Monday, November 3, 2008

My checkered past

So what did I do before this?

Lots of things.

I'll talk about these 2 pictures 1st. These 3 steps shows just some of the seedlings I started with this past May.

Some of these seedlings went to other gardens but I do overplant. Just glancing at this I see a few that perished. Some due to my negligence, others for other reasons.

I had some catmint, a relative to catnip, that perished from a certain orange cat nipping at it. The same neighborhood cat I believe killed a cardinal chick in my tree hydrangea. For some reason my gray cat has befriended 'Orangy' while fighting with just about any other cat in the neighborhood. Orangy also liked to use one of my beds as a litterbox. I had to make a 'tiger trap' with skewers to keep her(?) out. But I digress.

So anyway, the 2nd picture shows a bed planted with red cabbage, lettuce, ocean sorbet pansies, and some tulips. There's also some onions.

Inspiration for this kind of planting comes from Joy Larkcom's book
Creative Vegetable Gardening: Accenting Your Vegetables With Flowers. This book was my introduction to Larkcom. I have since discovered that perhaps she should be as famous as Michael Pollan. Really, she is one of my heroes.

I truly believe that vegetables and flowers need not be separated. There are many reasons for this. Another proponent of this philosophy is Edward C. Smith. I learned a lot from his book
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, a pretentious title from a non-pretentious man. One observation he made is that often plants that grow well together taste well together.

Didn't I say that I was going to talk about myself? Oh yeah, so here's a picture of me from this past May, shoveling compost from my truck to my garden.

I signed up for google analytics and found that finally somebody searched and hit this blog, which has had about 30 unique visitors. This was somebody in Beverly Hills, California! But they searched on my name!

Oh no! I have 2 guesses as to the identity of said person, but that could reveal my checkered past. I'll let you uninformed readers imagine something more interesting than reality.

I grew up 1 generation removed from a farm in South Dakota, 2 generations from Europe of 3 of my 4 grandparents. My father was a mathematician at the University of Pittsburgh, a bit of a leap from a dirt farm, my mother mostly a housewife, also from a South Dakota farm.

I have been to college but dropped out to work on archaeological digs in the lower 48. I've worked in more than a dozen states, mostly NE, but also New Mexico, California, and Oregon. My work as a field tech (shovel bum) spanned 15 years off and on, perhaps more off than on but it was pretty cool.

For 2 years straight I was a bicycle messenger in Pittsburgh, which included 2 winters. This was a blast but pretty crazy. If you think being a messenger is easy I've got a few bridges here to sell you.

After that, I landscaped for a very small company for some of the wealthiest people in Pittsburgh. I worked for this place for 2 years before I decided I'd be better off striking it out on my own. Plus I also decided that I wanted to try to get people to do something a little different from the standard stuff.

I think it's about time for people to rethink their yards. So there you have it.

1 comment:

frazzledsugarplummum said...

Well aren't I green with envy! ....gardening and archaeology. I did get to teach history...a long time ago, but always dreamt of going on digs. Family and work responsibilities intervened. Maybe when I am greyer and older still. lol
Drooling over that garden bed. Now to me that is beautiful. Interesting...what likes to grow together tastes good together. A kitchen garden...a French Potager Garden....