Didn't make it out to Sebago to either garden or paddle this weekend - that was my original plan, but a very good friend suffered a very bad loss last week & when it turned out that just having friends around was helpful, next to that, original plans didn't matter. We went out for a walk on the boardwalk today - it turned out to be Opening Day there & I was SO sorry I'd left my camera - even on a cold & windy day, people were out riding the Cyclone, eating corn dogs, playing games of skill - lights were flashing, bells ringing, dough frying - . There were polar bear swimmers holding hands & dancing in rings in the grey and still icy water - and stiltwalkers, and a giant rabbit who wanted hot dogs, and I glimpsed a tiara'd prom queen - who could have been a queen in more ways than one - back in the dim recesses of that Coney Island classic, Ruby's...
J's sad, but he was taking all of this in and enjoying it. He's Brooklyn born & raised, he loves this borough, and - well, I think it was good, and he's got good things to do for the rest of the day, and I'm glad I skipped the paddling in favor of going out to the boardwalk. I never realized that April 1st was one of the significant days in the Coney Island liturgical calendar, just like the Mermaid Parade and the New Year's Day Polar Bear swim.
Svmer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
And springþ þe wde nu,
And speaking of sed a-growen,
As I mentioned, I've started a few other random seeds from vegetables purchased at the grocery store. One of them is a kabocha squash, or Japanese pumpkin. I was looking at it closely this morning & noticed these wonderfully delicate-looking little spiralled tendrils beside tiny new leaves. Pictureworthy.
I'm not sure I want to plant this thing, though. Claire and CKayaker Michael both warned me back when I started the first set of squash (and the garlic, which didn't work out, but was fun for a little while) that squash plants have a tendency to take over. Well, the acorn squash plants have been reasonably well behaved so far & in 2 weeks I'll be able to move them out to the raised bed I'm working on out at Sebago.
This kabocha squash, though? I'm wondering if it's name is Squashzilla. Or Audrey II. Just LOOK at this. The kabocha is the one in the taller pot on the left. Remember, the acorn squash were started in mid-January. I think I planted the kabocha seed about 3 weeks ago - and it's already as big as the acorns, and much less open to the sort of suggestions of "Here, why don't you grow over this way, and then come back over here" that the acorn squash plants have been very good about listening to. We're talking about a 4x6 bed max here...probably smaller as I hear that I ended up laying out the area a little closer to another bed than it should have been (has to be room to walk between & I totally forgot that people tend to put potted plants around the outer perimeter of their beds, have to make allowances for that). A plant that's gotten this big in 3 weeks? Hmmm...maybe not, huh?
and here are some nice little cherry tomatoes. I was eating some cherry tomatoes one night a couple of weeks ago when I remembered the "volunteer" cherry tomato plant we had in the backyard of the house I grew up in in Aiea. We didn't plant it, it just grew there without a bit of assistance except for maybe a little water; we got tomatoes from it, and (best of all for working with a small space) it really seemed to just stay in this one little corner by the stairs down to the second terrace, where we also had 3 papaya trees (named after my mother's 3 cousins), a bird of paradise, and a lovely bougainvillea plant, and 6 or 7 plumeria trees that my folks planted after they'd had the land cleared & the terraces built.
The way the terraces worked was that we were on a hillside, and the property went down in three giant steps - the front of the house was on the ground on the first step; there was a lava rock wall that the house straddled; the "aft" end of the house was on stilts 15 feet up in the air, then well past the footprint of the house there was a 2nd lava rock wall. The plumeria trees grew in a line along that wall, and it was nice because when you had a visitor coming in from the mainland & wanted to make them a lei, you could reach a lot more flowers walking along the wall (once the trees got tall enough, which did take time) than you could have from the ground. My mom picked some lovely colors, too - the familiar white with a yellow center, but also pink ones with a yellow heart, and ones with petals streaked in commingled pink and yellow, and finally a deep, rich scarlet.
There was only one tree with scarlet, and it didn't seem to have as many flowers as the pinks and whites and variegated, so you could seldom get enough flowers to make a whole scarlet lei, but you'd work in what you could get & they'd make lovely accents...
Oh my. How was that for an unexpected little wander down memory lane, all the way back to "small-kid time"?
Nothing like spending good time with a grieving friend to get a person reflecting.