Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tomatoes, a Dilemma and an Award

How's that for a blog post title?

As I said in my last post, the garden has been pretty much a nightmare this year.  In my defense, this is my first summer living in Central California.  I am accustomed to the milder climate of Southern CA, and even though I KNEW how hot it would get here in the summer, I just didn't realize exactly how much water it would take to keep everything alive, how much that water would cost, how miserable it would be trying to weed when the thermometer says 110 degrees, and just how fast those darn weeds grow!!  So, my first year gardening has been a bit of a disappointment.  The cilantro that was doing well just disappeared one day (snails?), the chives never came up, the tomatoes have been eaten alive by bugs (at least I hope it's only bugs), the spinach did not do well as we got very little rain this year and summer weather came way too early in April, and most of the flowers either didn't come up or they fried when it got extremely hot a couple of weeks ago.  I still have hopes for the bell pepper, though. 
So, I learned a few lessons that I can remember next year.  Hopefully, I'll be working full time by next spring, and will be able to spend a little more money on the garden, and will be able to afford to have my lawn guy pull the weeds for me (this year, it was gardening on a shoestring!)
I went out to water today and to get rid of some of the rotten tomatoes, and much to my surprise, I found a couple of tomatoes that the bugs hadn't gotten to yet, so I enjoyed home grown tomato with my dinner.  I'd like to think that the healthy organic tomato offset the unhealthy frozen dinner that I heated in the microwave, the chocolate chip brownie that I had for dessert, and my ever-present Diet Coke, but alas, those tomatoes aren't magical.  I really DO need to start cooking more often, and to start eating more healthy foods. That brownie was darned good, though, and it WAS homemade. Does that count as healthy? : )
I will never be a great food photographer.
Now for the dilemma part of my post:
As you can see from the photo above, I have crepe myrtle growing in the middle of the bushes out in my front yard (well, the planter on the side of the driveway).  Anyway, these are the white ones in bloom, but I also have one in a deep rose (no longer blooming). They're volunteers from the house next door.  I love free plants (let's face it, I love anything free), and I love crepe myrtle.  Last year, when I bought the house, the neighbor's trees (large bushes?) looked like this:
They had three different colors: deep rose, a purpley-pink and white. They're gorgeous in full bloom, and they are plentiful here in Tulare County.  So, what's my dilemma?  Do I:
a)  Try to pull out the crepe myrtle from each bush and plant them elsewhere, thereby taking the risk that none of the plants will survive the ordeal (the ground is pretty hard here, so it's going to take a huge amount of digging),
b)  Plan to get rid of either bushes or crepe myrtle, so dig accordingly,
c)  Save myself a lot of work, leave them all alone and see what happens.
Personally, I like choice "c" the best, but does anyone have any feedback for me?
As for the award part of my post, I need to thank Evi at Sexta-feira for passing on the One Lovely Blog award to me (well, to my blog anyway).  If you want to see beautiful pictures of Greek beaches, or just want to read about movies, check out her blog. 
I'm not sure what the etiquette is for passing on these awards.  I know some people notate that their blog is "An Award Free Blog", and I always want to respect that. And since I'm pretty ignorant of this stuff, ignorant of why some people like the awards and others don't, and since I don't want to do anything out of line or be disrespectful of anyone's wishes, I say that all the bloggers on my blogroll deserve an award and just leave it at that. Blogging is hard work (a lot of fun, but still a lot of work some days), and all of the other bloggers do it better than I do. So, go visit everybody!!
Hope everyone has a great Friday.  I finally have a day off.  (I can't complain though; I've needed the extra hours.  Maybe this month, I can pay the bills on time for a change!)  And to anyone who has said a prayer for me or offered good wishes for the job situation, I give a HUGE thank you.  It does seem to be getting better.  I really like working in the cash office; it is inspiring me to try to take some accounting/bookkeeping classes.  I'm getting more hours and doing something I like. 
Thanks so much for your visit, and for all your comments.  I love reading them.


  1. Hello Julie!
    My parents grow tomatoes and yes, they need tons of water. i realized that while garden-sitting some weeks ago. I hope you'll find more juicy tomatoes like the yummy-looking one in the photo.

    About your dilemma, I would go for option c! Let them be! (but I know nothing about gardening)

    Thanks for mentioning my blog and the award! You're right about the whole award etiquette. Sometimes I get confused too!

    Have a nice weekend! Have I told you I love California? Stayed in a place called Menlo Park last summer and had the best time of my life!

  2. Julie,
    Gardening is allot of work.I once had a English cottage garden.It was way too much work weeding and watering.Now I have some flowers but mostly shrubs.Enjoy your day off!

  3. Ooooh, I love crepe myrtles! We have a few and really enjoy their long-lasting burts of color. I'd remove the other bushes (transplant them since they look relatively small) to give your crepe room to grow. Whatever option you take, good luck:)



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