How does your garden grow?

Here we go again. Since the end of February, we’ve been enjoying strangely-early, spring-like temperatures here in N.C. While I’m absolutely not complaining, that’s been a slap-in-the-face wake-up call that I need to get moving in my garden.

Last year was my first experiment with growing anything other than houseplants or herbs. I mean, I’ve killed bamboo. But somehow it was successful, and I enjoyed quite a bounty for my measly efforts. Along the way, I learned some lessons, so I had it together enough to start my seedlings early, the first week of February. Last fall, as our warm weather continued through November, I picked late tomatoes and saved their seeds by drying them on paper towels. When I was planting my other seeds this year, I just popped those off the paper towel, and they’re growing! Pretty neat.

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I bless the rains down in Africa.

I received some very important mail this weekend … my travel documents for South Africa! I hinted back in January about a big international trip I was taking and now I can confirm it. In May we’re going to Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria. Really, they had me at “safari,” “winery tour” and “high tea.”

This trip will mark my second time crossing the equator, and adds another continent to my count: 4. Like most things, my father has declared that to be a competition, so we’ll just have to see who makes it to Antarctica first. My money’s on him.

I have a couple of months to study up, and I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. I’ve already watched Invictus, and my grandmother keeps recommending various Nelson Mandela biographies. I’ll tackle those in my “spare time,” I suppose.

Oh, and I hear it looks like this. Whoa.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary.

It’s looking like the end of the summer growing season. Sad.

I’ve always had a pretty black thumb, even with houseplants, but this year was my first experiment with true gardening. I’d call it relatively successful. For the first time in my adult life, I have outdoor space, even if it’s only a 3′ x 7′ plot. It was important to me to try to grow my own organic food, and I have enjoyed taking care of my little plants.

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