Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Everything's coming up roses

Well, not roses exactly. But fruits and vegetables and herbs, which are far more useful than roses. And almost as beautiful, if you squint. In amongst the rubble and sand, despite my ignorance, I'm having more gardening success than I could have imagined.

I have loved gardening since I wound up with a little patch of earth next to my first flat. I hadn't wanted a garden, but my perfect flat happened to have one. As the saying goes, when life hands you soil, make a garden. Over the next few years I turned it from a builders' yard into a chaotic, ill-managed fruit and flower garden. Sadly my passion for my little plot was matched only with a marked inconsistency in results. My wisteria never flowered, and my peas never germinated, but my crocosmia was triumphant and I always had plenty of rosemary. Well, it is pretty hard to stuff up rosemary.

Here in the Sugar Cube nothing has failed, yet. We are already enjoying lettuce, grown from seed, and oranges and lemons. Okay, I can't claim credit for the oranges and lemons - or the grapes - as they were here long before us. Still, I didn't kill them yet.
TLOML harvesting oranges.
 Same goes for the chard, which is adding a certain dark green umami to our minestrones, chopped salads and ramen.
Chard still going strong, and rocket coming up thick and fast
The tomatoes are getting big, and the corn looks like actual corn which is thrilling to me. I grew that!

The courgette and aubergine look pretty promising too.
Already some of the biggest courgettes I've grown

When I grow up I'm going to be a Japanese Eggplant
And at last we can eat a proper strawberries. American varieties are usually on a spectrum between bland and sour, and only sweet once cut and doused in sugar. But the ones from our garden taste just like a strawberry should. If this goes on we may never have to grace the Korean grocery again.

To what do I owe these newly green fingers? I guess it's just the right environment. Consistent sunshine is a huge bonus (so long as I remember to turn the sprinkler on). So, thank you Hermosa Beach, for helping a mediocre gardener succeed.

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