The Gardens - In the Beginning

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Life of Wild Abandon

It's hard for this gardener to exclaim I'm done, finished, the end...kapoot!  There's always one more task to complete. ALWAYS, ONE MORE DEED TO BE DONE!  The life of wild abandon gives common sense a swift kick in the pants whenever we try to make the last tweak to the beds really the LAST fine tuning to the gardens.

There's always that one patch of demonic ground that grows nothing but dirt.  I've lost count how many leafy tykes just gave up the ghost or sprouted legs and traipsed over to the bed next door.  The next thing I'm planting in that barren unhallowed ground is a concrete statue, so there!

Veggie gardens - on a learning curve from zero to one hundred, I guess I'm at rock bottom working my way up.  Leaf lettuce needs to be picked first thing in the morning before it loses its crispness and posture.  When watered it flattens across the ground, so if you forgot to pick before watering, you're having no salad tonight. Takes it a good 24 hours to perk back up again and laugh in your face.

Cucumber will grow in a pot next pot. Grabbed the stems of that billions of hairy stickers monster with gloved hands and choked the living daylights out of my Kudzu Want-A-Be before stuffing it into the trash bag and breathing a sigh of relief.

Green beans growing up corn stalks...southerners...scrub that thought right out of your noggin with a double dose of soap.  I've concluded this is a desert suggestion that totally belongs only to deserty places.  Grieved that my green beans had nowhere to go, I was soon rejoicing as the latent corn stalks shot up to the heavens.

Green bean tendrils in masses of hundreds (I only exaggerate an ennie tinnie bit) curled around those stalks tighter and tighter, weightier and weightier, until the stalks leaned to the left, more leaned to the right, then the tops began to break off.  Cutting all those tendrils and un-wrapping their death grip took hours...sooooooo...the only beans this year will be the ones in my dreams.

Corn; well, I'm sharing some eats with husband, and some munchies with the Virginia Tiger Moth Caterpillar.  I don't see where these cuties do much damage, so I just let them be.  It's easy to cut off the very top of an ear of corn they might munch on, so I just live and let live.

My dog's a carrot eater, but he turned up his nose at my homegrown orange roots; that little stinker.  Their tasty and I shared their tops with two Black Swallowtail Caterpillars until they disappeared as some bird's lunch - tough being so low on the food chain.

Carrots aren't native.  Giving Black Swallowtail Caterpillars a fighting chance seems like a cause worthy of these gardens, so I googled native eats for them.  I found wildflower annuals listed that no one in their right mind would ever plant in their garden, so I searched the Shooting Star Nursery Catalog and found Golden Alexander, a nice perennial native wildflower belonging to the carrot family.  While not considered invasive, it does love to fill up a space.  I pray this isn't going to be my 631st mistake with this yard.  Giant Purple Hyssop caught my eye also and will be added to these gardens, just because it is in danger of disappearing from existence.

When is enough, enough?  When the Carolina Rose is succeeding in its quest of taking over the garden :(  It's cardboard collar time to protect neighboring tykes, and Roundup, baby, of the very few times Roundup rubs elbows with these gardens. And speaking of Roundup...have you noticed since the beginning of time how the sprayer on premixed bottles of this lethal stuff always leaks onto your hand when pumped?  Do you think Monsanto cares?

Golden close of the day


  1. I like your approach to gardening. Try as I may I will never have a fine tuned garden. It just seems to always be evolving, never finished but that's ok with me. And how generous of you to share your corn with the caterpillars.
    I bet it's very tasty!

  2. Wild abandoned gardens are my favorite kind. However, your gardens are never abandoned. Just artfully cared for to look that way. Love the colors in that top photo. Gorgeous leaves!

  3. I won't let my husband buy Round-up. Monsanto is so terrible that I don't even know where to start. Not the only ag company that is, but Just... ugh.
    I have problems with tomato horn worms. If they didn't eat up my plants and tomatoes, I wouldn't mind. The moths are pretty. I use Diatomaceous Earth. The first few years of growing a garden is learning what grows best where and what kind works best.

  4. Looks like your garden is still going strong. Ours gave up and died, no more peppers (never were any), no more okra and the tomatoes are just about finished. I think I may try corn next year, if I can find a spot for it.


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