Posted by: David | May 7, 2012

Early May Photo Post

Here we are in May already. This has been one of the quickest academic years I can remember. The commencement tent went up last Tuesday, which started sunny and ended not. Today being Monday the 7th, the tent is probably no longer there. The rental company crew were packing up the chairs within two hours of commencement’s conclusion, when I blew out of town. This week’s a vacation week for me. Yay. I need it, my speech was beginning to slur.

You can barely make it out, but the crew is pounding in the posts and …

… the tent is all put up by early afternoon, with stacks of folding chairs.

The morning of commencement was cold and overcast, but by the time the new grads processed out of the tent to receive their congratulations from family, their professors, friends and college staff, the sun was making its way through the clouds.

The bookstore, very close to my office, is where the graduating seniors come to pick up their caps and gowns.

Also last week, a store that I drive by to and from work is finally opening after more than a year of extensive renovations. They did a wonderful job restoring the place. There will be more to show you from this place. They have some very cool stuff in there.

The store is called “Vernondales”. It was once the Post Office.

Some weeks earlier … there was this lovely floral arrangement with a strange and unearthly looking flower in it.

It’s a crested celosia. I didn’t know until …

I ran around the Natural Sciences department showing the photo on my phone to various professors. We don’t have a botany specialist, but one intrepid teacher found the species name after 10 minutes of Googling images with terms like “red flower that looks like coral”. Other profs used search terms like “giant clam”. Or “brains” …

This is the backyard garden view one frosty morning in April. Friday the 13th it was. You can see that the garlic was pretty small back then.

Here’s the garlic a couple of days ago. About a foot high and doing very well.

A closer view of the garlic. The stalks are about a half-inch thick. They have another two months to grow.

In the first bed before the 4 main beds of garlic is an experimental garlic bulbil planting.

Yesterday my wife planted some onion plants, larger ones that she purchased. Our onion seedlings from seed that I saved are back on track after one tray failed. Apparently that tray was accidentally dried out and the surviving seedlings never fully recovered. So, the first 6 beds are all garlic and onions. It’s been pointed that I may have gone a little overboard on the garlic and where the hell are we going to put our peppers and cabbage and all that other stuff we like to grow? Have no reply to that.


  1. Your neck of the woods looks so storybook and peaceful, and it’s reassuring to know that you will never, ever have vampires. How many acres do you live on?

    I love those search terms for that flower! It’s gorgeous, but it does look kind of clam-like.

    Happy, happy vacation week!!!

    Embarrassing how long it took me to get the vampire/garlic reference. 😦

    Our plot is about 10 acres. Less than half of it is under our control, the other half is wild with awful prickerbushes, scrubby conifers, and a little bit of swampy wetland. We love it and feel pretty lucky to have landed here.

    Yes, it’s a very odd looking flower. As a flower lover, I can’t say I like it, but it’s worth some attention.

    Thanks for the vacation wishes. We had a nice time at the kids place yesterday. The peanut came outside and watched us digging the garden for a while, then the blackflies started biting. Today was heavy rain. But good rain.

  2. Isn’t there some kind of Oscar awarded every year for garlic growing? I’m going to look into that and get you nominated… Or do you already have a bunch of those little statues stacked around someplace?

    I do hope my one bed of garlic doesn’t get that rust stuff on it again– (I planted in a new place as an evasive action.)

    Get every inch of happy out of that vacation, Dave!

    No Oscars here for anything. But that’s OK. One thing with garlic that’s so wonderful is how it’s up so early in the spring and how it stands through one frost after another. Another thing is its remarkable reproductive cycle.

    Smart idea to move your garlic to another spot. I read somewhere that if you have a variety you particularly like you can beat the diseases by allowing the scapes to go to maturity and planting the bulbils. It takes a longer time for them to mature, but this can break the cycle of soil-borne problems.

    Thanks for the vacation wishes. So far so good.

  3. I’ve commented before that there’s no such thing as too much garlic. But I inadvertently found out with last night’s spaghetti sauce that, yes, there is a limit. And I exceeded it.

    I’ve seen celosias before, on rare occasions. They are colorful, but their form is not my cup of tea.

    Yes, there is such a thing as too much garlic, and I may be exploring the mathematical limit if my crop does well. Fortunately, I have no trouble finding people to give some to, for eating or for planting. I plan to buy a food dehydrator this year and may try to make some dried garlic. We dried onions a few years ago and they kept for almost 2 years.

    I’d never seen celosias before. They’re rather horrible looking, I concur. I didn’t think it was a real flower when I first saw it.

  4. You can never have too much garlic. I am finally going to have a garden this year. My son-in-law is preparing 4 raised beds (our soil is really just sand so we had to buy soil). Moonbeam is right; at least you won’t have vampires.

    Until you said that, Moonbeam’s reference went wooooooshh, right over my head. Duh. Maybe you’d like to try growing some garlic. I’ll send you some to plant if so.

    Raised beds are great. One thing you’ve got access to there is seaweed. That makes a pretty good mulch.

    • Are you serious about the garlic? I would love some. We are serious here about garlic. I put it in almost everything and not just one clove either. Let me know I will message you my address on Facebook.

      Oh yea. See you on the Facebook …

  5. But what are you going to do with so much garlic? surely you can’t cook it all

    You’re right nursemyra, it’s more than we can use. I’ll end up giving some away. I have gardening friends that say they’d like to try growing it. I would also like to try dehydrating some garlic this year. Dried some onions a couple years back and they turned out to store very well and to be a very useful cooking ingredient, along with dehydrated tomatoes slices.

  6. Sorry, David, I am nowhere to be found because I am caught in a lawsuit as a member of what is here called an owners’ association, the people who own flats in this building. The association is managed by a firm. That firm was sold to another firm without telling us. That second firm let things slip by without getting the necessary authorization based on a majority of votes, and now we want to hang them to prevent them from hanging us.

    Since most of the other owners are illiterate, the problem is in the legally nonsensical decisions they take.

    Thanks for your very kind apology, but I am also nowhere to be found lately. I’m sorry to hear that you’re caught in a lawsuit, it sounds like a nightmare. I hope that sanity prevails.

  7. The flower-brain may attract plant-zombies! Do garlic and onions ward off vampires or just regular folks?

    Good one S. Le! I would avoid the hideous celosia myself. However, the garlic and onions, of the genus allium, are my favorites. They shouldn’t repel anyone.

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