Gardening 365 – Day 131, Dear Friends and Fellow Gardeners

Aha! Today is the official last frost date in Boise, ID. I don’t trust em one bit -partly because it is actually the AVERAGE last frost date, which by definition means half the time it happens earlier and half the time it happens later. Emphasis on the “later.” I’ve been humbled by more than one incidence of a hard frost as late as May 27th. One year my poor Japanese maple looked like it had been riddled with buckshot after a hard frost late in May. Don’t trust ’em.

One the bright side, and I do mean bright,I saw a Western Tanager this morning. A bright red and yellow bird, they move through in the spring headed south to warmer climates. They are generally here for about a week. You can’t miss them:
George Vlahakis photo from USFS.

Meanwhile, for Dee and Carol, things were lookin’ up at Ranch du Bois the last couple of days. I planted my violet and gold pole beans. Planting the rest of the tomatoes today, and the artichokes, too.

I harvested a big bunch of arugula and some spicy greens last night and made a fantastic ricotta/parmesan/pine nut/roasted garlic pesto with them. MMMMMMMgood. I whirled all the greens, the garlic, the toasted pine nuts, a dollop of olive oil and some parm in the food processor. Add a touch of fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt. As the pasta cooks, mash the pesto (about a cup of it) with about a cup (more or less, whatever blows your skirt up) with ricotta (if you have it, if not, no big woop). Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of pasta water to the side. I put a little of this (hot) into the cheese/pesto mix to make it a little easier stir into the pasta. Eat w/relish, not pickle relish, but verve!

I know Indy is making fresh salads every day. I am almost there. Every OTHER day.

I can see all of 5 teeny apricots on the Tomcot, but noticed the leaves are not developing. I think this is the result of the wind and hail and rugged weather we had when the tree was blooming. It may or may not recover. I did scrape back some of the bark and clipped a twig – still nice and green – signs of life in the tree. Good news with the pears: the ones that have finished blooming are showing little bitty pears, about the size of a pea. There will be some drop, but I hope to have at least a couple to write about in the fall. The apple espalier seems to need something. I’ve got the soil bagged up for a soil test. I’ll send that off this week. There are blossoms on the top branches, but none on the lower two rungs.

Strawberries – yes, I read that Dee was eating hers already. That’s OK for ya. OKLAHOMA. I have little green nubbins and tons of blossoms.

Now garlic, I’ve got garlic greens (no scapes yet), walking onions and little spring onions. Planted some more really red lettuce. I reseed every few days in the bare spots to keep it coming on.

If the weather cooperates, and that’s a HUGE “IF,” I will keep puttering away and stuffing plants in flower beds until I get it all in the ground. You know my mantra: bountiful beautiful borders. Which is why, the tomatoes are tucked in with the blue shag white pines and next to the photinia. Just to crank it up a notch, I am using new hot pink tomato supports. Gotta love the razzle dazzle of it all.

Let’s hope for a great garden year: productive and pretty. Until next week,
Your wild west garden gal, MA