My “Cair Paravel”: Everything is relative

I came back last Wednesday from a wonderful family trip to Iceland, with a short stop in Toronto to visit my in-laws.  Iceland is an amazing contrast of perfectly developed towns and tourist attractions, against untouched landscapes of vast fields, roaring cataracts and steaming springs.  I was very surprised when I realized that those Icelandic landscapes evoked memories of Mexico! I will have to devote a post or two to explain that, once I get some good photos organized.  Anyway, back home, after we brought our luggage inside and checked the house, I headed to the backyard to assess my garden’s situation.  Again, I felt transported to a different world, and a different timeline, in which I had been away for more than just ten days.  I thought of that passage in the “Chronicles of Narnia”, when the Pevensie children (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) go back to their castle in Cair Paravel (the lesser court) after a one-year absence, but centuries have passed by in Narnia: everything was overgrown and different.  That is exactly what happened in my garden, as illustrated above and in the following “before” (May 29-June 2) and “after” (June 13-14) photos:

june 1 to 14 comparison tomato and basil
I placed upside down bottles filled with water in the pots where my “baby” plants had been transplanted; that and a couple of rain showers during my absence provided enough moisture for the seedlings to grow and fill the pots, as shown for a cherry tomato and two basil plants (black arrows marking same length)
June comparisons parsnip
From left on each photo: the asparagus fronds grew taller and wider; the tomato seedlings filled their ring cages; and the blooming parsnip grew about one foot (the fence is seven feet tall, as a reference)
June comparisons strawberries
Some strawberries were over-ripened, or had suffered bug damage, but I was able to harvest about two cups of nice ones, and there are some more to come
June comparisons cherries
Many cherries dropped, got moldy or were eaten by the birds.  Hopefully a few will reach full ripeness
June comparisons black currants
The black currant berries seem to be ripening well; no damage to leaves or to the fruit
June comparisons raspberries
The raspberries were blooming, and now are growing fruit and doing great

Before leaving for Iceland, I was wondering if the invasive weeds would overwhelm the edible ones, such as purslane.  It rained a couple of times while I was away, so all weeds spread and grew.  The two photos below (taken yesterday) show two different areas of the garden.  On the left, a tomato seedling was overwhelmed by invasive weeds, whereas the photo on the right shows a patch of purslane thriving and keeping clover at bay.

June comparisons weeds invasive and edible
Left: invasive weeds overwhelming a tomato seedling; right: purslane, an edible weed popular in Mexican dishes, thriving and keeping clover in check

I will have some weeding to do in the next few days, but no plant died.  The birds and bugs got some of my berries, but so did I, and more are still ripening.  And my family and I had a great vacation, so I guess Mother Nature has been fair, providing something for all plants, animals and gardener alike.  As many would say in Iceland: “þetta reddast” (roughly translates to “everything will work out all right in the end.”)

7 thoughts on “My “Cair Paravel”: Everything is relative

  1. Irenita:
    ¡Islandia! No lo puedo creer. Tenemos que escribirnos más seguido.
    Te extraño mucho.

    Un beso grande


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