Monthly Archives: October 2013

57. Garlic Planting

I’ve mentioned that I consider myself a sort of Robert Smithson of gardening. He is most well-known for this:

Spiral Jetty (1970)

Spiral Jetty (1970)

So it was time I add some sort of spiral to Spy Garden. So I planted a big spiral of garlic here:

Garlic Spiral

Garlic Spiral

Garlic grows like this:

Spy Garden Garlic (2012)

Spy Garden Garlic (2012)

So it will be an extra whirly-twirly spiral!

You can't really see the shape now, but hopefully it will emerge soon!

You can’t really see the shape now, but hopefully it will emerge soon!

In the areas where the garlic is not planted I will grow early spring greens (spinach/etc.) and maybe some brassicas, dill and marigold. I’m hoping the combination of dill, marigolds and garlic will fend off the squash bugs and the brassica pests.

Another view

Another view

And another

And another

After we harvest the garlic in the spring this large patch will be used to grow pumpkins next year. This is one of the varieties I want to grow:

“Triamble” also called “Shamrock”

SQ172_01(C. maxima) A very rare and unique variety that was imported from Australia in 1932, from seed secured from Arthur Yates and Co. of Sydney. This light sea-green squash is lobed like a three leaf clover, making it highly unusual in appearance. They weigh about 10 lbs each and have sweet orange, fine-grained flesh. A fine variety for eating and decorating! (picture and description from Baker Creek)

The first frost is nearing so I pulled up all the tomato plants.

Tempura-fried green tomatoes coming soon

Tempura-fried green tomatoes coming soon

And something with the Thai Red Roselle. Jelly?

And something with the Thai Red Roselle. Jelly?

Arugula Planting

Arugula Planting

Garden helpers

Garden helpers

My first giant cape gooseberry. A very weird flavor, almost like alcohol and cherry

My first giant cape gooseberry. A very weird flavor, almost like alcohol and cherry.

56. A Chainsaw, Barry Weiss and Spooky Garden Sights

DSC_9625 (700x468)Nothing says Halloween quite like a chainsaw.

AHHH!HH!!!!

AHHH!HH!!!!

Except maybe a chainsaw and a Jason mask.

DSC_9603 (700x469)And a monster.

DSC_9599 (700x469)

Dexie looks scared!

Dexie looks scared!

If a tree falls in out of the forest, into your yard and you happen to catch the moment from your kitchen window on a foggy October morning, does is make a sound is that spooky or what?!

Tiiiimmmber

Tiiiimmmber

We didn’t cut this tree down, it just fell. Right here:

Right next to the fire pit!

Right next to the fire pit!

Not the picture of health:

DSC_9642 (700x468)

AHHGGHHH!

AHHGGHHH!

Wait...

Wait…

What’s spooky about a ferris wheel?

Well maybe not spooky but the Spy definitely looks concerned.

Well maybe not spooky but the Spy definitely looks concerned.

Cautious

Cautious

AHHHHGGGHH!!

AHHHHGGGHH!!

AHHH!

AHHH!

Creepy looking frog!

Creepy looking frog!

Friday night while were watching the Cardinals win (woo! Hello World Series!), during the commercials we switched over to Storage Wars. The show is an ideal example of gloriously bad reality television. I don’t like any of the other storage/treasure hunter/trash picker type shows, but I do like Storage Wars. For one reason: Barry Weiss. As we were watching the show the Spy (he’s eight) suddenly blurted out,

“Barry can get along with everyone.”

Yes, yes he can! The guy is always silly and hilarious in a manner that never abandons respect for others. So what on earth does Barry Weiss have to do with Halloween, much less gardening? He always wears skeleton gloves! Ooo spooky! But what does Barry Weiss have to do with Spy Garden?

Spy Garden is all about learning new things, investigating the unknown. Taking a closer look at things. Which Barry always does. Unique tools, strange musical instruments, striking sculptures, vibrant art. Barry always investigates the people and stories behind the coolest “treasures” from his storage lockers. The real treasure isn’t about the objects at all but the quest in learning new things. Which is what this site is all about. That, and an appreciation for a witty (and/or silly!) one-liner.

The moss ball is turning into a pumpkin!

The moss ball is turning into a pumpkin!

Our garden is simply “the garden”. We don’t actually call it Spy Garden in real life. Spy Garden is the website our garden would create if it had opposable thumbs and was able to get up and go explore the world from time to time. Is an anthropomorphic garden spooky?

Gourds at our grocery store:

Serpents! Behind you!

Serpents! Behind you!

The same variety, Serpente di Sicilia gourd, we grew in our garden: seen here at our grocery!

The same variety, Serpente di Sicilia gourd, that we grew in our garden: seen here at our grocery!

October Tomato

October Tomato

Onions! Jaune Paille des Vertus

Onions! Jaune Paille des Vertus

Teepee (can you spot the serpent gourds?)

Teepee (can you spot the serpent gourds?)

October is the best!

October is the best!

55. Baseball, Gardening and Art

The St. Louis Cardinal’s are going to the World Series! Woooooo! Hoo!

In theory, we are New York Yankees fans. My husband is from New York. And I am from Florida, where 50% of people are from New York. But now, St. Louis is home sweet home.

So in practice, we are St. Louis Cardinal fans all the way. And by “all the way” I mean, we live in St. Louis, where I’m pretty sure that loving Cardinal baseball is required by law. 75% of people in St. Louis on any given game day (or the day after a win) are sporting Cardinal gear. It is pretty much impossible to live in St. Louis and not like the Cardinals. The following photographs exemplify some of the magic found in Busch Stadium (and St. Louisans and their baseball). Dan Donovan is a professional photographer and his blog and website are both worth checking out. His images are striking. Here are a few:

Photograph by Dan Donovan

Photograph by Dan Donovan

Photograph by Dan Donovan

Photograph by Dan Donovan

Photograph by Dan Donovan

Photograph by Dan Donovan

To Dan Donovan: If you would prefer I take your images off of this site let me know and I will be happy to just leave the links!

Here are a few of Spy Garden’s own Cardinal images:

Skip Schumaker at batting practice (2011). I wonder how he felt last night playing for LA?

Skip Schumaker at batting practice (2011). I wonder how he felt last night playing for LA?

Dad and the Spy at Busch Stadium 2010

Dad and the Spy at Busch Stadium 2010

Baseball is the greatest game. I love the subtlety of baseball. There’s a strong sense of decorum and humility. The players nod and smile. There’s no grandstanding. They cheer in unison at a win or a great play. The uniforms are stylish (hello, pinstripes!)

So what does baseball have to do with gardening?

Well there’s this:

A perfect catenary of arch, mowed into a perfectly green field.

This, I can appreciate.

I can also appreciate this:

Which is art. Officially.

I wonder why a perfect catenary arch mowed into grass doesn’t qualify as art in the same manner as Michael Heizer’s earthworks? Too much money involved? Too popular? The artist is still living? Or perhaps because the creator does not claim himself as “artist” (either the mower, or the designer). I can appreciate both as works of art. But, is it only with the assertion that “I am an artist” that a creation becomes art?