gardening,  rando bits,  Slow Living,  Slow News Day

Merry Mary, How Does Your Garden Grow


I’ll tell you how my garden grows: it thrives! Really, I have no other news going on to talk about. Maybe a little. I got a late start blogging today because I was setting up payroll for my baby corporation. Did you know I incorporated? Yes, I am now Secret Agent Josephine Inc. It sounds very official and feels very grown-up though I am floundering like a typical newbie who can’t do accounting to save her life. It’s funny that I’m still saying I feel like a grown-up and I’m only two years away from 50. Isn’t 50 when people start becoming grandparents? What can I say, I’ve always been a young foolish soul, a little late to everything.

So the garden! Today in pandemic news we have some developments:


My watermelon seedlings have taken over the back patio chair. I didn’t want to put them on the ground thinking the dogs would eat them but you can see that’s not really a problem. I feel like I should name this guy. He’s made himself quite at home. I don’t even like watermelon but I am quite excited to grow one in a box and have my own square watermelon. I’m also thinking it will be fun to give them away and make watermelon drinks.


On the squirrel/mouse/rat vs Brenda front I can say that my ingenious plastic strawberry containers are superior to the nylon mesh bags I bought off amazon. Good to know, right? Recycling for the win! The rat has managed to gnaw at the tomato through the mesh bag and bruise it pretty badly. It kind of reminds me of how Bug used to eat fruit through these things. No way, I say. I am not feeding the local rat population tomato pops. It’s not a problem though. I have four big fat tomatoes ripening safely in my plastic strawberry containers. I can spare one measly one.


Further down in the garden we have a pumpkin sighting! I am soooo excited to grow pumpkins. The poor plant might be a little lacking in the fertilizing game though because I only have one pumpkin plant so far. I’ve got some seeds in pots to grow more but they haven’t come up yet. I do think I have one baby pumpkin though (or is it a squash? I did mix up my seeds so it could be something else) so maybe it cross-pollenated with the watermelon plant. Who knows, who cares! I think a watermelon pumpkin Frankenstein would be perfect for Halloween! I shall keep you posted.

Do you like my blue shutter plant table? It’s called Make-It-Work. I just use what I have. My handyman is currently out on broken-neck-leave so I am pottering together whatever I have. I bought that shutter ages ago to do a blog post for I was going to make it into a book rack (kind of like those magazine racks at barber shops where you open the magazine and flop them over a rod) but it never panned out so shelf it is! It actually works really well because it drains well with all those slots. And I kind of like the color. I know it’s a bit shanty-town but I’m not afraid of my roots.


And speaking of shanty-town, I am very excited to make that melted Coleman ice chest into a plater! Kinda of cool, right? I’m thinking the new pumpkin seedlings will go there when they finally pop their heads up.  Thankfully, not very many people come into my garden now that we have a pandemic going on so nobody really judges me on my landscaping skills. I mean, besides you guys of course but you come here for the whacky-ness anyway.


In other news ,Whiskey’s super strong dog urine is slowly degrading our pergola. It’s taken about two years but this thing is slowly crumbling from the bottom up. Good job, Whiskey. When I first moved in, the pergola had a sun-weathered canvas tent over it. I took that down and used the skeleton to hang lights. We don’t use it to eat out there, as it smells pretty bad of dog pee, but it is kind of a cool little focal point for the rest of the yard. I dream of entertaining back here but the dogs, man. They ruin it for everyone. Its not always that bad and a good hosing can get things cleaned up but it’s not always that good either.

Moving along to my other problem area: the powder mildew fight. It’s a daily battle. The baking soda spray does work but I have to spray it every day and I’ve knocked down my “bombastic” squash plant by two thirds just hacking off all the moldy leaves. I’m surprised it’s still producing squash. But I won’t throw it out until it really kicks the dust so I keep spraying every morning. It’s good therapy. I love gardening so it’s a nice little zen routine. Squirt, squirt, squirt..


I also have a little grape vine. Bug and I bought his at a discount grocery market. Why not, I figured. It was only seven bucks and it has really pretty leaves. I’m not in a hurry to grow grapes since we are all watching our sugar in this house but I do love the plant. And I love the GROW rock that we made from that alphamom kindness rock craft.


I’m also on my second round of growing cat grass for Kady. It’s a little spindly because she ate the last batch down to nubs and I don’t have any more seeds. But this is poking along and in a bit I’ll take it back in the house to let her eat down to nubs again.

Also here are some watermelon flowers. Aren’t they pretty? I had no idea they were yellow. I thought they’d be pink or red like the watermelon fruit but nope. Yellow, it is.


The Atrium is thriving as well. When we went camping I asked my friend Maria to watch over it and she watered diligently everyday so all the plants are very happy and the maidenhair fern is STILL ALIVE! It’s huge actually. I kind of want to grow a whole wall of them. Wouldn’t that be something?


Bug bought some lettuce the last time we visited a nursery and I think she should be able to harvest quite a salad one of these days. Everything is doing pretty well here. Except Joon’s Bob Ross chia pet. I think I might have to re-do that for her because Bob’s fro is looking pretty gross.

That’s all folks! Pretty exciting, no?

See you tomorrow for chapters from my fridge! Just kidding.


  • Erin

    Do you like my blue shutter plant table?
    I love everything about it. I have several of those stools. They’re multitaskers!

    • SAJ

      And get this: I found those stools in someone else’s trash. I know, I’m terrible. But they are great because I don’t mind them sitting outside in the weather.

  • jo's mom

    If you pick some of the leaves you could eat the lettuce now and still have more for later. Don’t let it go to seed it will turn bitter.

    • SAJ

      Aw man. I would be dead too. The problem is the one blank wall I have in the atrium gets full sun and I think the ferns like shade… but it’s on my list of things to do someday.

  • Gingermog

    Lol I can so get on board with this post, gardening is the biggest thing going on in this hood. I said something I thought I never would the other day, “I wish something exciting would happen, like I’d wake up and there would be a baby squash growing in my veggie patch”. Yup, this former city chick is obsessesed with gardening. Am I repeating myself? A friend said the other day, lockdown is like experiencing life when your really old, everything is slowed down. I think forgetfullness is one of my traits I woke up this morning convinced today was Thursday. A square melons sounds cool I’ve heard of them but never seen one. I do recommend creating a franken pumpkin/water melon hybrid. I’m sure I told you years ago, as I was so proud. The supermarket ran out of pumpkins one year just before Halloween and I used a watermelon instead. The pink insides looked super when lit.

  • Ellen W

    We had a volunteer pumpkin plant from a pumpkin that was cut up last fall for the compost bin. It was growing like crazy until weeks of Texas heat and not enough rain caused it to literally wither on the vine. :(

  • Jenjen

    Oh my gosh, the grown-up thing! I have been waiting all my adult life to feel like a grown-up. I’m turning 43 today and finally convinced it will never happen. When I was a kid I thought the grown-ups had everything figured out and knew what they were doing, and now I know how untrue that was!

    My little garden is bringing me joy right now too, but my main distraction is our recently-acquired chickens. They’re so fun to watch, it’s exciting when they lay eggs, and they entertain my two little children to no end. It’s like meditation to sit in the yard and watch them peck and scratch. In this uncertain and unsettling world, their chicken-ness is very refreshing. ?

    • SAJ

      OMG yess! I wish I had chickens all the time. My dogs are keeping me happy. It’s a blessing in this crazy time that is getting us all depressed even when we don’t know it. The layers and layers of uncertainty are difficult to bear. I’m happy you are finding peace in this world too.

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