Hidden Talents Revealed

Hello there!  Just a small post to give an update on my first ever attempt at gardening!  Milwaukee, like the rest of the Midwest, has been in the grip of a fairly severe drought, which has meant putting in some serious time with the garden hose, and dragging gallon jogs of water to the plants in the front.  This is good think time if nothing else, and given that the fact that the Rosebud Reservation, my former home of three years, has lost over 40,000 acres to wildfires this week, is not really anything to complain about, on my end.

Questions that occur to me whilst watering: “Why do we use potable water to irrigate crops, lawns, and ornamentals?” Isn’t there a way we could use “grey” water, and reduce the burden on treatment centers/municipal infrastructure?”  Also, “If I didn’t have access to running water from a spigot attached to my building, would I bother with this? The artisan well is like four blocks away. Seems like a lot of effort. And “Why doesn’t Wisconsin have any irrigators?” Seems like every other field in South Dakota has one. (turns out, soil composition matters).  Not particularly profound think time, but good meditative space.

The ornamentals in front seem to enjoy the watering routine the most – they are taking off!


This has certainly been an experience!  Back in May, I planted two varieties of tomatoes, three types of bell pepper, cucumbers, sweet peas, sunflowers, basil, snap dragons, and evening primrose.  Some were shocking failures – the pepper plants were consumed practically overnight by evil looking little grubs. What eats peppers? The cucumbers were eaten to the ground shortly after sprouting. I saved one, and kept it covered, only to have it eaten anyway when the cover blew off. The sweet peas succumbed over night to an unnamed malady (green to dead in less than 24 hours – it was like plant cholera). And my poor, long suffering sunflowers…

Seriously, these poor things have been hit by lawnmowers twice (I hate renting), but are still preparing to bloom!

On the brighter side, the containers have been doing quite well!

Perfect little snapdragons – with another plant developing buds. These are some of my favorite flowers!

After six weeks of waiting, the little basil plants are taking off! I’ll be ready to snip some leaves in time to enjoy with the first fresh tomatoes!

Brightest of all – these tomatoes are out. of. control. I was planning on taking up canning this summer, but now it seems like more of a self defense move. I can’t wait for them to start turning red!

Roma tomatoes coming in strong! I’m looking forward to a winter filled with soups and sauces with the taste of summer.

The little snack tomatoes are going absolutely crazy – I’m going to have to take time of work just to get the harvest in!

Absolutely love these deep purple pansies. I never thought they’d live after I rescued them from a sunbaked mark down table in early July.


So, what we’ve learned this year so far is that easy to grow/un-kill-able plants are the best bet for a beginner. Anything hardy, invasive, weed-like, or prone to growing in sewers is amazing. Anything delicate, or likely to be run over by crazy landscapers is best left to the veteran. Thanks for looking! I’m going outside again now to see if the tomatoes are ready.


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