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:
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:
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!