Stiles drags himself up to his room, feet heavy on the
stairs. He’d thought, now that summer was starting, he’d have a better chance.
With all this free time, surely someone would let him take them on one date. But he’d been turned down time
and time again.
So he’s back at his dad’s place, and it seems even less
likely that he’ll find someone, now that he’s away from campus.
Spoilers. 10/10 recommend. Also there’s a huge spoiler at the end end of the book. *evil cackles* Seriously. Read it. REEEEAD IT. NOW FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE::
- Perhaps when my task here was done, I’d burn this manor to the ground, too. Starting with those roses.
- But it was the vines—the thorns—that had made it unlivable. My old bedroom had been overrun with them. They’d curved and slithered over the walls, entwined themselves amongst the debris. As if they’d crawled off the trellises beneath my windows, as if a hundred years had passed and not months.
- To see Ianthe. And at last decide how I was going to shred her into pieces.
- Healing. Alive and healing. I reminded myself of that every day. Even when I still heard their screams, smelled their blood.
- That was my first step: make Tamlin believe, truly believe, that I loved him and this place, and everyone in it. So that he would not suspect when I turned them on each other.
- Not to demand the whereabouts of the two sets of wings his father had kept as trophies after he’d butchered Rhysand’s mother and sister.
- I let my glow spread, until it, too, rippled from Lucien’s bowed form. A knight before his queen.
- I was the nightmare. Preying on what Tamlin had feared from my very first days here. I had not forgotten that long-ago fight he’d picked with Lucien. The warning he’d given him to stop flirting with me. To stay away. The fear that I’d preferred the red-haired lord over him
- “What have you done,” Lucien breathed, and Tamlin’s face was the picture of devastation as Lucien shoved him aside.
- And if I could have painted that moment, I would have named it A Portrait in Snares and Baiting.
- Alis squeezed my hand. “Blood rubies or no, you will always have one friend in the Summer Court.” My throat bobbed. “And you will always have one in mine,” I promised her. She knew which court I meant. And did not look afraid.
- “I’m going with you,” he said again, face splattered with blood as bright as his hair. “I’m getting my mate back.” There was no time for this argument. For the truth and debate and the answers I saw he desperately wanted. Tamlin and the others would have heard the shouting by now. “Don’t make me regret this,” I told him.
- Cassian had taught me to always have a second escape route. Always.
- “But I think letting his court collapse around him is a better punishment. Certainly longer than an easy death.”
- “Tell me about her—about Elain,” Lucien said quietly.
- Closer and closer to the shore, to the awaiting party of sentries that winnowed in out of nowhere. No, no, no—A shadow slammed into the earth before us, cracking the ice toward every horizon. Not a shadow. An Illyrian warrior.
- “There’s no such thing as a High Lady,” one of Lucien’s brothers spat. A faint smile played on my mouth. “There is now.” And it was time for the world to know it.
- And as those violet eyes met mine, as that familiar half smile faded … My face crumpled. A small, broken noise cracked from me. Rhys was instantly moving, but my legs had already given out. The foyer carpet cushioned the impact as I sank to my knees. I covered my face with my hands while the past month crashed into me. Rhys knelt before me, knee to knee.
- Lucien said nothing while Rhys spoke. Or when I continued with my tale, Cassian often chiming in with his own account of how it’d been to live with two mated-yet-un-mated people, to pretend Rhys wasn’t courting me, to welcome me into their little circle.
- “And you love him. And he—he truly does love you.” Lucien dragged a hand through his red hair. “And all these people I have spent my centuries hating, even fearing … They are your family.” “I think Amren would probably deny that she feels any affection for us—” “Amren is a bedtime story they told us as younglings to make us behave. Amren was who would drink my blood and carry me to hell if I acted out of line. And yet there she was, acting more like a cranky old aunt than anything.”
- “I hadn’t realized I was a villain in your narrative,” Lucien breathed.
- “As far as I can recall, Cassian,” Rhys countered drily, “you actually said you needed a reprieve from staring at our ugly faces, and that some ladies would add some much-needed prettiness for you to look at all day.” “Pig,” Amren said.
- “I’ll never forget it, you know,” he said, blowing out a breath. “The moment when he spoke to us all, mind to mind. When I realized what was happening, and that … he’d saved us. Trapped us here and tied our hands, but …”
- “Why should I be scared of an oversized bat who likes to throw temper tantrums?”
- Again, that dry, quiet smile. “Why do you think Illyrians are so fit?” “Why did no one warn me about this cocky side of yours?” Azriel’s mouth twitched upward.
- “Nesta,” the Bone Carver murmured. “Nes-ta.” I squeezed Cassian’s hand. Enough. It was enough of this teasing and taunting. But he didn’t look at me. “How the wind moans her name. Can you hear it, too? Nesta. Nesta. Nesta.” I wasn’t sure Cassian was breathing.
- But Rhys rubbed his jaw, weighing, thinking. Then he said simply, “Only Nesta would not just conquer Death—but pillage it.”
- They outright gasped as Rhys simply perched on the arm of the throne, smirked at me, and said to the Court of Nightmares, “Bow.” For they had not. And with me seated on that throne … Their faces were still a mixture of shock and disdain as they all dropped to their knees.
- Cassian was halfway to Mor when she whirled on Rhys and said, “Why?” Her voice broke. And something in my chest cracked, too, at the tears that began running down her face.
- Cassian casually slid Nesta behind him, his fingers snagging in the skirts of her black gown. As if to reassure himself that she wasn’t in Amren’s direct path. Nesta only rose onto her toes to peer over his shoulder.
- Elain was staring at the spymaster now—unblinkingly. “We’re the ones who need …” Azriel trailed off. “A seer,” he said, more to himself than us. “The Cauldron made you a seer.”
- I caught Cassian glancing at me for the third time in less than a minute and demanded, “What?” His lips twitched at the corners. “You just look so …” “Here we go,” Mor muttered from where she picked at her red-tinted nails against the stair banister.
- “Welcome to the court,” he said to her. “You’re about to have one hell of a first day.” And to my eternal shock, a smile tugged at Nesta’s mouth.
- as Kallias opened his mouth—And then my friend squealed. Squealed. Both females hurtled for each other, and Mor’s squeal had turned to a quiet sob as she flung her arms around the slender stranger and hugged her tight. The female’s own arms were shaking as she gripped Mor.
- VIVIANE IS BADASS
- “She is Fae.” “No shit,” Viviane muttered under her breath, and Mor’s snort was cut off as Kallias raised his brows at them. Helion ignored them.
- “I rescind the blood rubies. Let there be no debts between us.” “Don’t expect Amren to return hers,” Cassian muttered. “She’s grown attached to it.” I could have sworn a smile tugged on Varian’s mouth.
- But Viviane nodded, chin high, and rose. “I will fight with you.” Cresseida stood a heartbeat later. “As will I.” Both of them looked to the males in their court. Tarquin and Kallias rose. Then Helion, smirking at me and Rhys. And finally Thesan—
- I let my gaze dart through the room, half paying attention to Helion’s musing on the wall and how to repair it, then dared study the High Lord for a heartbeat. Look at him. The nose is the same, the smile. The voice. Even Lucien’s skin is darker than his brothers’.
- Nesta was watching me carefully. I admitted to her, “Sometimes … I have problems with small spaces.” “I can’t get into a bathtub anymore. I have to use buckets.” I hadn’t known—hadn’t even thought that bathing, submerging in water…“ Nesta said.
- Nesta stepped forward. Then another step. And another. Until she was in front of Graysen, faster than anyone could see. Until Nesta smacked him hard enough that his head snapped to the side. “You never deserved her,” Nesta snarled into the stunned silence as Graysen cupped his face and swore, bending over. Nesta only looked back at me.
- Run, the Suriel mouthed once more, blood dribbling past its withered lips. That was pain in its eyes. Real pain, as mortal as any creature. And if Ianthe took it alive to Hybern … The Suriel knew it was a possibility. It had begged me for freedom once … yet it was willing to be taken. For me to run. Its milky eyes narrowed—in pain and understanding. Yes, it seemed to say. Go.
- Amren found me within twenty steps, a wrapped bundle in her arms. “Every time you lot leave me at home, someone manages to get gutted.”
- Amren and Varian didn’t even bother to join us. No, she’d just wrapped her legs around his waist, right there in front of us, and he’d stood, lifting her in one swift movement. I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp.
- “I CAN’T love him like that.” “Why?” “Because I prefer females.”
- “What?” she asked, coming to my side. “I was just thinking,” I said, smile growing, “that whenever you’re ready … I was thinking about how much fun I’m going to have playing matchmaker for you.”
- And then Nesta began screaming. Not in pain. But a name. Over and over. “CASSIAN.” Amren reached for her, but Nesta roared, “CASSIAN!” She scrambled to her feet, as if she’d leap into the skies.
- “He named his three personal ships after them,” Drakon said with a smile. And there, sailing at the front … I beheld the names of those ships. The Feyre. The Elain. And leading the charge against Hybern, flying over the waves, unyielding and without an ounce of fear … The Nesta. With my father … our father at the helm.
- The talons came first. Replacing fingers and feet. Then dark scales or perhaps feathers, I couldn’t get a look at them, covered his legs, his arms, his chest. His body contorted, bones and muscles growing and shifting. The beast form Rhys had kept hidden. Never liked to unleash.
- threw herself to her knees before Cassian. “Get up,” she sobbed, hauling at his shoulder. “Get up.” He tried—and failed. “You’re too heavy,” she pleaded, but still tried to raise him, fingers scrabbling in his black, bloodied armor. “I can’t—he’s coming—”
- Nesta didn’t stop him as he leaned up and kissed her—lightly. As much as he could manage. Cassian said softly, brushing away the tear that streaked down her face, “I will find you again in the next world—the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”
- “Don’t you touch my sister.”
- Rhys’s face was battered—bloody. His hands were still tipped in talons, his canines still elongated. Barely out of that beast form. “You—you freed her—” He was stammering. Shaking. I wasn’t entirely sure how he was even standing.
- It took me a moment to grasp it. What I saw. Rhys was sprawled on the rocky ground, wings draped behind him. He looked like he was sleeping. But as I breathed in—It wasn’t there. That thing that rose and fell with each breath. That echoed each heartbeat. The mating bond. It wasn’t there. It was gone. Because his own chest … it was not moving. And Rhys was dead.
- “Be happy, Feyre.” Tamlin said quietly.
- “Someone fish out dear Amren before she catches a cold.”
- “Hasn’t anyone told you? You’re disgustingly rich.” “Just because I have money doesn’t mean I need to spend it.” He squeezed my knee. “Good. We need someone with a head for money around here. I’ve been bleeding out gold left and right thanks to our Court of Dreams taking advantage of my ridiculous generosity.”
- A gift. All of it.
- There are more tales to be told in the land of Prythian … THE SERIES WILL CONTINUE IN 2018
How much land do you really need to be self sufficient?
With a world food crisis, drought and civil unrest over escalating food prices, around the world, we all have concerns about food security and the ability to feed our own families. An info-graphic is circulating the internet that tells us that we need a full 2 acres to be self sufficient in food on a omnivore diet, implying less land if one is vegan. The problem with a graphic like this is that it discourages experimentation, and assumes a one-size-fits all family eating style. It uses yield estimates taken from mono-cultural commercial agriculture and imposes them on the homestead. This discourages people who want to attempt to be self sufficient and live a more sustainable life. 2 acres is a substantial investment in a highly productive agricultural belt or near an urban area. And this info-graphic assumes highly productive land — expensive land.
So is 2 acres a reasonable estimate? That depends where you live and what you mean by “self-sufficiency”. When Canada was being divided up in homesteading grids — it was assumed that on the Prairies an average family would need a section of land (over 1,000 acres) to be self-sufficient. In those days, self-sufficient meant to survive to the next year, without grocery stores to fall back on. In Ontario and B.C. the amount of land necessary to feed and cloth a family was considered a ¼ section — 160 acres. That area provided water, food, energy, and a livelihood. Along the St. Laurence and in the Maritimes the amount of land needed was less — due to the proximity of fishing and water. The closer one is to fresh water, whether a stream or through rainfall, the less land that is necessary to sustain a family.
Those in the North or at higher elevations need more land to be self-sufficient. Its hard to grow food — other than livestock and hay — in a growing season that’s shortened by intermittent summer frost. But it can be done. Land in these areas is cheaper, too. You will need 5 to 15 acres to be productive in a Northern area and you will have more land dedicated to raising livestock and hay and less land dedicated to vegetables and fruit.
How much land do you need?
So what’s a reasonable estimate for how much land you really need to sustain your family?
Skip the 2,000 square foot house. Its unnecessary. A smaller footprint that builds upward is a better use of space, and is easier to heat and clean. Solar panels? Possibly if you are far enough south and have a good exposure. Wind? Micro-hydro? Methane? Wood? All are possibilities to explore for energy efficiency. Each property has to be assessed individually. There is no one-size-fits-all solution — except the grid. Cut the house footprint in half.
Livestock? Skip the pigs — they produce only meat and take up valuable space. Skip the corn unless you live in the South, where your summer has the heat value to ripen corn easily. The livestock doesn’t need it and its low on food value — 2 goats and 5 chickens can live on garden surplus, grass and weeds. 5 chickens will feed a family 2 dozen eggs a week in the peak laying season. They don’t need their own dedicated space. Put them in a movable chicken tractor and let them till the garden, eating bugs and weeds. Move them every morning during the growing season and it will improve your soil quality, too.
Goats can be housed in a shed near the house, a lean to onto the house or even the back of the garage. They only need a small bedding area and can be taken for walks in the hedgerows of your neighbourhood to feed on browse. They can be given a loafing area or be tethered in different spots around the yard to help keep down weeds. Protect them from stray dogs and predators and they will give you 8 to 10 years of the highest quality raw milk for drinking, cheese, yogourt and ice-cream. They can be fed with garden waste. Or share your field peas and produce with them, in exchange for their milk. Their manure will increase the fertility of the garden space. 2 full size dairy goats will give your family a gallon of milk a day and 3 kids for 90 lbs. of meat every fall. Live in an urban area? Invest in Nigerian Dwarf goats and half the production rates, as well as the food inputs.
Instead of corn in cooler regions, grow potatoes. They offer more calories and can be grown in more climates and take up less space. You can follow a crop of potatoes with kale for a longer harvest season, even in a colder climate.
Don’t forget the orchard
Fruit and nut trees are a must. Nut trees take a while to mature but the increase in protein is beneficial to you, and your livestock — plant them if you have the space. Dwarf fruit trees will grow on a 6 foot centre and can be trellised along a fence to increase yields per space. If space is at a premium, do consider trellising them — planting 6 feet apart in a one foot wide row. One dwarf tree will yield 75 lbs. of fruit, once it is mature. 10 trees trellised along a fence with a Southern exposure, blossom sooner in spring and have an extended growing season, and will give you enough fruit for a family for jamming, canning and preserving.
Berries and small fruits take up little space and can offer high vitamins and antioxidants to your diet. If wild roses and wild strawberries grow in your area than other berries will as well.
Sunflowers are an annual crop that provide an increase in protein for your diet, and can grow on the borders of the garden, taking up very little space.
Raised beds for vegetables
Vegetables, grown in raised beds or containers, give high yields and can be rotated for 3 season gardening — greens from spinach to lettuce to kale can rotate through the growing season to keep your plate full for daily salads and vegetables. We grow all the greens we need in about 20 square feet this way. Other vegetables, like cabbage, beans, carrots and beets, need a full growing season but can be inter-cropped with flowers and herbs to feed bees, and provide medicinal plants for the family first aid kit. With raised bed gardening you could cut down the vegetable area square footage by ½ to 2/3rds Add a greenhouse and train vines to grow up instead of out and you can increase the growing season and the yields in the available space.
Community is essential
This chart fails to take into account the sharing that inevitably happens between gardeners — zucchinis, squash, lettuces and other prolific growers provide a bountiful harvest that many families can share, at the peak of the growing season.
Rabbits? Chickens? Ducks?
Put in some rabbit hutches – Each rabbit needs 2 feet by 3 ft. space. You can give them a grass run and build rabbit condos that offer them a wonderful, natural lifestyle. 3 female french angora rabbits and 1 male will provide your family with a meal of rabbit meat once a week and enough angora to keep your family in mittens and hats for the winter. They will eat your garden surplus, and grass hay. In Europe, during WWII, families with back yard rabbits would make hay by harvesting the grass from vacant lots and roadsides all summer. And they make affectionate pets, too. Are we eating our pets? No, as a farmer you make pets out of the breeding animals and give the best possible life and respect to the young that end up on your plate.
You don’t need meat every day, but you do need high quality protein every day and this kind of gardening will give you that.
Consider planting field peas for increased protein. Field peas increase the fertility of the soil and the crop is ready to harvest in August when the ground can be cleared and a second crop can be planted of either peas or a winter vegetables. The straw from peas is relished by goats and rabbits.
Consider the addition of an aquaponics greenhouse in the vegetable growing area. This will yield fish fertilizer, vegetables, and fish for a well rounded diet for you and your garden — along with year round vegetables. Add a methane digester and you can supply some of your own energy needs as well. If you can grow meat and vegetables year round, you reduce your dependence on a freezer, which lowers your electrical needs.
My estimate is that in a highly productive area with adequate rainfall, the average family could raise all their food needs on 1 acre of land. Many did just this during WWII with just a large city lot, by walking their goats and moving their chickens around the vegetable garden. The key to making this work is to eat what you can grow in your climate — using heritage seeds that are adapted to your growing conditions. With more land — 5 acres — you can move from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture and begin to make some money from your productivity.
If you have more land, grow more food and expand your self sufficiency. But if you only have a balcony in a city apartment, grow where you are planted. And start in a small way to be more sufficient now. On the Joybilee Farm Facebook Page, I post periodic links to urban agricultural projects to inspire your urban efforts for self sufficiency.
One of my favorite resources for urban farm is the Urban Farm Guys. Their videos are practical step-by-step guidelines to help you harvest more food from a small amount of land. –joybileefarm.com
So urban farming has taken off lately, among a certain set of people. I’ve been seeing posts railing against lawn culture, offering up pictures of these gorgeously cool traditional vegetable gardens and trellises and vertical gardens and pot gardens and all sorts of combinations thereof and it’s uplifting and solarpunk and really really cool. And I’m here to say that it can be everything it’s promised to be. Five or six years ago, my parents tore up their front lawn and made it into a garden. It’s been amazing - they get troops of old ladies coming up and ringing the doorbell asking for a tour, passersby stopping to stare and smile, little kids looking covetously at the raspberries that my dad always comes out to offer them. (Sometimes he also uses them to get rid of salespeople, but that’s another story.) In peak season, we get fresh tomatoes, potatoes, beets, carrots, peppers, onions, cucumbers, and squash, and that’s off the top of my head and not including the berry bushes we have as hedges and the lovingly-tended fruit trees in the back yard. My parents haven’t darkened the door of a grocery store produce section in more than a month at the moment I’m typing this. It’s fantastic.
My parents are teachers. They get reliable weekends and two months off during peak growing season. They also have a very comfortable middle-class salary (our teachers aren’t in quite the straits salary-wise that they find themselves in south of the border) that means they could afford, at the outset, to hire the labour necessary to get the garden started - I believe Bobcats were involved. And, last but not least, they’re gardeners. If you make the mistake of commenting to my mother that the garden must be a lot of work, she looks at you blankly and informs you that she wouldn’t do it if it were work to her. But if you aren’t a bred-in-the-bones gardener, chances are you’d hate it. I grew up the child of two bred-in-the-bones gardeners and it isn’t a commitment I’d want to make. There’s rototilling and fertilizing and digging and planting and covering and watering and more digging and thinning and weeding (and weeding and weeding and weeding), and then there’s even more digging and picking and washing and chopping and freezing if you want to make sure you get to keep what you’ve grown, otherwise it’s just as wasteful as a lawn anyway - after all, you’ve put all that water into it. My parents had to buy an entire new freezer to store all their produce, and while that sounds great (and it is), it also presupposes that they could afford to buy a new freezer.
What I’m trying to get at here is that if you want to do this urban farming thing that everyone’s so adamant about, you have to have the time, and if you don’t have the disposable income you have to have a lot more time, at least at the outset, and also hope your back holds out for the duration. And lawns aren’t a symbol of the kind of immense wealth they used to be - you kind of just inherit them if you buy a house. A house, mind you - not a castle or a mansion. Lawns have moved down the ranks into the firmly middle-class. Decrying lawn culture is all very well as it goes, but holding up urban farming as the universal solution is, to my way of thinking, disingenuous. Time is money, and not everyone with a lawn is rich.
A glitch of fate that Draco doesn’t fathom he could ever forgive, much less forget. Some cataclysmic careening of fate lines, fault lines; a mess of teeth marks and lipstick prints. Something that never should have happened.
Because Draco doesn’t frequent the Leaky Cauldron on gritty, late weekend nights. Doesn’t wipe bloody knuckles on his trousers and act as though he hadn’t just shattered a mirror in a fit of anger, bitterness, revenge on the world for putting his father in Azkaban and utterly wrecking the life that had been so carefully delineated for him, before.
@onlyyoudear asked: Hi! I was just hoping to get your
advice on some raised bed gardening. In the past I’ve done just traditional
gardens, but this year am building four 4'x8’ raised beds to hopefully have a
more plentiful harvest. I’ve seen everywhere that people say you can plant
things closer together in raised beds, but no one says HOW much closer together
you can plant things. Do you have any recommendations on this? For instance how
close do you think you could plant two indeterminate tomato plants? Thanks so
much! Hope your planting adventures get to begin soon!!
Okay, so this is probably going to wind
up being rather lengthy, and I apologize for that. But I have several different suggestions for
planting, and you’ll have to test them out to see what works best for you.
If you’re looking to follow “the rules”
of garden spacing, I highly recommend looking into square foot gardening. I’ve found that SF Gardeners follow the
playbook pretty closely and swear by it.
They have everything covered from plant spacing to soil mixes for the
ultimate growing experience. In other
words, someone did their homework. I’d
done some reading into it myself after several gardeners convinced me that it
was “The Way”. And in some aspects, it
was. If you’re working with smaller
spaces and want to really cram as much as you can in there, by all means, give
it a go. In my experience, SFG showed me
just how closely you can place certain plants (for example, I’d always given
peppers more room than they needed and wound up with a lot of wasted space),
but for others I felt like it was just too cramped. Also, if you like clean lines, neat rows, and
order in your garden, this might be the plan for you. I planted a garden two years ago that did not stray from the rules and didn’t care for it overall, so now I use the
spacing rules loosely, and focus more on crop rotation and companion planting
as my methods of choice.
You’d asked about indeterminate tomatoes. SFG will have you allow 2 square feet per
plant, which sounds completely asinine, and frankly, it is. Unless you’re going to prune your plants back
to force them to stay within this space, it’s just not enough room. I wound up with a huge mess, more fruit loss
than I care to admit, and so much unnecessary work when it came time to take
the garden down in the fall. That’s not
to say that SFG failed me, but rather, my pruning theories didn’t match what is
required for this type of gardening. With
tomatoes, I feel like you can never give them enough space, but I guess that
all depends on how you prune. Do you
remove suckers? Do you allow the plants
to just take over all willy nilly like?
I start off with good intentions and prune in the beginning, but once
those plants start taking off and producing fruit, I tend to leave them alone,
adding support as the plants get bigger.
I fertilize with egg shells, ground dried banana peel, Epsom salts, and
a large fish head in the planting hole.
This sends the plant into overdrive, making for massive, towering
monsters like I’d never seen before, and more fruit than I knew what to do with. Last year, I had two indeterminate plants in
a 4 x 8 bed (okay per SFG rules), and not only did they start growing into one
another, but they heaved soil out of the raised bed and began crawling across
my mulch path. This year I’ll plant one
tomato plant in that 4 x 8 bed, and maybe pop some basil in there, hoping for
So I guess what I’m getting at
is that you can follow the rules that someone else set up, but there are so
many variables in each gardener’s space and style that will determine the
success or failure of those methods. I’d mentioned companion planting
earlier on, and I really think this is more important than anything else. You’re looking to plant certain things
together, or keep certain plants apart based on their ability to attract or
repel insects, prevent disease, etc. I
find that I can ignore the SFG spacing rules on, say, basil planting, and kind
of cram them into a space that is shared with tomatoes. I’ve never had a problem with overcrowding,
and aside from the random hornworm invading the space, the basil keeps a lot of
other bugs and critters away. I am
guilty of breaking SFG rules and popping lots of flowers into the provided
growing space of my veggie garden in the hopes that they will attract
pollinators, and have never had a problem with that either. You could also take into consideration the
Native American “Three Sisters” method of pairing, say, beans, corn, and squash
planted closely together. The corn acts
as the trellis, allowing the beans to climb up its stalk, and the squash grows
beneath them, shading the ground and keeping weeds in check. This is a traditional method that is proven
to be effective. It’s all trial and error, and you have to
figure out what works best for you in your space.
So my short answer is this: give tomatoes and brassicas as much space as
you can afford (or be strict with pruning to keep their size in check), never crowd root veggies, but
allow yourself to take liberties with plants like peppers, herbs and climbers
(like cukes, beans, peas). I am guilty
of cramming a lot of these things into my growing space, and aside from the few
extra minutes I have to give up to ensure that everyone gets watered and weeded sufficiently, the only downside I’ve encountered is difficulty when harvesting. Densely planted plants hide fruit! Also remember that you can maximize spacing
by growing up via vertical trellising or plant in a triangular pattern instead
of squares, which allows you to put at least one more plant in any given space.I really hope this helps! If any other gardeners want to chime in, I’d
love to hear your input!
(I’m not quite sure about headcannons, but I’ll write you a mini one-shot, if that’s alright.)
“Otabek, have you ever pondered the concept of love?” Yuri asked tentatively, breaking the silence in their conversation. It was out of the blue, to say the least.
“What doest thou mean by that?”
“I simply meant that-” Yuri paused. “-there are women flocking at your side at all events that we attend, and you haven’t fancied any one of them. Why is that?” Yuri’s voice was laced with curiosity and uncertainty.
Otabek gazed into Yuri, a hint of a smile etched on his face. “I do believe that I fancy someone,” he replied.
Yuri was terrible at hiding his emotions. He was clearly upset at this, his nostrils flared and his jaw was set harshly. However, his posture was still that of a proper gentleman.
“And who would that be?” Yuri’s eyes met Otabek’s, clearly trying to conceal his emotions. Otabek’s cane tapped the ground three times in repetition, it was a nervous habit.
“Well, that person ‘tis you,” Otabek answered flatly. The flowery trellises of Otabek’s back garden swayed in the breeze behind Yuri. Yuri’s face went slack, his lips parting wide.
“Why, Otabek, that is of the utmost of surprises to me, and I regret to inform you that I do not return those improper feelings.” Yuri spoke quickly, his voice leeching with worry, but his blush displayed his true emotions.
“I do believe you’re lying to me, dear,” Otabek’s fingers lightly brush the rough fabric of Yuri’s jacket on his upper arm.
Yuri’s face flushed a deeper crimson. “I am not! I have no-” He started to protest.
“I know thoust does love me. I have seen it in your eyes over many a fortnight, as I know you have seen it in mine. I know thoust enjoys my touches. Why doest thou lie to me?” Otabek asked Yuri, stepping closer to the blonde man.
“I lie because I am afraid,” Yuri answers truthfully. “What are we to tell our friends? Our acquaintances? They would certainly disprove of our… Mutual attraction.”
“This situation pertains only you and I. I have no care for what others think about us.”
Yuri’s eyes cast downwards, thoughtful and solemn. “My grandfather would be disappointed in me. He wants me to fancy women. I would be a disgrace to the Plisetsky name.”
Otabek sighed, reaching out and tracing a finger on Yuri’s jawline. “When thou is ready for me, I will be waiting.”
Night fell on the city gently and lovingly. The daytime sun had been a harsh mistress and the urban jungle was feeling the scorch of early summer heat.
Already, in these late months of spring, the asphalt was hot enough to blister. The blasts of sunlight reflecting off the roofs of passing cars near Times Square was like a laser beam to the retina. It was so early the season, and all too soon the heat was becoming unbearable.
Escaping the Dantes Inferno like atmosphere, The tall human woman was tending her rooftop garden. Which had grown to monstrous size in these past few weeks. With additions of vegetables, more nocturnal beds, aloe and other succulents, hide outs for Pumpkin to cool herself down, and even some water features and a small pond. For privacy, trellises and flowering vines gave natural curtains from prying eyes.
It was a modern day Eden.
Even the energy here was drastically different than the apartment. This space was a living, breathing testimony to thriving in the most unlikely of places.
Wearing a long wrap around skirt that hugged every curve of her waist and generous hips, and a tank top that made her feel like she wasn’t sweating to death, the female tending her garden was brushing a bit of dirt off her hands when she stood up. She smiled to herself when she heard the pond frogs and cicadas start their evening chorus.
The air was thick with perfume of lilacs and jasmine. It made her cheeks burn slightly thinking of who inspired the recent additions of lilacs.
Turning around to check on the hibiscus the redhead let out a startled squeak. No matter how good her situational awareness was, a ninja could shatter that confidence. Raph was on patrol tonight so she wasn’t expecting visitors. Much less the one standing before her.
Leonardo was the groups leader. He was also more affectionately know as ‘Fuckwad’ from her man. Raph and Leo didn’t often see eye to eye on things like leadership, or fighting rotations, or training, or well… anything.
“Fuck Leo! You scared me half to death.” The flustered woman exclaimed. Immediately she regretted saying the ‘F word’ in front of him. It’s not like he’s never heard it before, (given who he lived with) but the thing was Leo never swore. So, out of respect she tried to watch her language in front of him. She thought it really fucking odd he never swore, but she didn’t dog the male out over it either. He was always such the gentleman, especially in manner of speech.
His towering, well muscled frame took half a step towards her and made a courteous bow of his head. “My deepest apologies. I didn’t mean to. I would have called if I had a way. Forgive me?”
Slightly shaking herself from the rush of adrenaline, the female regained her composure. “Yeah, of course. No worries.” Looking around she told the leader in blue, “Uh, Raphs not here if you’re looking for him. He’s on rotation tonight so..”
Clearing his throat the mutant sheepishly replied, “No, I know. I’m the one who makes the schedule. I actually came to see you if that’s alright?”
The wind picked up at that moment and made the tall grasses in the planters sway and rustle giving a serene moment to help break the tension forming.
Never had she been alone with another male since her monogamous commitment to Raphael. It felt like a violation to have anyone else in her personal space while she was alone at night. As if to further prove her point, Pumpkin the cat chose to sit at the woman’s feet and growl at the offending turtle. The feline wasn’t exactly shy about her dislike of him either. She was Raphs kitten after all.
“Um, alright… can I get you something to drink? We can talk over in the cabanas.” The woman said leading the way to the seating area.
It felt especially strange having Leo come to take a seat in the plush U shaped platform with the oversized shade umbrellas and curtains flowing on bamboo frames. It felt like he was invading a scared space. Raph and her built this custom extravagance with their own hands. It was however, the only seating large enough to accommodate a plus four hundred pound turtle. So here they were.
Fireflies danced in the humid air and a pitcher of mint cucumber water sat on a tray between them. Glasses with ice were filled and a thanks was mumbled. Like a heavy molasses, uncomfortable silence stretched between the mutant and the human as they sipped the cold water.
Breathing in deep and closing his eyes in that thoughtful way of his, Leonardo seemed to be meditating. Y/N didn’t know what she was supposed to do. Her eyes glanced around and she was glad to have something to occupy her hands. She was a nervous fidgeter.
When she thought she was going to scream from the waiting, finally Leo opened his blue eyes and trained them right on Raphs female.
It was unnerving for her. She had never been the sole focus of his attention before and it was startling. His gaze was deep and piercing. The kind of stare that a male had when he could look right through you, and already he knew your deepest secrets. The kind of stare that stripped you bare and vulnerable.
“Raph comes home smelling like this place. Of earth, and fresh growing things. Of things other than city grime and sewer. The other night the smell of fresh basil lingered on him for hours. I was so jealous I wanted to choke him.” Softly, a smile curved Leo’s lips as he made his confession.
“Oh. Uh, yeah. When he comes over we usually spend most of our time out here. No one can really see in and I’m already stuck inside most of the day. So… yeah…” The female said. Her reply was somewhat sheepish because she still didn’t really know where any of this was coming from.
Or where it was headed.
The frogs chirped and the wooden wind chimes could be heard on the other end of the canopy. Long flowing curtains around the platform seemed to be moved by invisible hands as they danced in the breeze.
Y/N was really starting to squirm now. This setting, this environment, it was all too intimate, it was all too much. She was really kicking herself at the moment for lighting all the citronella candles when she first came out here some hours earlier.
Just what a girl needs when shes hosting her boyfriends brother in the middle of the night. Fucking candlelight ambiance.
For fucks sake. Could this get anymore awkward?
“Look, Leo. Are you okay?” She didn’t mean to be so abrupt, but the tension was killing her.
Ever graceful, ever cool Leo just smiled again and looked away. “Yeah. I’m good. I just… sometimes..”
“If it’s alright with you, if it would be no intrusion… could I spend some time up here? In your gardens? After being stuck down below for so long, you start to long for the world above. Especially when it’s close enough for you to be reminded of its fragrance.” He took that opportunity to look her in the eyes again as he asked his question. Her throat went dry at his focus on her.
God damn. She’d never seen Leo like this before. Like a starving man asking for a crumb as of it were a filet mignon. How in the hell was she supposed to shut down a request like that and still sleep at night?
“Oh.. uh.. I don’t mind. Let me talk to Raph. Maybe there’s a way we can work out a night a week you can come up here while we are in. Or something.” Not knowing how to add in that it would have be to something the three of them agreed upon.
So Raph didn’t field dress his poor brother.
Like a phantom he was up in front on her and picking up her hand to lay a gentle kiss upon it. Like someone bit her, Y/N jumped back.
“A thousand times I thank you. I don’t think you could ever possibly imagine how much this means to me. I’ll come back in a few days after you and Raphael have talked it out to see where we all stand. From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough.”
Gliding in that animalistically smooth way of the mutants, Leo was already to the roofs edge when he stopped. Turning his head to the side he called over his shoulder, “You are an angel among mortals. I can see why he’s so taken with you.”
Leaping over the brick, like a whisper in a graveyard he was gone into the night.
what kind of garden do you think magnus and taako have in their post adventure house? i picture a beautiful herb garden that magnus planted for taako with neat little wood stakes that taako wrote the names of each plant on (magnus’ handwriting is illegible)
their yard is fenced by trellises magnus built covered in jasmine and other sweet smelling climbing flowers and taako can see them blooming from the kitchen window when he’s cooking
So it’s been a while since I’ve had Abstract Gem thoughts, but, with the idea that the Diamonds are more or less the near side of eldritch abominations, I had the thought that in this AU, icons or graven images of the Diamonds would get interesting, real quick.
It’s easy to represent them by more distant symbols- the colored diamond marks are safe enough to put directly on projected forms, and most go with that. A few claim that they feel something- a persistent warmth, a slight chill- on the skin that mark is laid against.
(In soft voices, some old soldiers attest that they feel a twinge, now and then, where their old pink diamond mark once rested)
The closer images get to depicting the true shape of the Diamonds the more energy is concentrated around the image.
I made this sketch of Leliana & Cullen at the Winter Palace in more of an anime style… I’m still trying to get a feel for how to comfortably draw the characters. I went from drawing nothing but anime in high school, to almost totally abandoning it in art school for realism (where most teachers criticized anything remotely ‘anime’-ish), to becoming a graphic designer after graduating, despite being an illustration / 2-D animation major… so now after all these years, I feel I’m rusty at my character drawings and trying to find my style again… should I color this sketch or leave it in greyscale?
ANYWAY, my head-canon is that the inquisitor was wearing a lovely ball gown at the Winter Palace. Most of us realize that wouldn’t be practical for fighting Venatori there and climbing trellises, but to me it feels like such a waste to not be able to glam Trevelyan up for a little while… I’m working on some sketches of what I envision her to have worn too! ^.^
Leliana: See something you like, Commander?
Cullen: I, er, um… is that… the Inquisitor over there? I thought we were all wearing our red uniforms?
Okay okay, I get that wearing a pretty dress to the Halamshiral would have made climbing trellises and fighting demons slightly more inconvenient, but wouldn’t it be totally worth it to make your LI’s palms sweat?
Cullen, I know she’s cute and all, but remember that you lose court approval when you stare dreamily into the Inquisitor’s bosom instead of talking with the nobles.
Hey auntie! I saw your mention of a potted pomegranate tree and I was curious what steps you took to grow one (is it indoors?). I was also wondering if you have had any luck growing moonflower indoors. I live in NYC and am moving to a windowed room that gets between five and eight hours of sun. I was planning on trellising the vines in a pot against the window frame, but I've never grown flowering vines indoors. Thank you!
It’s a miniature pomegranate, so it’s only about two feet tall. It has the cutest little pomegranates when it fruits, maybe two inches across, each with just a few seeds in it but the taste is excellent. I grow it more because I like growing tropicals in the north and because it has lovely flowers, but when it fruits it is a nice treat.
Right now it’s sitting out on my deck enjoying the warm summer weather and sun, but in winter I bring it indoors and it sits in a sunny window.
I’ve never grown moonflower, but I do have a jasmine vine, which is in a quite large pot and has a small trellace (about 3 ft. tall) that it climbs on. It’s outside right now too, but it also comes indoors for the winter. I set it in a sunny place and give it a grow light and it seems happy.