Saturday, May 21, 2011

Memories of a snake in the garden

It was supposed to be a rainy thunderstorm-y day, as it has been for over two weeks. And yet, when I awoke, I could see gorgeous blue sky calling to me (and everyone else in New England), "Get your butt out here! It's amazing!" Hubby and I dutifully obeyed and started out the day with a beautiful walk around the surrounding neighborhoods.

After a quick breakfast, I decided this was the day to move the mint OUT of the garden. How very innocent was I, three years ago, when I build this garden and thought, "I'll just put some mint in the corner and put a few bricks around it so it won't spread to the rest of the garden." The mint just laughed at me. So today I moved it to a newly empty plot next to our house, where we cut down a couple of burning bushes that were blocking our bedroom view of the garden. It will do great there, and with any luck, our new bunny family outside will nibble at the edges and keep the mint in check.

As it was so beautiful, I decided to go to my all-time favorite place, Russell's Garden Center, in Wayland, MA. I bought the following and felt oh-so-naughty: 3 tomato plants, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, three kinds of eggplant, cilantro, basil, parsley, lemongrass (and one for my sister-in-law who always says, "If you see lemongrass, buy me some! I can never find it!!), swiss chard, stevia (which I've always wanted to try -- it's an herb that is exceptionally sweet and can be used to sweeten teas and such), Thai basil, and lemon verbena. After coming home, I took one of my cats, Kaci, out to the garden so she could "help" me plant everything. (The garden is her favorite spot. You've never seen a cat so happy as her when she is rolling around on the rock pathways.)

I'll have to post some pictures soon of our garden, because I'm immensely proud of it. We built it our first spring in our home and it was a ton of work. We dug a foot and a half under the ground and put chickenwire in that depression to ward off digging animals, just as a precaution. It ended up being a very good move as a pair of groundhogs moved into our yard last year (along with the bunnies) and nobody's been able to get inside the garden. Well, that's not quite true.

A garter snake got in our first year, which wasn't a problem in and of itself. The problem was he tried going out through the small chicken wire and got stuck. This snake was a stuck as one can get, and he wasn't too pleased about it. The sun was going down and it was getting chilly -- we knew if we didn't act quickly, he would die out there in the garden. Ever so carefully, my husband spent about a half-hour cuting the wire around the snake, doing an amazing job of not hurting it. When it was finally freed, it fled through the garden toward the open gate, but then took a quick turn to the right and immediately get itself stuck in the wire on the other side of the garden. Seriously. I think Ryan was about to bang his head into a wall. Suffice to say, he proved himself to be a manly man that day in my eyes when he freed the creature a second time, and then to be sure it didn't repeat the chickenwire move again, flung it with his gloved hand outside the garden, where it landed -- thud -- then slithered to safety. I looked at Ryan and said, "I think that snake needs a drink," to which Ryan replied, "I think I need a drink." Happily, the snake did not come back to repeat the performance.

Anyhow, Ryan's practicing his guitar as I write, and we're going to go out to our favorite local Framingham eatery, Big Fresh Cafe, before taking in a movie. Ryan, by the way, is mucho talented and has a wonderful band called Field Trip, that everyone should check out. They're so damned good. I always forget how good they are and then when I go to one of their gigs, I'm blown away.

Anywho, random ramblings on a beautiful day ...

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