Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chin up

If I were dependent on my vegetable garden to feed myself, I would starve. The tomatoes are ripening - I had the first ones in a BLT tonight - but those first ones also suffer from blossom end rot. The rest look healthy but puny, despite my ministrations. The onions are better than last year, but not up to expectations. The green beans have yet to blossom.

It is hard to believe that, once upon a time, I fed a family of four year 'round with the literal fruits and vegetables of my labor. Three things contributed to that success: chickens (and their manure), two acres of lawn (lots of grass clippings for mulch), and regular rainfall. Gardening thirty years ago on a mini-farm was easy - and cheap! Suburban gardening, not so much.

Last night I felt very discouraged about the whole yard - the brown grass, the thirsty plants, the kinked up hoses, the weeds that survive no matter what. All I could see was the bad and the ugly. (My mood was influenced by a bit of sciatica, no doubt.)

Today I can focus on the good: the arborvitae that provide privacy, the juniper that will shade the west side of my house once they get a bit bigger, the Georgia Fire garlic (nine for nine!), the redbud trees that completely recovered from that late frost, the sweet potatoes that thrive in the heat. And the strawberry, asparagus, and raspberry beds all look great.

Last night I was ready to turn the yard back into one big lawn and take up golf. Today I'm looking forward to the changes I will make next year. Gardening may be good therapy, but sometimes it makes me feel schizophrenic.


Jason said...

It's been a hard year. People like to garden because it makes them feel connected to the seasons, but sometimes the seasons are cruel. I would say raspberries, asparagus, and strawberries should help, however.

Just got my water bill yesterday, and they had to scrape me off the ceiling. I used to water very rarely, but now I can't stop.

Toni said...

I think this year is a tough one for gardens. We're getting such extreme heat here in Idaho that my tomato plants are probably never going to grow beyond 2 feet tall--when usually they're taller than me. The only thing that's really doing well is squash, but I just killed a squash bug this morning, so........

Glad I canned everything I did from last year and the year before--we can't feed ourselves either, but at least we probably won't need to buy salsa for a while.