And Now for Something Completely Different...

What on earth was I thinking selecting a lettuce patch to observe for a whole month? Other than it was on my mind in late December; I was thinking I desperately needed to weed and tidy up so I can get my daily leaves on the cheap. And perhaps I wanted to observe something I would never normally select, something on a smaller scale and easy to focus and concentrate. And something about which I was in no thread of holding practical considerations, as in weeding.  So here it is.

January 19,  9.15PM.

There are a few colors, shapes and textures in my patch.  My eyes go straight to the purple lettuce leaves because that is what I like to eat.  On sunny mornings, the scent of basil distracts me.  And then the clovers because they are not supposed to be there.  I like the darker orange of the marigold, but I think it look lovelier when standing next to the yellower marigold, or above moist dark soil. 

I pay much attention to the tiny shoots coming along.  Rocket sprouts within days of sowing.  In the bottom right quadrant, bok choy (I think that's where I put them) are on their way.  Ben loves that we have green onions in the patch this year (first time) but there is his big footprint in the middle left, and there are seeds under it, too. Right under me, I did put in the second packet of broad beans, and they have come out.  I don't know if they will grow this late in the season, but I was particularly unsatisfied by the first lot so I'm hoping.  Broad bean sprouts are big and healthy and strong, nothing sprouty about them.  They look like embryonic leaves, (I think that's how I want to describe them) rather than "regular" sprouts that look totally different from the plants they will become. 

The soil is intriguing; after a few sunny windy days, it turns dry and lighter in color.  When I water, if the soil is very dry, the water won't go in straight away but sits on top and contemplates before allowed in.  Some evenings I think I soaked the patch well enough, but when I pick a few weeds the soil can be dry just under the surface.  And then other days, like today, after a good soak and then sun and wind, the surface will look dry, but under the surface the moisture still remains.

These are all things I learned in grade school, but a) I have to "live" it to relearn it, and b) because I am unsophisticated in my thinking, I am starting to develop a Pavlovian dislike for the color and texture of the dry soil.  I weeded a little bit at lunch time.

I love marigolds, but I only ever plant them around my veggie patch.  Next year, I might put them all over the place.  Cute, healthy and lovely smelling, I have no idea why I never thought of it as a "proper" flower.  

I found two pansies growing amongst the purple lettuces. :-)


Kaz said...

Beautiful and engaging post!

Meg said...

Far more than you needed to know about a lettuce patch! :-D