Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Garden Update

Don't you love walking into a mid-summer garden? Tall plants cascade into the walkways. You have to beat back vines, avoid tripping on baseball-sized zucchini, and generally wade through greenery and abundance. You get whiffs of basil and tomatoes and dill just by brushing up against a few leaves. It's great.

It's also not my garden. My garden, mentioned previously, is not exactly a riot of plant life. I suppose I should have expected that, being in the middle of a desert and all. But I had much higher hopes both for my own gardening motivation and skills, and for the ability of my coffee grounds and manure enhanced soil. Alas, various trips and the lack of neighbors who could babysit newly transplanted seedlings meant that I kept postponing lots of things. Like lettuce. Which I still hope to do for the fall. And when I did get tomato and cucumber plants in the ground, three of them got hit hard by some disease (all tomatoes), one of them got hit lightly by the disease and had half its leaves eaten by a still-unidentified beastie (but I'm thinking non-insect), and yet another just didn't thrive. For no particular reason that I can tell.

So I've been limping along with the remainders, trying to keep them alive. The harvest so far? Three cherry tomatoes, two of which are gracing this post.

I had a cucumber. Someone warned me, after I'd planted them, that I really should have sought out Persian cucumbers because they handle the heat well. I figured that having bought my plants in Las Vegas and them being labeled heat-tolerant and all, I'd be ok. And then I kept getting flower after flower after flower, with no fruit forming. And then I had one! I had a very, very small cucumber with its flower still attached. I showed Little Girl. I tried to show Husband, but he was weary of admiring the garden, having admired the almost-ripe cherry tomatoes the day before. I was very pleased.

And then down came the rains. Massive, flash-flood-producing rains came two days in a row. I wanted the rain, don't get me wrong, but my cucumber plants most clearly did not. And now, I have no cucumber.

Always optimistic, I hope for another one. I have more flowers. They're bright and sunny and cheerful. They seem optimistic. Why shouldn't I?