You Say Potato, I Say Solanaceae…

Garden-wise, the mood’s a bit desperate here.

Out front, the new house boasts a patch of builder-installed-utilitarian-plants anchored by a rain-sensitive drip system and some bark, less than inspiring to a gardener’s heart.

Out back?



And weeds.

Lots and lots of weeds.

Might have to change the blog title to ‘notes from the rock farm…’

Although I should be a bit careful using such a blanket term for the ecstatic display of foliage that showed up shortly after the first rains of the season. The former open space or ranch land beneath us and the dedicated open space behind us may have contributed something ‘other than’ [native, non-native?] to the mixture. Shame on me for being so shallow-minded. I know better. Until I’ve been out there on my hands and knees, with a magnifier if need be, I should just keep my mouth shut and my trowel handy. I found amazing volunteer flora in my previous garden, who knows what gems I might discover here…

The horse is losing this race. The ‘weeds’ have been ‘mowed’ twice so far…

Chalk it up to a serious case of gardening withdrawal. It may take months for us to turn our landscape plan into reality, and in the meantime I’m all twitchy and fidgety and looking for any cheap and dirty way to get a fix…

I mean it’s Spring. And a gardener without a garden? Well… It isn’t pretty.

And this is where the desperate part comes in.

I was peeling potatoes a couple of weeks back.

Yup. You heard me. Potatoes.

When all of a sudden a chorus of garden angels began to sing.

And the ceiling opened up.

And a ray of sunshine lit me up like a daffodil.

I wasn’t peeling potatoes. I was peeling — a potential plant.

You say home fries. I say Solanaceae...

I dropped that peeler like it was evidence at a crime scene, grabbed some toothpicks and filled one of our best coffee mugs two-thirds full of water.


The breakfast nook had now become my surrogate garden.

And let me tell you, that’s not engineered hardwood I’m standing on, it’s a very muddy, weed-slick slope.

The tooth-picked potato looked a bit lonely in its corner by the window, so I had to bring home a few friends for it to play with. Plants are social beings; we gardeners know that.

Sci-fi worthy…

But just try explaining this theory to the non-gardening Spouse who’s losing more and more elbow room at the kitchen table to vegetation that isn’t edible and worse yet, is now stuck with a dinner companion who spends all of her spare time conversing with an alien life form in his favorite mug…

It’s a tough sell.

[At least the Grand’s on my side. Although, he’s mostly into it for the science, not the chlorophyll…]

So I peeled some more plants, I mean potatoes, for home fries. It’s hard to argue about anything with that lovely roasted-until-golden aroma wafting throughout the house.

And if one or two of those potatoes never made it past the peeler and into the pan?

Safety in numbers.








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