June 27, 2014


The blackberries have peaked. You can see the last of them in the top photo, on the left. The zucchini are coming into their own – they're the most beautiful dark green (whenever I see them I think - I want to wear that as a nail polish). The herbs are rocking along, bushy, fragrant, beautiful. Our one blueberry bush has started ripening a handful of berries every few days - the perfect patio snack. The tomatoes! The tomatoes are going to be crazy - the first hefty Early Girl started to turned golden, both Juliet (Roma / grape) plants have 4-5 reddening clusters, the Black Prince has 4-5 golf-ball-sized fruits, a darker stranger green than the others. (And that's not including the five Rutgers/Roma plants Micah planted from seed in pots that are already taller than the other tomatoes, and just now flowering.)

I think the cantaloupes have given up; but the watermelon are flourishing. Micah's peppers are just starting to come into their own – they're loving the heat. His okra are tiny – but still trying to put out tiny okras. They're adorable but probably won't be delicious. His pickling cucumbers have started to climb the adorable foraged-branch-teepees he made them. I love those tightly-spiraled tendrils.

It's a strange thing. I look forward to planning our garden each winter, starting it, tending the seedlings – and then I leave for Michigan for a few weeks during it's most productive season. And the last few years, I've been spending more and more time there, and less time enjoying the fruits of my labor. But it's really affirmed something that I kind of already knew about myself – that I love taking care of things, the day-to-day upkeep – and not so much the showy end result. A Virgo thing, maybe. I'm really excited for our generous friends who have agreed to water our plants (and in turn, harvest whatever they want), while I'm in Michigan for SIX WEEKS, and Micah joins me for a week or two. I love giving the gift of that showy result to someone else, and then picking up the day-to-day tending when I return. That's kind of the real result of gardening, yes? The patience, the new-problems-to-solve-everyday, the elasticity of time as you watch things grow and ripen. That's why I love it. And that's why I keep doing it year after year.