Monday, July 4, 2011

Comments and Cundall

As I've mentioned before, one of the advantages of the Front Yard Farm over a more conventioned backyard vegie patch is that people passing by can see what you're up to and stop to have a chat. Often it's to ask what something is, what's good to plant right now or if I know why their tomatoes didn't do well this year.
Peas in Public
Sometimes they stop and talk for a while, other times it's just a few passing comments like this exchange from a week or so ago:

Teenage Dude: "Hey, your garden rocks!"
Me: "Thanks"
Teenage Dude's Mum: "Keep up the good work young man!"

Now I'm pretty sure that Teenage Dude's Mum was actually younger than me, so I don't know if it was a little lighthearted condescension, she was legally blind or the fresh garden vegies have even greater regenerative properties than I'd previously suspected. Legendary Australian gardener Peter Cundall, now 84, often attributes his good health to hard work and fresh vegetables so it may be having some effect on me. We saw him once at a Gardening Australia Expo where he made the following observation which makes me appreciate all the more the comment of Teenage Dude:

Audience Member: "My question is this: How can I get my teenage son interested in gardening?"
Peter Cundall: "That's easy. You can't. It's not possible."

He then told of how difficult it had been to get his teenage son to get out of bed to mow the lawn. He eventually managed to rouse him by wheeling the mower into said teenager's bedroom, then starting it up.

Thanks Teenage Dude and Teenage Dude's Mum, you made my day.

Peas on Earth

It's far too hot here in Summer to grow peas. The plants go brown and crunchy. But this time of year they thrive, providing some spectacular colour splashes in an otherwise monochromic green Winter garden.
Pea Flower
Lately we've had a few periods of much rain followed by lots of sun, so the pea plants have reached the top of their trellis and are continuing upwards in an apparent attempt to reach the overhead power lines. And despite these exertions they're now popping out purple flowers followed by golden pea pods.
More Pea Flowers
 I planted two varieties, alternating between our favourite Purple Podded Dutch and Golden Podded peas, or at least I think I did. Perhaps I mixed them up because all the plants bar one with pods on them are the golden variety. Perhaps the purple ones will appear later.
..and a Pod
 In any case, the peas look great when the sun's out. And when it's not.
Pea plants discuss the events of the day