and James A-S will probably appear at your doorstep shortly, begging to know how you managed it. Inaugurated by Happy Mouffetard of The Inelegant Gardener (What is a "mouffetard," anyway? I must ask her), the contest was inspired by James' incautious suggestion that some gardening blogs suffered from a surfeit of cats. Foolish man.

Quark in lettuce2

This is our three-legged marauder in the lettuce patch in September.

The result? This contest, for which James had to serve as judge and for which he had to provide the prizes–copies of his own elegant little gardening book, so recently reviewed here. Well, did he think cat-lovers would take his insults lying down?

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Soil + sand = cement? Not so much.

They say adding sand to clay soil yields cement. Maybe sometimes. But based on a highly unscientific experiment in my back yard, not always.

Soft soil 1,

The warning about sand pops up here and there all over the internet, often coming from university Extension offices. The one in Colorado for instance, says flat out, “Don't add sand to clay soil,” predicting a consequence that would make any gardener quake in her gardening boots: “this creates a soil structure similar to concrete.” A specialist with Ohio State University goes even further, saying that the result is usually “a disaster.”

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Sympathy to Canadians–

Pitcher plant & grass 2

Warning–flagrantly liberal, heavily biased, anti-Bush sentiments expressed below. Not to mention anit-Harper ones. 

Unbelievably, Stephen Harper, leader of Canada's Conservative party and widely satirized as a virtual clone of Dubbya, appears to have been returned to power in the Canadian election Tuesday. (Yes, I know it was predicted, but that doesn't make it believable.)

The clone idea has at least given rise to some fine humor. While driving in Newfoundland a month ago, I turned on the radio and heard something pretty close to the following. It'll make more sense to U.S. readers if they know that Canadian Thanksgiving occurs the second Monday in October.

Interviewer: Of course, the Americans celebrate Thanksgiving near the end of November. Mr. Harper, can you tell us when Canadian Thanksgiving is?

“Harper”: Canada has its own Thanksgiving?

Oh, I did laugh.

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