My pickle cucumbers are growing like gangbusters. (Or Eric’s pickle cucumbers, if you like.) They’re more than twice as big as the vining cucumbers I planted at the same time, and that were the same size at that time. The pickle cucumbers are bush, they’re hybrid, they’re growing in a more sheltered part of the garden, and they’re also planted in more acidic (because I put sulfur in for the blueberry) soil. I don’t know which of these–if it’s not just caprice–is doing it. I’m not sure whether I should start experimenting with the other cucumbers or just leave well enough alone. Come to think of it, the only thing I can change is the acidity of the soil anyway.

The strawberries I started from seed are finally looking like actual strawberries, and I’m contemplating whether it’s time to plant them outside. I’ve run out of planters and the strawberry bed is the herb bed this year, so this would require buying a new planter–something I’m not terribly averse to if truth be told. I also want to buy a tenth tomato plant to replace the one I killed. Or maybe an eggplant–the Togas are very bedraggled, but they are getting better.

At any rate, the strawberries need room until next year. Next year, I plan to put all the herbs in the side yard, which is currently occupied by grass, daylilies, and dryer lint, plus a tree that was strangled to death by some vine last year. My plan for fall–or whenever I get the energy for it–is to move the daylilies to the corner of the yard where it’s shady and fairly ugly, and also to the new island I created around the pear and peach trees. I will cut down the tree, clean up the beds, and put my herbs there next spring.

Ideally, I’d pull up all the grass entirely (Eric would love this) and put down some lovely stone I saw at the local water garden shop, with an island in the middle for creeping thyme and maybe a dwarf fruit tree or some berry bushes. (Would my raspberries survive if I moved them? I now have–oh, excitement–five whole flowers on the one that really seems to be growing. And surrounding them with stone would be a way to contain them, should they take off.) Realistically, I’ll widen the beds to cut down on mowing a bit. We’re leaving the house in a couple of years, or I’d push harder for my dream herb garden. If we weren’t going to be selling the house, I’d also be more interested in taking Eric up on his offer to expand the garden. Next year’s cucumbers will also need lots of room to grow.

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