The annual garden plot of seven year old Prince William is a lot like Life itself, good, bad and indifferent.
His tomato plants are thriving, plus his bed of zinnias is in full bloom. He has one sweet potato plant, rooted by a neighbor for him, that’s about ready for life support. The one cucumber plant is huge and I have given life support to it by propping up with a wire stand. His mom reminded me it needs another male plant to reproduce and there is a much smaller plant beside it. Have no idea of the sex of these plants.
Quite frankly, despite the fact I grew up on a farm, I’m not much of a farmer. Never was an animal person, and mostly what I learned about gardening was trial and error, after leaving the farm and trying to grow a garden.
The weather here in Northeast Georgia is in triple digits this first of July, dog-days. Which means I water Will’s garden 3 times a day.
This morning when I turned the hose on and began by watering a small batch of dianthis in full bloom, I saw something moving in the center. Upon further examination discovered a tiny black bird had fallen down in the little flower bed and had opened its beak to drink water from the hose.
The radish Will planted popped out of the ground, and for some strange reason, just expired about a week later.
We planted a half-dozen pepper plants – cayenne and bell pepper, and they appear to be candidates for intensive care. For some reason his little garden is not thriving this year like it has in other years since he was three years old.
Early this morning watered all the ferns and other hanging baskets around my patio gazebo, and saw squirrels and chipmunks scurrying around for water. I filled the birdbath, so they could jump in and cool off.
Just over my fence, my neighbor has a large vineyard of blueberry bushes, and the squirrels and birds were feasting on her wonderful blue-berry bushes. She has installed all kinds of gagets and netting to out wit the wildlife from devouring her blueberries, to no avail.
I never cease to wonder at the persistence of nature to have its way. Self-preservation is the first law, and like many humans they disregard boundaries of property. A glaring example is the fact my mailbox is attached to the house at my front door and a little brown thrasher has taken up residency in it, and has built a rather impressive nest inside. I pointed it out to the mail man, and he calmly assured me he would not disturb and would leave my mail on a rack below the mail-box.
Living close to Lake Lanier, there is a population of wildlife, like coyotes and deer that wander into town from time to time. My fenced in back yard keeps them out, but I have seen them in my front yard. Which has a very large pecan tree in it, and every year the squirrels outwit me and eat and gather to store in the ground for winter, before the pecans hit the ground.
I’m not complaining, because I do enjoy the wildlife surrounding me, and love observing the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and even like the large hawk that sat frequently on by back fence, until I realized it was predatory, just watching for a vulnerable bird to dive into and feast upon. Now I shoo it away.
I enjoy watching the bees pollinate, and the beautiful butterflies floating around.
Prince William loves coming here and he too has a lot of interest in observing the wildlife, but wants to build traps to catch them. He has never successfully caught anything but keeps trying.
His little garden plot does not produce enough to warrant a booth at the farmers market, but it is mostly a teaching experience for Will to learn how to grow things and re-cyle seeds.
His interests are so varied from baseball, karate, swimming, tennis, art and science, he’s a wonder to try and keep up with. And his latest project is playing pool, in the basement recreation room his Dad converted. Told me he would teach me how to play pool,and I will give it a try on my next visit.
Yesterday when he was here my TV was on the blink, so he couldn’t watch cartoons. We played games, then he decided he wanted to build a volcano. I gave him the vinegar and soda, he went to the playroom, while I worked on the computer. When he left, I saw seven glass jars filled with his volcano-building experiment. I just closed the door and left his project there til his next visit.
If you as a reader of my articles and don’t have a young child in your life, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. I suggest you find a neighbor who has a young one, and ask to borrow, to discover the joy of having one around. I teach Will, but he too teaches and entertains me, when he’s here.
LET FREEDOM RING