Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Thumbs up for gardening

One way to dry out the gardening gloves.
The best thing about staking up tomato plants on a hot, moist morning is not the sweat dripping into your eyeballs or the clumps of mud sticking to your shoes or even the horsefly trying to find that golden spot in the middle of your back that you're least able to reach, although those things have their charms. It's not even hearing barn swallows twitter overhead or seeing mist rise from the feathery tips of asparagus plants gone to seed. 

No, the best thing about staking up tomatoes plants is the smell. Work with tomato plants long enough and you'll be surrounded by a scent of earth and growth plus just a hint of tangy tomato. Smells like potential. Smells like summer.

I haven't spent enough time in the garden this summer but today I picked crispy red leaf lettuce, pulled buds off basil plants, staked up tomatoes, pulled a few weeds, and got acquainted with what's growing in various plots. So far we've harvested some asparagus, radishes, kale, broccoli, and lettuce, but already I see tiny green tomatoes and a few shy peppers peeking out from under the leaves. 

Two of our neighbors are having a contest this summer to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin, but I've never seen bigger pumpkin leaves or brighter blossoms than those in our pumpkin patch. It's hard to believe that those delicate little yellow blossoms will produce pumpkins bigger than beach balls. The corn stands tall, just about ready to be surrounded by solar-powered electric fence to keep the raccoons and deer away, and the scarlet runner beans show off gaudy red blossoms. 

The pea patch didn't amount to much and the okra is growing slowly, but the cucumber vines are going crazy and I don't know what we'll do with all the radishes coming up, especially since my radish-loving colleague is now retired.

Thanks to some hard work and a little mishap with a knife, the garden is now fertilized with my sweat and blood. Let's hope it doesn't demand any tears.    

Scarlet runner beans

I love the purple veins in the beet leaves

Becoming garlic

Pumpkin leaves

Squash blossoms

Tomatoes are coming!


1 comment:

JaneB said...

oooh, that stripey green tomato looks delicious!