Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

"When you rise in the morning,
give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."

If I had to depend on my ability to produce my own food I would be a lot thinner than I am today. My first attempt at gardening, though promising at first, could be scoffed at by others who know how to bring forth food from the ground.

[Photo: Watermelon vine gone amok]

I've had to combat a general lack of knowledge, snails, wormy things that are only a few centimeters long, a desire to be organic and not use any harmful pesticides, a man with a whole different take on the whole, "give a Hoot, don't pollute" ecology thing spraying the yard who mistook my thriving squash plant for a weed, and a record breaking heat spell. It would seem that my garden was doomed from the start.

I must say, however, that there have been a couple successes. If I was trying for a record breaking watermelon vine that produced no fruit at all, I might be a winner. And the cucumber plant that looked to be on it's last leg while sitting in the Home Depot like me waiting to be picked for the softball team, apparently liked where it was transplanted. Once revived and acquainted with its surroundings, it took off as if in a race with the watermelon. Looking through the mass of leaves one day [think Arte Johnson on Laugh In] I spied a cucumber of worthy proportions for a first time Miss GreenJeans. Alas, I was not the only one to discover the succulent fruit of the vine. By the time my small batch of cukes was pickable it was also full of ants and worms. However, there is something to be said for the taste of a salad made with the freshest, (wormiest) pick of the garden.

[Photos: What a little Miracle Gro can do to a cucumber plant.
That's basil sticking up out of the vine. Perhaps there is pesto in my future!]

The bean vines were also prolific. They grew up and through and back down the fence. It seems they had so much fun weaving themselves into a bean masterpiece that they forgot to produce beans. That may not be exactly true. Yesterday I counted about three little tiny beans that probably look like a feast to the worms, but not even worth getting my hopes up for.

So, imagine my delight and surprise when Johnny told me a few days ago to check my sunflowers. Plant #1 was on the verge of blooming. And plants #2 and 3 weren't too far behind.

Dad called me about 5:30 (not my best time of day) this morning to inform me his bed linens needed to be changed. I went into "get 'er done" mode - changed the bed, helped dad climb back in, tucked him in, threw the sheets and blanket into the washing machine, fed the dog, and because I was on a roll and it couldn't possible be too hot to breathe yet, walked outside to check on the garden.

Oh glory of glories. Today was the day.

I don't want to sound too over the top, but I think planting a seed and having it blossom is just about as cool as it gets. God's plan in motion, from start to finish. I might not be the best gardener in town, but I have a tiny sense of what it must have felt like to live in the Garden of Eden. Snake or no snake, I think Eve must have been so overcome with the beauty and ripeness and splendor of that apple that she couldn't help herself, she had to take a bite. I'm not saying it was right. I'm just saying I think I can understand why she did it.

Now I'm in a quandary. Should I leave the flower on its stalk, waving to the sun and saying howdy to the passing birds and bees? Or do I cut it and bring it into the house where I can enjoy its yellowy beauty? What would you do?

Wishing for you a day full of Mother Nature's bounty whether you grew it yourself or not,
Merry ME


AkasaWolfSong said...

Well, if you leave it to the Sun then you will find a vast array of winged ones in your yard when the seeds are ready...or you can wait for the seeds and take them in to roast? Nothing better than fresh sunflower seeds to eat!

I think your gardening experience is wonderful Mary! For a first timer you did quite well. :) Leave the beans..they may produce yet...mine were slow to start this year with too much rain to start and then a period of no rain whereby I'd only got a few pickings but now that we have had a few more rain falls more are coming on the vine...and you can plant another crop to be picked in the fall too, which is what my aim is this weekend.
Your cucumber looks great! I'm just getting mine on now too. One is about ready to be picked and eaten, and I cannot wait!
Well...happy gardening adventures to you and many blessings too!

Pamela Jones said...

Congrats on your impressive cucumber! I just love the ruler thing -- it gives proper credit to the impresiveness of the cuke! I vote for leaving the sunflower in the garden so you can go back and talk to it frequently as it transforms to a bird feeder. Kudos, Miss Green Jeans! Every good gardener starts somewhere...

Tracey Catarozoli a.k.a Sally Sunshine said... I the only one with jokes about Mary measuring her cucumber? A good 8 inches? C'mon...I can't possibly be the only one thinking it?! :o)

Oh an Mary -- your garden belongs in magazines when compared to mine. In fact, mine looks soooo bad that from this year on, my garden shall be called, "The West Allis Farmers Market". :o)

Mary Mary Quite how does your garden grow?! With cucumber vines, sunflower seeds, and basil to make pesto...OK, I need to stop now. :o) xo

Fire Byrd said...

I hope the picture of the sunflower makes it to beautiful world cause it definately ought to cause it's lovely

Ann Flowers said...

Everything looks perfect on your blog but I like the header image of your blog. It looks awesome.

Pamela Jones said...

Sally Sunshine: "That is one FINE cucumber"

(That's what SHE said...)

paradox said...

When I first opened your page I was completely taken aback..."what an AMAZING picture" I thought. It made me smile big made my feel shiny. I just can't imagine what it would do to my insides if I saw it in the
I vote you keep it in the garden...with its friends happy would it be.

Then I read Pam's comment...and smile turned into this contorted, snorting, hysterical face. I thought I was the only one who thought, "That's what she said!"...glad to know I'm in good company.