For the record, I want to declare here and now that I am not one of those stay-at-home-moms who has decided to become (appear) all natural and sustainable and green and all that crap, just because it is trendy, or I want to be considered uberhealthy (shuddering at the word “uber”), or I have the time. The fact is, I don’t really care if my children are crawling around on $0.59/oz chemicals that may or may not cause them to one day give birth to children with 18 toes.
Also, let me say the record, that after growing up on a farm and living year round on fresh and self-canned fruits and veggies, my husband-the-freak declared that he never wants, never intends to plant, and will not miss a garden if he never sees one again. (You’d think he’d be a snob when it comes to both fresh foods and Maple Syrup, which his parents also make, but he is not.) On the other hand, I spent the last four summers in our condo in Burlington driving to deposit nickles, dimes, and dollars in a can, on a table, in the driveway, of a house, of the little old man who sold tomatoes from his garden for $1 a pound. And John loved it.
So, for Mother’s day, I asked for a small part of our yard to be turned into a little area in which to grow nothing but tomatoes.
He humored me. ♥
I had absolutely nothing to do with the building of the actual garden (which for an entire weekend resembled the hole of an empty grave) but it is perfect. I did, however, pick out the plants and conduct a little research last spring on the best way to grow tomatoes. It seems that people have the most success avoiding rabbits, tomato worms, and general plant rot by planting tomatoes on poles and pruning them down to a single vine wherever possible. This is my plan. So far, no rabbits.
I also asked for a watering can for Mother’s Day. Imagining myself to look much like one of Mary Englebreit’s cartoons my idea was to skip outdoors in a dress and sunhat and have rainbows and butterflies serenade me with my gigantic watering can, which, no doubt, would weigh little more than a feather.
John laughed at this idea and instead gave me this:
The homeowners before us were a little more adventurous in the yard work. There’s an entire section of my front yard that resembled a small jungle for the first few months we were here, but I’ve recently realized there was quite a bit of planning that went into that 6X6 piece of ground. It seems one bulb or another shoots up and blooms, and the very day it dies something else is coming in behind it. I’m a little overwhelmed to say the least and have asked on more than one occasion if it would be terrible to just rip the entire thing out and plant grass. To this I have received more than my share of “Why?! This looks great!” And to prove it, here are my prize winning roses:
Something about Japanese Kamikaze beetles and pruning with the lunar cycle, whatever that means.
They had an actual garden right next to the house, which my non-gardening-green-thumb-in-denial-husband declared the “soil” and shade impossible for growing anything. Also, about four weeks ago, we discovered this:
Granted, between the birds and Eliott, I have yet to actually taste one of these (I assume) raspberries and have been told to cover it with netting, but I doubt that will actually happen this summer.
All of this is to say, I’m enjoying the heck out of the tomatoes which I so rarely remember to water. It turns out, my lack of attention to these puppies might be exactly what they need to grow. Which is just how I like it. I never had a pet other than a goldfish and would you believe I kept that bad boy alive through two years in the dorms, two summers at camp, and three road trips (via a glass jar around my neck, what else?) between Waco, Texas and Spokane, Washington?
I never claimed to take on more than I could handle. And now, as I watch the clouds outside, I’m going to hold off on yet another day of watering my garden, because I think it might rain tonight.
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