This Blackboard Lacks A Piece Of Chalk

To say that our backyard is the size of a postage stamp is to insult stamps. If it were up to me, I’d rototill the whole tiny thing and plant vegetables, but it isn’t up to me. Recently, a new tenant started putting her cat in the backyard on a tether every day, much to our chagrin and the dismay of stray cats we’ve been feeding. It never occurred to me someone would fight us for our yard space utilizing an unstoppably adorable rescued tabby cat. The cat is called Chase. He sits under the white lilac tree or the picnic table or wrestles with the pretty stray we call Woim, and so far, Chase leaves my spinach, arugula and squash alone.

Because we’ve had so much rain, Pete and I could not regularly feed our plants. In fact, it was a regular struggle to keep some of them from drowning. This year we chose to grow most things in containers we could move around the yard to fend off varmints and adapt to changing light conditions. We’ve found that window box size containers for lettuce and herbs work beautifully, but most plants need more root space. These squash plants are in a wooden box we found in the basement. Perhaps it should only contain one plant, but these thrive in this odd, small space. Once the flowers turn into little squashes I’ll rig them little hammocks to keep them out of the dirt. This, I believe, is the only reason a sane person buys pantyhose.

No, really. This is a small container, sitting on a small picnic table Pete made, sitting in a small grassy spot in a tiny backyard. I rather like the mysterious rustic box. Pete’s decided to elevate it for better drainage and to prevent the picnic table from shrinking. You can also see, lower and to the right, a large planter filled with vibrant spinach. Last year, we couldn’t grow enough spinach to feed the groundhogs, let alone steal a leaf here and there ourselves.

We don’t have a lot of time to work on the gardens. The gardening classes we signed up for have not panned out. I’d like to learn more about what makes some things grow like gangbusters while others grow sort of as an afterthought. Monkeyfister offers good ideas and resources, though I feel like a poor student. Despite our efforts, these squash blossoms feel like luck, not knowledge. I may pout!

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