I'm Back!

Don't worry, I'm doing well. The garden is awesome.  It is just time for me to retire the current blog platform (it has gotten frustratingly slow to write posts and upload photos), bite the bullet, and build my own blog.  This may take a month or so but it will give me a chance to learn some new programming skills and think about where I want to go from here career-wise.  I'm still trying to figure out if there's a place for me on a programming team at a company or if I should strike out on my own as a garden blogger/app builder/jill-of-all-trades.  Anyway, before I sign off for renovations, here's some pictures!

Flea beetles be damned - that's a gorgeous head of broccoli!  I never got around to spraying or trying the "cucumber on a tin pie plate" trick to repel the beetles but things turned out fine anyway. Neglect wins again.

Speaking of neglect, there will not be any pictures of the plot until I get the weeds in my paths under control.  My priority has been weeding around the vegetable but it is starting to look pretty wild.  I may have to take the weed-whacker out there tomorrow. Today I harvested big bags of english peas, fava beans, green beans and broccoli side-shoots. We will be eating well this week.

Below:  After seeing that my neighbor's cactus survived the winter, I had to have my own.  This is an eastern prickly pear - more cold hardy and won't get very big - but it reminds me of Texas.

The hollyhocks I started from mixed-color seed two winters ago have finally bloomed and I am thrilled.  They are easily 7 feet tall and the blooms are 4-5 inches across. The plant in the backyard is a pale butter yellow.  Next year a few more should bloom including a "black" hollyhock.

Over the fourth we had a great visit with my brother Alex, sister in law Elly, and baby James.  We showed them around Boston, went to the Cape for lobster and a little beach time, and even hung out with "Sir Poops-a-lot" so they could have a night on the town. Henry was a real champ with little James though he seems pretty relieved to have his peace and quiet back.

Below: We were curious about how much fur Henry shed when he blows his winter coat - this is what we collected during grooming sessions in the last month, and doesn't include what just fell off and was vacuumed up.