Friday, April 15, 2011

In the Garden

I took my coffee this morning on my front porch.
It felt as extravagant and lazy as it sounds.
It was only five minutes, really, but it was so nice.
I got to watch our neighborhood birds go about their morning business and you all know how much I love birds. There was a woodpecker pair pounding away at the tree across the street, a mockingbird changing guard at the nest and bringing food in for the little ones, a cardinal pair ruffled up on top of a fence and a blue jay pair making all sorts of loud ruckus.

I went outside this afternoon to water my fledgling garden. It's mostly tomatoes and I mostly haven't had much success with them so far. But this year, I went all out. We have tomatoes everywhere, trellised up in the most odd ways. I also have a watermelon patch, lots of bell peppers, beets, pumpkins and cucumbers.

It's been a really warm spring so far. The warm weather plus our recent storms have brought pests and disease out a little early into the gardens. I am ready. I bought myself an organic pest and disease controller to try out this year. We have had a mild outbreak of tomato worms and I was planning to take charge of them this weekend. But the damage so far - it hasn't been as bad as I've suspected it should be.

As I turned my back to the yard, a flash of red caught my eye. It was our Papa Cardinal. He swooped down into one of the freshly-watered tomato patches. Then a mockingbird fluttered into place by the still-wet blueberries. I realized, as I watched them for a minute, that they must be the reasons the worms have seemed to disappear.

We have added birdhouses to our yard and worked hard to keep it free of the feral cats that roam our neighborhood. Maybe the birds know it. They didn't mind my presence there and seemed grateful for the easy meal, and I certainly didn't mind having such beautiful and effective pest control!

So far, so good. And if we hold on to most of those little green tomatoes long enough for them to ripen, we may finally have a harvest big enough to justify calling ourselves gardeners.


60ish and Glad said...

I guess the worms have kept them from eating your tomatoes...I had a critter bite a large hole through my pool screen and eat my cute little baby tomatoes...five of them. It certainly wasn't a pretty suspecting it to be a pesky squirrel I spread the entire back porch with Cayenne Pepper and as I was finishing I heard a terrible series of sneezes behind me....Buster my poodle wanted to "help" me whatever I was doing. hope it is as effective on the varment.

Amy Button said...

Coffee on the porch sounds wonderful..sigh.

Love that the birds are taking care of your plants and not eating the tomatoes. I bought one tiny little tomato plant from my uncle a couple of days ago and I really hope it's fruitful. I'm a bit sad that it's the extent of my gardening this year.