I’m sure I’ve raved before about the incredible Meyer lemon tree that came with our house in California. It was legendary — we couldn’t keep up with its prolific production if we tried (see above). When people came over, they were given leave to pick at will, and take home as much as they could carry. We had come into this bounty unprepared, and we didn’t appreciate it as it deserved to be.
Since I’m a sentimental sort, I bought a Meyer Lemon tree a couple of years ago, with the intent to grow it in a container here at our new home. The winters here are just too cold for citrus, but if I could bring it inside during the colder months…. [click to continue…]
Now, I know a year isn’t that long, especially when you’re talking about a pursuit with so many layers of knowledge, but I’m hoping I’ve at least had the worst of the rookie mistakes, so I can move on from there. Following, a few things that I’ve learned in my admittedly limited experience.
1. Don’t Start Seeds Too Early
I touched on this a little the other day, noting that impulse control is so important this time of year. For if you get too excited, and start things too early, you’re likely in for trouble.
What could possibly go wrong, you may wonder? Well, the main problem — in my experience, at least — is light. When you’ve got seedlings growing for a long time indoors (because it’s too darned cold outside, still), they’re inevitably start to grow leggy. Leggy means tall and thin and weak — they’re groping upwards for the light they need (most veggies are full-sun types) and they’re not finding it, so they keep stretching. Not good.
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Yes, it’s the (literal) seeds of my spring garden. I was reading something on A Way To Garden this week that started like this:
Poor impulse control can be a real liability for the gardener in February, so shall we try together to stifle our urges to start seeds too soon, or order plants galore…
Oh, how true I know this is. Last year, I was a victim of that poor impulse control. I put plants out before their time, all full of confidence after some beautiful sunny days, and I was rewarded with what you might expect: nearly-dead plants that managed to survive, somehow, but weren’t nearly as strong as they could have been. [click to continue…]
The first (and only) time I visited Commander’s Palace, in New Orleans’ Garden District, it was for Sunday Jazz Brunch on the occasion of a friend’s 40th birthday. I’d flown down from New York for a whirlwind weekend of celebration, having packed my “sophisticated” New York clothes. As soon as I walked into the dining room, I knew I’d made a mistake.
I was wearing a black a-line skirt and a tight-fitting blue blouse with a v-neck, but all of the other women (I should probably call them “ladies” in this context) looked like they had come from church, wearing dresses with high frilly Peter Pan collars in pastel floral patterns. I’d somehow forgotten that New Orleans was in the Deep South. And Commander’s Palace is old-skool New Orleans.
photo courtesy of Commander’s Palace
This is a place with a dress code, which is important enough to appear on the front page of its web site: “Shorts and t-shirts are never allowed. Jackets preferred at dinner. Men must wear closed-toe shoes.” Yes, these “rules” seem to apply more to men than to women, but I think that’s because women are supposed to just know. Some of the others in our party were from old New Orleans families, and they certainly knew.
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