Monday, December 28, 2015

A good day to stay inside

The weather has been just crazy lately. During a normal winter, the temperature in the garage stays just above freezing, good for storing potatoes, onions, and garlic, and keeping perennial herb plants like rosemary, oregano, and thyme. This winter is not normal. The garlic is showing signs of sprouting and the rosemary is blooming. It has been too warm.

On the nicer days, I have been wheeling the wagon full of herbs out to the driveway, where they can get some light. Today is not a nice day at all - freezing rain is pelting the windows, blown about by gusty winds. I am so happy there is nowhere I need to go. Hopefully, the power will not fail.

The seed catalogs have been trickling in, but I have not paid them much attention yet. Instead, I'm contemplating reducing the vegetable garden a bit. One crop that is on the chopping block is tomatoes, which sounds sacrilegious to this backyard gardener. But hear me out. Tomatoes usually produce more fruit than I or mine can consume. Since I have cut back on carbs (and consequently pasta), I rarely have reason to make marinara or tomato sauce. I'd like to sample more varieties, like heirlooms, which is easily done by visiting local farmers markets. So I think I can forego growing my own.

I have also been staring out at the backyard, wondering how I can make it more charming. I'm not very creative, nor am I artistic. I don't have an eye for design or for color. I know what I like when I see it - native plants, lots of color - but how to translate ideas into something that will work in my backyard is something that eludes me. Currently, my efforts look more experimental than I would like. Fortunately, I have tolerant neighbors.

Some days I have even contemplated giving up the yard and moving into an apartment, but I'm not quite ready for that.