Cold fronts keep rolling through Texas, so they reach all the way to Houston in a way they haven’t done for a number of years. People are pulling wooly sweaters and even overcoats out of their closets.
By four PM today, however, it had warmed into the sixties, so I took our B dog for her walk. On the street behind our building, a few houses down from the razed house I blogged about earlier, a woman keeps a lovely rose garden. Even this time of year, it has blossoms—souvenir de la malmaison, for one.
The woman who nurtures these roses was out in the garden, in the sunshine, and I wondered if she was preparing to prune them. It would have been early, of course. Pruning roses is done traditionally in our area in mid-February.
I spoke to her, and she called me over to show me something. She pointed to the pink rose, spread generously across one bed, and then to the arched trellis. “Cherry tomatoes,” she said.
The tomato bush was a good eight feet in width, and lush, even before it climbed the trellis. A few yellow blossoms peeked out from beneath the foliage. “Here,” she said, and she handed me a tiny golden tomato, no bigger than my thumbnail. “I’ve picked a lot of them today, and this is the last one,” she said.
There was an eggplant, too, although that plant—even bigger than the tomato—had been nipped by a freeze.
“How deep are these beds?” I asked.
“Oh, they’ve been there a long time and they keep sinking. Three feet deep, I guess.”
Maybe that’s the reason for the prolific vegetables. Or maybe it has to do with her fertilizer—a diet of banana peels, alfalfa and fish emulsion, covered with a nice deep mulch of pine needles.
Something to ponder.