Sunday, December 2, 2012

Carrots, Catalogues, and a Mixed Up Plant

What a great time of year it is for gardeners! It isn't meltingly hot outside, but there is still food in the yard to harvest for supper.  The carrots are only just now getting big enough, but it's looking like I can quit buying carrots for a month or so.

The carrots in the yard are extra-sweet, too. These look like they are probably a Danvers-type, but when I planted carrots I had a little bit each of several kinds. I'm not sure when I'll run across a Chanteney or a Nantes, but that will happen eventually, if any of them germinated (some seeds were fairly old).

Other good news is that the seed catalogues have begun to arrive. Seeds Of Change hit the mailbox before Thanksgiving, and Fedco came today. The Fedco catalogue is especially wonderful this year because it contains poems and quotes by Wendell Berry (bio here and a great poem here), one of my favorite writers.

Neither of these first two catalogues is my main source of seeds (that would be Sand Hill Preservation), but they are great for the beginning of planning next year's garden.

Yet more good - or at least interesting - news, is that my key lime tree, a.k.a. "Old Spikey," is in bloom.  The plant is a month or two ahead of its usual flowering schedule, but the year has been weird. How can I be surprised?

Plenty of beautiful, warm weather is forecast for the upcoming week, so we've rolled Old Spikey out of the dining room - its winter home - and out onto the back deck. For the next week, anyway, we will be able to maneuver around the dining room without the risk of being raked by two-inch spines.

Outside this afternoon, Old Spikey was host to some honeybees that must have been grateful, in their own little honeybee way, for some fresh pollen and nectar. The whole plant was haloed with scent and sound - a honeybee oasis!

I hope that everyone else's gardens are lively and productive, too!


  1. Do you normally have to hand pollinate Old Spikey? My MIL used to have a kalamundin (sp?) tree that lived in the kitchen and she would hand pollinate it.

  2. Owlfan - I have a small paintbrush, the kind that comes with children's watercolor sets, that I normally use to pollinate Old Spikey with, since it usually flowers indoors in January or February. I try to refrain from brushing across every flower, because the first time I got greedy and set fruit on pretty much every flower, Old Spikey ended up with more fruit than it could hold. However, I'm pretty sure that the bees are being less conservative about their flower visits.


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