This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

May 10, 2011



It’s been almost a month since my last post- sorry about that! So much has happened in the last few weeks it’s hard to know where to start. I’m just now getting a chance to get some things done- including a post.

I’ll start off with how grateful I am to the Lord for His grace! To explain, my dad had a stroke recently, and he also has an aneurism in his brain that has been there for probably 30 years. The amazing thing is that his brain did a work around and created tributaries to get blood to the rest of his brain…all this time! The veins on one side of his neck have no flow and haven’t for years, apparently! How the docs missed this, all this time, is beyond me as my dad is faithful to get his checkups regularly and do what the docs tell him- he wants to be around a long time and healthy- so he does what he needs to do- He’s very responsible and practical that way. When I stayed with my parents for the first week dad was home he was walking around with a cane and talking with a scratchy throat- almost as if it had not happened! And he’s almost 80! We purchased him some superman underwear to go home in! So you can see why I am so grateful! I’m grateful that, for whatever reason He has, God wanted my dad around a bit longer…after all, one of the best things to be in the whole world is a daddy’s girl!

On the garden front, I’m amazed again. The day my mom called me, I was right in the middle of potting up some tomato babies- everything stopped at that point. I came home expecting total death in the greenhouse and tunnels as I’d told my daughter not to worry about it. The tunnels were left up so the plants in it had quite a range of weather while I was gone. Cold, hot, very windy, no water, even some snow- thankfully, they were at least mulched. It’s very interesting what plants do to survive.

When I returned, the first days I just wandered around and watered. I noticed the peas were up; I’d just planted some pre-sprouted seeds before I had to leave and they hadn’t been watered at all.


The wonderful ‘Marvel of Four Seasons’ lettuce had turned a beautiful burgundy in response to the weather extremes- interesting. I just removed the outer leaves and gave them a really good soaking.

I did lose a few, but this is how well they bounced back- They were really dark burgundy, but as they bounced back, I started seeing some green in there. Below is how they looked after I transplanted them originally-

I’ve harvested some and they taste great!

The other things planted looked haggard, but survived too, with the exception of the chard. This shot below was taken a few days after I’d arrived home- weeded and watered and thinned- not too bad! Everything in the first tunnel, which was the first planting, survived really well (spinach, beets and a few lettuce.)


The story is a bit different in the nursery- the lupine, beets, broccoli, and all the chard that I hadn’t transplanted are compost. The tomatoes I had potted up survived thanks to Patrick getting home before me to water them. They looked sad yesterday as I again potted them on to the next and final size pot before they’ll go in the garden- I think they are suffering from a phosphorus deficiency, as the undersides of the leaves are purple-ish.

Not all of what I started is there; I never finished transplanting the micro-blocks the day mom called- so I’ll be sowing some more soon.

Some of the flowers I’d sown a while back have survived too- Yarrow and Foxglove. I’ve also started quite a bit- Lettuce, Columbine, Bellflower, Jacob’s Ladder and more…

More to start as we’re finally getting some warmer weather- hopefully soon we’ll have some nice tomatoes to go in our salads! This was picked fresh this week- it has Lettuce, Mizuna, Tatsoi, Radish, Mache, Spinach and Beet greens.


Happy Gardening to you, and I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day!



  • Kate/High Altitude Gardening

    Well, first of all, I'm very glad to hear that your Father is doing okay. That's a scary thing. And, now onto the seedlings.... oh, don't you just love this time of year? My house is full to over flowing with baby veggies who must wait a whole 'nother month before I transplant them outdoors.

  • CanadianGardenJoy

    Tessa that is wonderful about your dad recovering so well ! but I too would wonder what kind of doctors kept missing something so wrong ? you really become pesimistic about health care when a story like your dad's comes to light. But all finally went well and your dad is a firecracker ! LOL
    You didn't lose much at all really and those salad greens look fantastic ! It must have been such a relief to see that so much did hang on for you to come home : )
    Don't forget to take care of yourself too .. that was a lot of stress .. you need some rest as well .. but I know "garden therapy" is a wonderful relaxing aspect of our lives : )
    Good luck with the rest of the garden babies !
    Joy : )

  • Corner Gardener Sue

    Hi Tessa,
    I hope your dad is doing well now. I'm glad most of your plants survived. The seeds I started inside did not have enough room in the little expandable pots, and I didn't get them moved to bigger ones, so the plants got stunted. I planted some, and they are hanging in there. If I don't get the rest planted, they won't make it.

    I planted that Marvel... lettuce, and it's red like yours. It may not have gotten enough water at first, but it's getting plenty now. I always plant my lettuce seeds in the ground. I've enjoyed eating the first crops while still small.

    I love your photos, especially the last one.

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