Posts Tagged ‘gardening’

It’s going to be hot today–97F / 36C is forecast.

Close the windows and batten down the shuttersil faut!

I’ve managed to water the courgette and cucumber plants, conveniently in the shade until noon. The tomatoes need no watering, they fend for themselves, their roots penetrating deeper and deeper in search of water. This wisdom was told me by Julien, our gardener, and so far it has proven good advice, for a second year.

The problem with the toms is that in my eagerness to have fresh tomatoes on the table as soon as possible, I bought almost exclusively “précoce” (early fruiting), consequently, the kitchen bowls and baskets are now overflowing with red gold, eager to be used, one way or another.

Me next–I’m ripe, sweet and juicy.

Catch me while you can!

(I froze one yesterday and found a collapsed pomme d’or in the fridge this morning–no good for salads, but still good for cooking?)

Well, I’m doing my best, and enjoying every minute–and trying not to think about the end of August, when this bounty may subside….

Each time I totter into “the wild” where tomatoes grow, Marlon Brando in The Godfather comes to mind, and it makes me nervous.

Remember the scene when Don Coreone is entertaining a grandchild on the edge of a tomato patch? He has made a miraculous recovery from the murderous attack in NYC, and has retreated to what looks like a garden paradise.

He playfully chases the boy through the thicket of tomato stakes, begins to lose his breath, starts to cough, then crashes to the ground–massive heart attack.


Arrivederci, Don Vito Corleone!

Just desserts maybe, but quite a nice way to go, though I’d prefer to munch the tomato, and then go….

In fact, I’ll settle for munching tomatoes and leave the GOING ’til later.

I once was driving over Chelsea Bridge into London–a Sunday morning as I recall–and hit traffic backed up from the lights on the Embankment.

Two lines.

I looked across at the limo stationary beside me, and to my astonishment, Marlon Brando was looking down at me from his high perch, front passenger seat–perhaps just arrived at Gatwick Airport.

What I should have done was cooly wind down my window and tell him quietly how much I had enjoyed that wonderful scene.

I did no such thing, of course. Instead, my face moved not an English muscle; I did not blink, showed no recognition, shock, delight, amazement, but turned back to face the lights, which changed and we moved–the moment was gone.

Arrivederci Marlon!





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Steadily–in twos at the moment.

Meredith came in from the garden yesterday and offered me two fat strawberries.

I “harvested” two raspberries this morning.

We have already eaten two courgettes.

Tomatoes are small green golf balls–but it’s only the first week of June.

The rain this week and now the sun has made us hopeful.

“Mary Mary quite contrary–” 

My Aunt Mary was contrary–contrary enough to live to 92–and a talented gardener.

She transformed a long rectangle behind her Suffolk cottage into something magical, with a fishpond at the end. She loved her garden and reigned over her 90th birthday party in it–on a glorious early July day.

She and my father were privately adopted in 1915 by my grandmother, who was 40 and a widow.

Granny taught violin and brought the two children up as a single mother. She lived to 87 and was contrary too–according to my mother!

Young Dad--RAF trainee

My father was an enthusiastic gardener–Dahlias in October, as I recall….He grew vegetables too–important in post war Britain where some food was rationed until 1954!

I have not inhereted the gene.

…with silver bells and cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.

This nursery rhyme has nothing to do with gardens, I discover, but disguises a darker theme (http://www.rhymes.org.uk/mary_mary_quite_contrary.htm).

A corner of our garden--no sign of silver bells and cockle shells...just a couple of canoodling snails this morning.

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