A Tramp in the (Organic) Garden

Seeds, Smack Talk and Assorted Gardening Madness in South Pasadena, Los Angeles

Monday, June 25, 2007


UM, yeah this was from late April...it reminds me of my best friend's mother who would have these dreams of reruns of the 70s TV show MacMillan and Wife. I hope I never get to that level, but I'm pretty sure I'm getting there sooner than later with old posts and my fetish for gold shoes.

PS- Do you think one can get MacMillan and Wife on Netflix? Hmmm.

This is the state of the little garden bed that I'm wanting to plant tomatoes in this summer...wild swiss chard in hot pink climbing for the sky, abandoned Grafitti cauliflower, that despite my relative neglect, still wants to grow and be noticed, and practically begs to be devoured, endive that has long been shooting up and now flowers in the most beautiful pale lavender blue of flowers that recall the cooler hues of winter, and heirloom garlics that compete for space in the middle of all this drunken jumble. This area is, as my friend would say, a hot mess.

But you, know, sometimes there is something I really like about watching winter's crops that have gone unharvested go to flower and eventually seed. There's something to be gained by simple observation of this process, an intimacy with plants in all their stages of life. Sometimes I feel I learn more about nature and it's rhythms by just relaxing and watching it unfold before me, and not getting too caught up in having everything so tidy and orderly, manicured and correct at all times. When I look more closely at this little ecosystem I notice ladybugs and their larvae, spiders who have made a home, or perhaps are just renting a space for the week, and bees that appreciate my recent lax gardening attitude. Aphids are even welcome here (okay just a few), and I know they will provide a short little feast for any hungry bird that may stop by for a visit. And I'm happy to provide whatever nectar, pollen or sustenance I can for any little creature that we have displaced with our so called civilization.

Uh, well, except nematodes. They can kiss my grits!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


I wrote this along time ago, but never posted this motherhubbard. I have been so remiss in everything, including gardening. I've actually done things, just haven't written about them, and even took pictures that just sit in my IPhoto. Doh! Now I'm playing catchup, better than playing God, I guess?

Kerala is the southernmost state of India and the home of Ayurveda. This was the last leg of the trip I was on, and we ended it on a tropical note. The weather is luscious and we were lucky enought to stay at a wonderful place called Surya Samudra. The sound of the waves wafted in at night and lulled you to sleep. Then we hit the backwaters of Kerala for a couple of days. We came back to the Surya Samudra- I indulged in a couple of ayurvedic treatments- shirodhara, where oil is drizzled all over your third eye is wonderful, and another where the masseuse supports herself on a rope and rubs her well oiled foot all over your body. I've really never had any ayurvedic treatments, and there seemed to be a lot of oily boob rubbing and ass slapping. Hey lady, who's paying who for this massage? All in good fun and ayurvedic spirit. Incidentally, Kerala is ruled by a Communist government. Literacy is at an all time high in this state.

This is a little Ganesha underneath a Banyan tree. We were told that it makes a difference which way his trunk is facing- generally it should be facing towards the right, if you are facing him. If it's facing the other way, his power is more potent, and potentially more devastating if used incorrectly. Someone correct me? I love Ganesha, he is so powerful, mellow and loving. He is apparently the first Hindu deity that one should have in their house, then you may follow with Shiva, Krishna, Saraswati, Shakti and others. Again, what I was told- please correct me if I am wrong or if my observations are ignant.

This was a houseboat on Lake Illikilam.

The truck drivers adorn their trucks in so many beautiful way, and the style differs from the North to the South. The south seemed more inspired by flowers and natural elements, while in other places you might see more Hindu Gods. This is not a good illustration or even a clear shot! But still.

Another Ganesha- this time he's seated and his trunk faces the other direction.

I'm really hungry- I have to go eat mushroom turnovers from Trader Joe's now! I am about to faint from hunger. I could eat a goat....

Incarcerated Lettuce

When I came back from India, after being gone for a month, I came back to not only terribly hideous jet lag, but incarcerated lettuces and other crops. While I was gone, raccoons and possums ravaged our little garden every night, plundering through carefully laid out beds of heirloom lettuces, garlic, cauliflower. They mocked us with their actions. They raped my soul.

So my husband decided it would be a good idea to take that roll of chain link fence from the basement and construct a physical barrier. It worked for a while against the critters, but what I also found out is that it kept ME out of the garden as well. Who wants to look at your veggies in tha clink? It's coming down today! It's been too long.

CONFESSION: When I came back from India, I wasn't happy to see my garden. Things had changed. I felt so dissconnected to all of it. I haven't touched it barely, or done any gardening in the past 2 months. My rose was never shaped or prepared for spring. Plants withered in their terra cotta vessels. I find trowels strewn around in odd places. How we keep our gardens is such a reflection of our inner emotions...