Sunday, July 5, 2009

gardens are a form of autobiography

So I am finally able to say that I am a proud parent --of potatoes, not babies. Yesterday as I went out to water the garden I noticed that the row of red potatoes looked really dead and yellow. I could not resist the urge to take my dad's advice and "rob" the side of the plant to see if there were actually potatoes down there (I know the fact that the plant got really big, flowered, fell over and died was a pretty good indicator, but I'm skeptical). Sure enough, as I reached my hand through the dark, wet soil I felt a round, solid object about the size of a tennis ball! I pulled it out and...(drumroll) was a red potato! I was so ecstatic about it that I immediately went back in for more! I ended up digging up 2 of the 4 plants and got ~ 18 decent sized potatoes!! I decided to leave the other 2 plants so Greg could experience the joy when he gets back from his trip this week.
Having a garden was something that I was really unsure about at first. I mean, I know that I'm pretty good about giving houseplants what they need and I was excited about it, but it was going to be a lot of work and money that wasn't a guaranteed success. My skepticism was totally proven wrong! The garden is booming--the plants are numerous and huge and I am always filled with this sense of satisfaction and happiness when I'm among them! Maybe it's weird, but I kind of feel like there's a bond that develops between gardens (whether indoors or outside) and their owners. I genuinely care for these little guys and appreciate their amazing ability to grow at their fast pace and establish their place in the garden all the while producing delicious fruits and veggies with so little instruction from the gardener. I even read a quote somewhere that too much water and attention embarrasses plants causing them to not grow to their full potential.

Their resilience also dazzles me. A few weeks ago a deer ripped up and ate a lot of my tomato plants. I came home to find a few green chewed off stems and straggly leaves left in the pot. I decided to keep them and see if they recovered. Sure enough, they bounced right back (see photo below)! They haven't made a full recovery yet, but they are nearly as tall and full as they were when they were attacked.

Below are some photos of the progression. Kudos,'ve come a long way.