Monday, May 02, 2005

Ve Haff Vays of Making You Bloom

Herr Uberstürmführer Nedwart von Jingo-zum-Gärtner (played with hollow-eyed panache by Klaus Kinski), his monocle agleam in the early morning sunlight that played over his leather riding boots, jodhpurs and Waffen-SS duster coat and peaked cap, puffed angrily at the Turkish cigarette in the long holder clenched between his teeth as he strode purposefully through his domain.

He tapped his riding crop against his thigh. His authority had been usurped -- insulted! -- by traitorous trespassers, and he intended to reassert his will to power. It is time to teach the schweinhunden a lesson!

"Strawberries! Informers among you have told me you are harboring a wild violet in your midst! You will give the interloper up to the proper authorities immediately!"

He ripped the offending weed from its cowardly hiding place among the pure-blooded strawberry plants, and held it high in the air.

"The rest of you will take this as a lesson! Absolutely no weed -- not a single violet, wild strawberry, dandelion, pokeberry or clover -- will be tolerated in mein garten!" His face was bright purple. "Offenders will be summarily composted!"

Well, maybe it didn't happen exactly that way, but I do have to say that over the course of the spring I've done the gardening equivalent of building the Autobahns, annexing Austria and hosting the '36 Olympiad in that damned plot. But this weekend, I finally declared the Thousand-Year Reich in my back yard.

Here's a still from that Leni Riefenstahl epic, "Triumph of the Dill":


Click pic for large image -- it's worth it.

Reading more or less left to right, I'd like you to meet my strawberries, cascabel peppers, peas, tomatoes (early-, middle- and late-yielding varieties), onions, carrots, raspberries, kitchen herbs, sweet peppers, jalapeños, rhubarb, blackberries, pole beans, cucumbers and -- last but, as my mercy-begging, smelly-urined family is finding out, certainly not least -- asparagus. Not visible in this pic is the orchard, with apples, Asian pears, sour cherries and blueberries -- every last miserable inch of which is completely free of weeds.

Today.

Tomorrow: Nicht garantiert.

See that forest primeval there in the background, by the shed? It wants it all back... Every single miserable hard-won square inch of it.

(P.S.: Not a single polysyllabic chemical anywhere to be seen -- the Chesapeake Bay has nothing to fear from Jingo Acres. All composted kitchen waste and last year's yard clippings.)

3 comments:

Employee of the Month said...

Today the radishes, tommorrow the zuchinni!

Anonymous said...

Delighted to see a pic of your empire of strawberries & other goodies. Quite similar to my enterprise, sans those liner-straight fences and that menacing vehicle in the shed. And the never-ending fight against weeds, jawohl. Any disturbancies from furry hooligans? Well, with those fences you can defend your crop even from supikoira - a nasty nordic fox-like wild dog who destroyed my first harvest of corn.
Hyvää mansikkakesää,

Anonymous E

Neddie said...

Anon E:

Those aren't fences; they're supports for the vines that will soon bear peppers and peas. It hasn't become necessary yet to fence anything, but when the fruits start to bear I will net them within an inch of their lives. Birds are the biggest threat here, but I have a family of rabbits living in the orchard which I intent to trap and release further up the mountain.

I have a couple of nasty nordic fox-like wild dogs of my own, named Brown Fang and Ring Ting Ting, who have been promised large, juicy venison steaks for every deer they pull down. They haven't been able to corner any -- the electric fence is a bit of a hindrance for the poor dears -- but they have put the fear of God and respect for agriculture into the deer.