Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Green Thumb (and the magic celery)

I recently posted a tour of my yard, complete with pictures, and in the past I've posted about my garden and other plantings.  And while I share these things online, I also share them in real life.  So I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when someone remarked "You must have a real green thumb".

My thumb is not green....

                      nor are any of my fingers.

Now, we all know that when someone says you have a green thumb, they mean that you grow things... but it did make me wonder -- where did that saying really come from?  After all, not everything that grows is green... and it's certainly not green when it first begins to grow.  Yes, I know, seedlings are green.. but seeds are not. And things that grow, are typically grown in dirt... and when I plant things, I most certainly get very dirty... so why don't we say that people who plant things, have black thumbs?  And why thumbs?  My fingers generally get much dirtier than my thumbs.

So I hopped on the great big internet research center, to see what I could find.

First, I found that, in England, the phrase is "green fingers"  (which is why I showed you that even my fingers are not green.).

And I found all sorts of discussions about planting seedlings -  which are green, and you use your thumb and forefinger to pinch back plants, and statements that green is always associated with growth....  none of this was very satisfactory.

And then I found something about some king or other who really liked peas and his favorite servants were those who could shell the most peas, and shelling peas gave you green thumbs.

Nope, that didn't do it for me, either.

And then I found something that said that the saying comes from the fact that algae growing on the outside of earthenware pots will stain a person’s thumb (and fingers) if they handle enough pots. Hence, a person who is always working with flower pots has a green thumb.
Hmmm... still not a terrific answer... but I'm ready to move on.

Because what I REALLY want to share with you is my magic celery.  When I gave you a tour of my yard, I also explained that I recently saw something online about growing new celery -- that you can actually put in your garden and harvest -- from the butt end of a celery bunch.  I didn't believe it, so I tried it.. and it works.
Here are pics of the progress so far...

June 4, 2016
June 11, 2016

June 14, 2016

As you can see, the growth is quite dramatic!  The instructions say to plant it outside once the outer leaves start to rot away... so I'll be planting it this weekend.

But it gets better!!
I actually have room in my garden for perhaps half a dozen celeries... so while I don't know that I'll do that many, I decided I would do at least one more.  And clearly, celery butt #2 did not want to get left behind.  Note the dates on these pics...

June 12, 2016

June 14, 2016

June 15, 2016
That's right, boys and girls.. this is what I've got in THREE DAYS!!   Actually, more like 2 and a half.. because I cut the base and put it in the dish Sunday afternoon.. and the June 15 pic is from this morning.

So..  you can call it green thumb, green fingers, green hand... whatever you want... it's not me, it's the magic celery!  I will be planting both of these in the garden, this weekend.

And by the way, in case anyone cares, I NEVER drink green tea.  It's usually Typhoo tea, it's always black tea leaves.

Monday, June 6, 2016

A Yard Tour

Often... perhaps too often... I rant and rave here at Teapot Musings.  And as it happens, I have a rant nearly ready to post.  But you can't rant and rave all the time, or you become a ranting raver... or a raving ranter... or something.  And that's not really who I am.

So I thought I'd change things up a bit, today, and give you a tour of my yard.  After all, spring has sprung, summer is nearly here, and it's nice to be outdoors.

Those of you who follow Teapot Musings, know that I've had trouble in the past with deer eating my garden.  Last year, with the help of hubby, we put up a system of metal fence posts and bird netting, and it seemed to do the trick.  We saved the pieces, and put it up again this year... and here is my garden...

... and it's a good thing we put up the fencing.. because right outside the fence, I found some fresh deer droppings!

At the edge of the woods behind the garden, I have some bearded irises that we planted many years ago.  Yes, irises grow from bulbs or rhyzomes.  No, I don't dig up my bulbs each year to protect them over the winter.  Yes, I've heard that plants growing from bulbs will get smaller and less colorful each year.  No, I can't explain why these 10 year old irises look like this...      but I'm not going to complain.

Moving along behind the house, we come to my two cherry trees.  Here is the Black Tatarian.. I call him Blackie.
  and his foliage looks wonderful this year.
He and the other tree - Stella (I call her Stella, of course)....  seem to be quite compatible.  Last year was their first year with me... but they blossomed even then.. and this year they blossomed even more than last year.  While Stella and Blackie blossom at the same time, they don't get cherries at the same time... Stella gets cherries much earlier.
Here are some of Stella's cherries.. let's hope that we get them, before the birds do!
We also have an apple tree.  What's its name, you ask?  Don't be silly, why would I name an apple tree?  Last year it blossomed, but without setting fruit... this year it looks like we'll get some fruit.

Moving around to the front of the house...  we've got several varieties of hostas, as well as a bunch of other flowers, up on the stone wall.  And part way up the hill is a kwanzan cherry tree.  Non-fruit-bearing, but pretty, nonetheless.

At the top of the hill is a ... well, that's a problem.  We don't know what it is.. and we'd like to get another.  So if anyone knows, feel free to share the info.

And then I have my miniature rose bushes.  Nice number of buds already; they'll bloom all summer long, once they get going.

And while I like planting things in the ground.. I can't see any of that from the kitchen.  But that's ok, because hubby likes putting together hanging baskets.. so this is the view that I have, courtesy his efforts.

And that's it.  

Oh, wait.. I nearly forgot... I have a bit of an experiment going.  I read that you can start more celery, from the stump of a stalk of celery.  I didn't believe it.. and decided to disprove it.  So I dug the stump of the celery stalk out of the trash, and put it in a dish of water, as directed.  Here is is, after less than a week.  
I guess I'm growing celery!!  Not quite sure what to do with it, next.. but that's what google is for.

Whew... a bit exhausting.. all of this planting, and nurturing, and experimenting.  But at least there was no ranting or raving today.  Still ...  I need a cup of tea.