Tuesday, June 23, 2009


A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. ~May Sarton

I haven't written about my garden in a while. Mostly because I am confused.

My first plant to bear fruit was the "Beefy Boy" tomato. I was so excited. These tomatoes are to be the base for all the flavorful sauces I'll be "puttin' up" as they start rolling off the vines.

Either the plant was mis-labeled at the garden store, or I am doing something wrong. I think they are cherry tomatoes. Nobody in my house cares for cherry tomatoes.

My tender greens came up and grew enough that I could distinguish the varieties - red leaf, oak leaf, arugula. I could even taste the difference as I thinned the rows. I could not wait for salad.

Neither could the bugs. The greens are gone. I guess I know why there are never any tender baby greens for sale at the farmer's market.

There is still some arugula left which while ridden with bug holes is still pretty tasty. Not enough for a salad, so I hide it in sandwiches where the bug holes don't show.

In the bed where I'd planted radishes, all I could find was the pathetic remains of some radish leaves that the bugs had devoured.

Full of hope, I grabbed them and pulled. One perfect radish. It was delicious.

My "Mr. Stripey" tomato plant took off like gangbusters. This would be the showstopping heirloom as the focal point of a lovely capresi salad. It is currently over five feet tall.

It has yet to produce a single bloom.

The snow peas look sickly and are probably only alive just to taunt me.

The cucumbers look healthy, and while they refuse to climb the trellis, I guess I can let them ramble, as so many of the plants in the bed are dead - there's plenty of room for them now.

The green beans really knew how to do their job. They sent up runners that twined beautifully around the trellis. Up, up, up, they grew. They've given me a few beans, but not enough to do anything with. YET. I remain hopefull still.

I talk to better gardeners than I. They are an optimistic bunch. Enterprising, always looking for a better way, hoping for a better result.

I'm a rookie. I shouldn't expect immediate success with a task that is both literally and figuratively organic. I will remain hopeful and be grateful.

But can I still curse the bugs?


Cathy West said...

Definitely curse the bugs!!! I have had gardens over many years now and I think as each year goes by, I get a little bit better at it. The early years were very dissappointing...but I have learned with time, that you have to put a lot of time into it and you have to try, try again. Some things just won't grow where you are. Whatever you neighbors are having success with is what you should plant. KILL the bugs! I use snail bait (not organic!), tired of losing so much to snails. Luckily we don't have too many flying eating bugs, though I've had my share of tomato plant eating monsters. Keep trying, it does get better!!! And it is so rewarding to eat food you've grown yourself!

Anonymous said...

I agree. Kill the damn things! I can't beleive it is Summer and I neglected to plant anything with the kids this past Spring. I didn't even do sunflowers- which are so EASY! Next year! My attention is on my 1/2 thriving lawn which I spent waaaayyyy too much money on to get it put in and it ain't looking too hot. HELP! You are an inspiration.....