I invited a predator into my indoor plantar garden this summer and I am sorrier than I can say.
Like most problems I get myself into, this one grew from an altruistic intent and spiraled out of control thanks to my own insecurities.
I planted cucumber seeds earlier this spring because I felt a little foolish about all the hothouse baby cucumbers I’d been munching all winter and I wanted to give back to the earth that which I had indulgently plucked…but also because I heard they were easy to grow.
Recently, I discovered to my everlasting horror, that my cucumber vine had been wrapping its evil tentacles around all my precious innocents. Oh, the horrors!
I saw my poor basil, once the tall, proud stalwart of the group, gasping at me one morning as I watered.
“Help me,” it whispered hoarsely with that sweet pesto-breath I dearly love.
I leaned in and then reeled back in shock. Like some evil, green Superhero, the cucumber plant had lassoed a basil leaf and was squeezing hard, all the while smiling at me slyly with its pseudo-innocent yellow flowers.
“Unhand this plant at once!” I commanded and began the tedious unraveling process.
That dastardly cucumber watched me work even as, behind its back, it slowly strangled other shoots throughout my tiny garden.
Woe is me mint! And me peppers! And me oregano, the very last to fall.
So, this means war, of course.
Every morning and every evening I patrol. I apologize profusely to my struggling plants and prop them up with words and windows.
“You can do this,” I say. “Stand strong! Band together! You’ve got this.”
Then, I tenderly unravel all the evil choking that takes place between my visits.
I vowed I would not Q-tip pollinate the cucumbers because, obviously, indoor plants can’t produce fruit without bees or a little manmade intervention, right?
“That’ll show them,” I thought.
But, no! This beast regenerates on its own! Last week I spotted tiny cucumbers…that will grow…and seed…and spawn more vines….and soon my entire house will be covered in cucumber vines from the inside out.
It’s quite a pickle, no?