“The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men”

Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
(The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!)

  • Robert Burns, To a Mouse (Poem, November, 1785)
    Scottish national poet (1759 – 1796)

I decided to start today’s post with a bit of poetry after thinking about a conversation I had Thursday at the Bridgeton Disaster Relief site.  I worked with a retired federal agent who is now an adjunct professor of English at the local community college and a young woman whose husband teaches English.  We were discussing the fact that society seems to be reverting to the monosyllabic grunting style of communication that we ostensibly left behind with the development of culture and the written word.  The status of the well spoken or written word seems to have peaked, possibly a hundred years ago.  It surely doesn’t seem to be as honored or respected in our current times.  Now we text, “how r u?” and “where r u?”  and so forth.  But I digress.

While yesterday didn’t go quite as planned, it was hardly “nothing but grief and pain”. I intended to be at the WildWest Community garden by mid-morning, and barely made it by noon.  Then I spent 3 hours there and didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I had planned.  However, I did have several enjoyable conversations with other gardeners and one visitor.  After all, that’s what “community” in the name means.  So all in all, it was time well spent.

I brought all my seed potatoes in hopes of getting to the church community garden and putting more in the ground.  Also hoped to give away the rest.  I had takers for 3 potatoes which leaves me with probably 25 pounds of seed potatoes.  I ordered WAY too many seed potatoes for several reasons.  I wanted to try several heirloom varieties, the minimum order was 2.5 lb per variety, and it didn’t costs much more to add the additional varieties after paying the initial surcharge for shipping potatoes.  I had also hoped I could save some of the shipment in a dark, cool place in the basement and plant in the fall.  However, when I checked on them yesterday, I discovered that they had all sprouted long white sprouts.  Some had grown through the net storage bags.   Although I knew I would have too many, I didn’t realize just how many too many.

I brought 6 tomato plants to plant.  I gave away 2 because I realized my temporary trellis doesn’t really work the way I thought it would.  And I broke the top off the Kibits Ukranian tomato plant trying to get it out of the pot.  Sigh.  So I planted the root ball and the short leader.  We’ll see what happens.  It was already at its mature height of 18″   with flowers.  I ended up planting a Pink Accordion, an Amazon Chocolate, and a Hartmann’s yellow gooseberry.  I couldn’t bury the main stem as deeply as I needed to because the bed is only 10″ deep.

I brought 6 tomato plants to plant.  I gave away 2 because I realized my temporary trellis doesn’t really work the way I thought it would.  And I broke the top off the Kibits Ukranian tomato plant trying to get it out of the pot.  Sigh.  So I planted the root ball and the short leader.  We’ll see what happens.  It’s supposed to only get to be 18″ tall and it was already there with flowers and all.  I ended up planting a Pink Accordion, an Amazon Chocolate, and a Hartmann’s yellow gooseberry along a temporary trellis one foot inside the north edge and between two 5′ metal fence posts.  It doesn’t seem particularly stable so now I need a more permanent structure.

When I left the garden at 3:30, I grabbed some lunch and headed to Shaw Nature Reserve for the Native Plant Sale.  As a member of Wild Ones, I normally work a few hours at this sale but didn’t have the time or energy for it this year.   I bought fewer plants this year – some for the rain garden at the corner of the garage, a pipe vine for my red ladder, and a few plants for the dry part shade areas in front.

Wooden ladder to become trellis for pipe vine

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