Friendship, garden fails and fresh tomatoes

Our garden from hell is planted with good intentions and a whole bunch of other things we never intended to grow.

An evil hosta lurks in the northwest corner. It points its giant spiky leaves at us and hisses a little when we try to sneak past. God know what henchmen scurry around underneath that thing. We’re afraid to look.

A cluster of … something is growing between a flowering whatcha-ma-call-it and a dead mum. We thought it might be self-planted corn. Now we’re not so sure.

Three months ago, with the optimism of spring still bouncing around our happy little hearts, we cleared the ground for planting. (And, by we I mean Molly. I just pointed out a small depression era shovel sitting dusty in the corner of our garage, and suggested she dig.)

Then, we took our smug selves to Home Depot and filled our cart with a bunch of random plants. We bought lavender, because Molly once made lavender ice cream that tasted delicious; rhubarb, because the strawberry rhubarb cream pie at Yoder’s Bakery is to die for; coreopsis, because Molly picked it out and I didn’t want to tell her I had no idea what it was; one “Leading Lady Lilac” because I’m a sucker for lilacs and alliteration, and one cherry tomato plant, obviously.

We envisioned a lovely, colorful, but practical space where perennials and annuals, flowers and plants, lived in peace and harmony. But, summer came calling with its music festivals and campfires, and we let it whisk us away.

Last week, I stepped out and discovered, to my delight, that our tomato plant was glistening with bright, red cherry tomatoes. I popped one right in my mouth and for the 11 seconds it took me to chew, I felt at one with the farm to fork movement.

Then I looked around. Our lavender plant looked panicked as it held its dainty head precariously over a sea of ground cover we can’t identify, something ate the rhu out of our barb, and our “Leading Lady Lilac” had gone all Sunset Boulevard on us.

We are not gardeners…yet.

Five years ago we launched this blog with a post about our six-foot by two-foot garden that never grew anything except turnips. It’s possible we’ve taken a step backward, away from Mr. Green Jeans and back to Captain Kangaroo.

But, we’re going to keep plugging away, at this blog and in that garden. And, while we’re honing our skills, we’re going to enjoy the bountiful harvest of friendship and fresh tomatoes.

We grew a bumper crop of turnips that first year, but, sadly, discovered we really, really did not like the taste of turnips.
An aggressive hosta lurks on the west side of our patio garden. It has spiky leaves the size of my melon head and Audrey II tendencies. We’re very afraid.
I posted this deceptive picture on Instagram and got a bunch of likes from fellow gardeners who may not have understood that this was the sum total of my harvest. But, really, is there anything better than a warm tomato fresh off the vine?
Our poor, elegant lavender is being choked by the ground cover.
And we don’t know what this is. Any guesses?
A brave sunflower stands sentry over our one success, the cherry tomato plant.
Our patio garden was supposed to look so much cooler (and more edible) than this.


4 thoughts on “Friendship, garden fails and fresh tomatoes

  1. Lavender takes a while to establish. The first year, its sits, the second year, it walks, and the third year, it runs. Be patient, ice cream is coming.

    The corn-looking thing is some sort of decorative grass, if I’m any judge of the tassel. (Corn is technically a grass, too.) My philosophy is if it’s happy and I like the look of it, it stays.

    Cherry tomatoes have been known to grow in the cracks of a sidewalk, so no worries there. “Sweet 100s” are the Sweetest. Tomatoes. Ever. They’re like tomato bon-bons. Try cutting them in half, scooping out the innards (you can freeze it for chili later in the wintertime) and refill with cheese, pate, sloppy joe meat, cottage cheese, etc.

    In the pic, the tomatoes are sitting on purslane: a weed in this country and a delicacy among Brits. Brits are not known for their culinary prowess, just sayin’.

    In the other pic, I can’t identify the ground cover but it looks like some sort of self-seeding annual. The other plants ARE weeds–a type of (probably) nightshade and wild lettuce.

    And hosta is awesome, you’re both crazy.

    1. Thank you for this amazing comment, which we will use as a instruction manual as we repair our garden. We love that you took the time to identify our weedy plants for us, and are very impressed that you could identify each from the photos. We’re going to look for some “Sweet 100s”. Love the phrase “tomato bon-bons”. Yum

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