Thursday, July 28, 2011

The State of the, er, My Garden

It's exasperating to turn on the TV lately and watch our elected officials behaving like spoiled toddlers. 'Nuff said. So, once I was done crafting well-wrought e-mails to my President, my Senators and Congressmen (which I am aware they will likely never see) I decided, in the spirit of "Que sera sera" to focus no longer upon the State of the Union, but upon the State of My Garden!

Certain favorite veggies in my garden happily thrive in any situation, even neglect, and so I just want to give a shout-out to this year's tomatoes, herbs, chinese long beans and some of my eggplant varieties. Two varieties of peppers would also have been included in this list, prolific in their pepper production as they were, but look at this great pepper massacre I stumbled upon yesterday! It is hard to tell in this photo exactly what is going on, since I've got no "before" photo for comparison. In a nutshell, this used to be a three-foot tall plant, covered in developing banana peppers and healthy leaves. Next to it was a shorter, but equally healthy plant, covered in sweet bonnet peppers. All the peppers were still green, but the photo on the seed pack looks like they should be red when ripe. Yesterday I found the plants eviscerated, with all branches and leaves torn off and the peppers discarded, unbitten, all around the remains of the plant. I collected the unripe peppers, and will find some way to use them, but isn't this a mystery? My leading suspect is a raccoon, because of the opposable thumbs and their ability to climb the garden fence. It's funny the criminal only wanted the stems and leaves, though, and not the peppers.

Now for some happier veggies -- look at my lovely "Hansel" eggplants. I see vegan eggplant parmesan, round two, in my future!

I love how this Chinese long bean vine has utilized the top of this eggplant stake. Fabulous, hardy and crafty, this plant never disappoints. Isn't it wonderful how it actually reaches across an expanse of air to find something to climb on? Excellent plant!

My herbs are so happy in their pot. I think they get just enough sun but not too much. Will you get a load of that oregano? This works well with my eggplant parmesan plan!

A big disappointment this year is that my neighbor's cypress trees are much taller now, so parts of my garden get hardly any sun. I will just have to plan better next year in my plant placement. The tomatoes, while prolific in production, are very slow to ripen because of the lack of sun. Several zucchini vines withered completely even after flowering. I have compassion for the little veggies who didn't make it, or who were MURDERED, but I've got to remember to celebrate the rock stars of my garden and be grateful!


  1. Gorgeous! As an admitted failure to gardening, I'll have nothing educated to add. I've lost plants to every reason under the sun...animals, bacteria, fungus, plant-eating-plants, aliens, drought, flood, all of it. My last garden was consumed by some sort of beetle bug. I thought it was a rabbit...but in the sad end, it was an insect tinier than my fingernail. Your pictures are inspiring, though. Congratulations on a reasonable level of success, and thank you for doing your duty as a citizen and writing our political leaders! Whether they see it or not, it matters.

  2. Thanks, Colleen! You crack me up with your plant-eating-plants, etc. Do not call yourself a gardening failure! It is totally trial and error! Each error is a learning experience. This is the first year I've not dealt with the bugs -- I planted marigolds around and between the veggie plants. The bugs hate the stinky aroma! Apparently the raccons don't hate the marigolds, though. Maybe I should train my dogs to pee and poo around the perimeter of the garden! Who knows. Keep trying -- it'll work!