Saturday, March 7, 2009


Let me just avoid any seed planting, bean sprouting or fruit ripening cleverness and cut to the chase.

The Crazy Billionaire household got a new gardener on February 3. She's been a pretty good baby so far, generally scheduling her fussy awake times to mostly daylight hours. And she's left me more time than I expected for seed-starting, bed-digging and watering, if not garden blogging.

Her arrival has accompanied another tempting early Austin spring that has everything in the garden perilously sticking out stems, leaves and blossoms, and me, as usual, itching to plant with no idea where to put everything.

But those are minor problems. It's been, metaphorically, a long cold snowy winter, but here comes the sun and it's alright.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Nestled all snug in their beds...

Happy holidays everybody. Get your seed list together -- Spring will be here sooner than you think.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Still growing ...

It's so nice this time of year to remember that we don't actually live on the surface of Mercury.

The artichokes have taken advantage of the cool weather to put on some growth. I may have helped a bit by completely excavating their roots and packing in fresh compost and fertilizer.

The serranos have also finally decided to get busy.

Green beans are in.

Swiss chard has made its debut in the crazy billionaire garden ...

joining the broccoli raab, Chinese kale, shallots and garlic.

But all the news is not so pleasant. After promising starts, every beet, lettuce and spinach seedling got devoured over the course of about 3 days. I still haven't identified the culprit. Squirrel? Grasshopper? Caterpillar? Beetle? Pill bug?

I put in some fresh beet seeds over the weekend, and am waiting for the green beans to finish before reseeding lettuce and spinach. Hopefully whatever it was has reached its low temperature limit. otherwise, I'll just have to keep replanting. I do have plenty of seeds.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008


Still not a lot to report around these parts. I've been lamenting the effects of this summer's crushing heat, particularly earlier in the week when the two surviving growing tips of my tromboncino squash got roasted to a crisp in the afternoon sun. Oh, and did I mention that control squash is all et up with the squash bugs, and I've still got no eggplants? It's a bit demoralizing.

Note to self -- just take next August off. I'm sure there are plenty of gardeners elsewhere who would say that a 10-month growing season is plenty.

Today was nice though. Hurricane Ike (or as it turned out here in Austin, "Hurricane Psych") gave us a day of cloud cover if no rain. I got out and turned up one of the empty beds. It's good to get into the dirt again.

I put in some green bean seeds when I was done, and have been giving some thought to the fall garden plan. At the moment, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, broccoli-kale, onions, garlic and leeks are on deck.

In other news, we got a new patio door. My friend John helped me install it last week and I've been fiddling with the trim some today. Addie hates it since she can't see the yard when the blinds are up.

It's for the best though. She would have died if she had seen this display of nerve out there earlier.

Planted: Green beans, Burpee Stringless Green Pod from seed, 9/13/2008

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Return to the garden

It's amazing what actual rain will do for the garden and for my willingness to go walk around outside taking pictures of it.

This little patch popped up today near the acorn squash. It never ceases to amaze me how suddenly fungi fruit. And seeing this one reminded me of last year's freakish monsoon summer during which I identified probably a dozen different fungi in and around the garden.

The control acorn has seen fit to make its presence known to the local pollinator's union. In the upper left there, you can just see a little female blossom, which I hope gets a chance to get it on before you-know-who starts laying eggs.

The recent rains and perhaps the harvesting of the last two melons on the vine have inspired a fit of blossoming in the cantaloupe patch, with quite a few females like this one. We might just get a few more fruits before it's all done. Seven so far, for those of you keeping score.

And this guy and a few friends decided to poke their heads up this week. They're about the most colorful things growing in the lawn for sure.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


Back from vacation. It was a relaxing week of sleeping, reading, swimming and visiting a most-curious village.

I ate my first tomato sandwich of the year -- Oatnut bread, Hellman's mayo, and a Black Krim, which I can recommend highly. My first BLT was quite acceptable, what with the home-cured bacon. I used a Mortgage Lifter for that, which was good, but I can't say it lived up to the hype.

The garden weathered a nine-day period of 98+ high temps and no rain pretty well, thanks to my gardensitters, one of whom won the raffle prize of the first cantaloupe of the year -- I can't wait to hear how it was. When I got back this afternoon, I picked 7 pounds of tomatoes. Most of those were Principe Borghese, which will get dried in the oven in the next couple of days.

I also picked a Brandywine, a Persimmon (I think) and about 10 of our mystery black tomatoes. Oh, also three skinny white Asian eggplants and a late-breaking artichoke from the second plant that got a late start in the Fall.

And I just finished a dinner of penne with the aforementioned eggplant, a Costoluto Genovese, spinach, and homemade pancetta.

And this concludes my entry for the most-riveting-blog-post-of-the-year award.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Death from above

We had a classic Central Texas Spring thunderstorm Sunday morning -- about 20 minutes of heavy rain and thunder and enough hail to paint bare ground white.

The damage wasn't too bad. The Sungold and one of the Principe Borghese  both got their main stalks broke, but they should be alright. So should the squash, but it looks like someone took a machine gun to them.