Gardener of the minute

The weather has improved, so I’ve been spending more time in the garden. Every time I am there, I am caught somewhere between panic at how much work there is to be done and excitement that the new growing season is beginning. Everything seems to be waking up. I had planted a lot of brassicas in the fall, imagining that we might eat some over winter. We did eat some bok choy and kale, but the heading and flowering folks mostly just overwintered in a stately but not very exciting fashion. Now that the weather is warmer, though, things are picking up, particularly among the cauliflowers.

While I was in NY last summer, I picked up a packet of cauliflower seeds promising green, white and purple cauliflowers. I have a fascination with purple vegetables (I am eagerly watching my purple artichoke plants, which have also made it through winter intact), so you will understand my excitement when, in two weeks, my one and only purple cauliflower to date went from this:
before cauli
to this:
after cauli

Now, this is the season in our garden when you feel like the gardener of the year, because it rains a lot and everything grows. So I feel that, to be honest, I should show you what the majority of my cauliflower plants do. They look like this:

leafy cauli

All leaf. They grow enormous, but it’s all show. In that thicket of cauliflower, there is just one little tennis ball of a flower. I don’t know what it is — I am lousy at growing them. But the purple one is turning out nicely, and there are a few green ones coming in another bed. If I were a more diligent gardener, who wrote everything down, I could probably figure out what I accidentally did right to those few plants, but I haven’t a clue.

Of course, with the weather warming up, the wildlife is back, most notably the cabbage whites and their progeny:


My fingers were bright green with caterpillar gore by the time I got through inspecting all of the cabbages and their ilk. And you can’t help but notice that the caterpillar remains smell cabbagey, which is kind of sad.

Meanwhile, in the apartment, the first brave seedling popped up:


A Roma tomato is born. Welcome to the family!

24 thoughts on “Gardener of the minute

  1. I’ve heard eating purple vegetables is good for you – I’m not sure if that’s true. Love the look of your cauliflower and I hope you found every one of those caterpillars – they are trouble. Welcome to Spring xx

  2. I’ve been missing you.

    You moved quickly, but it seems at the perfect time. It looks like you have had time to prepare for your spring garden. We may be moving shortly. Not the perfect time! I bought all my seeds and we be moving in early spring… Well, on the bright side, then this will give me plenty of time to prepare, and I can at least have a salad garden and a few tomatoes while I prep the rest.

    I know you are busy, but I will be excited to see more pictures of your new home and gardens in your future posts!

  3. The first tomato seedling is always so exciting. It is terrific to have that lovely purple cauliflower…I know you wish you had more.

  4. Your garden is moving along nicely. That purple cauliflower is something to see! Good to see you tomato seedling pushing up through the soil. Even though mine aren’t planted yet, seeing yours means mine won’t be far behind. Yay!

  5. I gave up growing cauliflower, it seems to a a hit and miss thing in my garden. You purple cauliflower is gorgeous. May be I should give purple a chance.
    Know what you mean between panic and excitement at the start of the new garden season.

  6. How fantastic, when I start longing for green I shall pop over here, your garden IS wondrous.. maybe you ARE the gardener of the year.. c

      1. And you will be walking around with your buckets again, but for now it looks divine! i got so sick of mine last year with the bad dry that i have to START this year with weeding.. oops.. c

  7. It’s so crazy that all those leaves taking up all that real estate only produces one head of cauliflower! Seems like a waste somehow . . .

    But that is exciting about the Roma tomato. Any brothers and sisters by now?

    1. That’s the thing about brassicas – they hog a lot of space. Now your tomato just gives and gives and takes up the same amount of room. Still, there’s not much else going on in the garden right now so I guess I can spare the space. And we have quite a few tomato seedlings now for when the time comes…

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