I read over the weekend that the Pope chose the name “Francis,” in part, because Francis of Assisi was a man of peace. I also read the following line in an anthology of garden writing: “The garden is a symbol of peace and gardeners have usually been inoffensive men.” So with that, I have redoubled my gardening efforts, though the weather has been wicked and duplicitous this month (a light coating of snow greeted me this morning).
At this point, I have two sets of bush peas planted in self-watering containers, which are set inside of walls of water (pictured to the right). I also have spinach, kale, and lettuce planted in two miniature greenhouses and two cold frames.
The cold frames (you can see the corner of one in the picture) have been great. Most of my spinach “winter overred” in the frames, with the result that we have already started harvesting a small amount this year. The cold-framed kale is also coming up nicely, despite the cold weather and pockets of snow outside.
I’ve noticed a dichotomous pattern emerge in my gardening: equipment is either a miserable failure or a resounding success. My tumbling composter, medium-sized greenhouse, and worm bin: all failures (though I haven’t given up on the worm bin yet). The cold frames, miniature greenhouse, heat mat, grow lights, walls of water, and self-watering containers: all successes. I’m not sure I’ve had any average results from new gardening equipment.