Last spring I had the fun assignment of sitting at a table in BenLees and interviewing five ladies from the Worthington Garden Club for a story I did for the Daily Globe. That was a hoot. The five of them were so knowledgeable and encouraging. I went home feeling inspired and ready to face the gardening season, despite my previous incompetence in that area.
Flash forward to about a month later. I stood in a greenhouse at Grandpa’s Fun Farm, staring at the rows and rows of herbs, tomatoes, and pansies, trying to decide which ones were worthy of coming home with me. I bought sixteen tomato plants, some parsley and thyme, quite a few pansies and other flowers, and a beautiful red geranium.
Poor doomed plants. Next year when I come into the greenhouse all of the growing things need to play dead and then maybe they’ll escape my black thumb.
Ok, I am exaggerating. A little. But it is true that within two weeks my geranium had suffered Death by Drowning in the adorable teapot I’d planted it in because I hadn’t given it any way to drain. The marigolds were well on their way to a similar death except that I realized their plight and took them out of the adorable TAC Sale find (a roasting pan) and shoved them into an old Weber grill – which comes with a drain all ready and waiting. True, the grill got kicked over later in the summer by an unsuspecting young man, but they survived somehow…or, rather, half of them did.
My tomatoes took off well, but a few weeks into June I realized that I’d forgotten to take precautions against blossom rot and I couldn’t remember exactly what I’d been told to do, anyway. (Note to self: write everything down.)
Around that same time I finally remembered to plant some wildflower seeds I’d optimistically purchased and forgotten all about. I spent some time weeding a spot large enough to take the entire mammoth package of seeds. Then I fertilized the ground, planted the seeds, watered them, and walked into the house only to hear a loud clap of thunder followed by a violent burst of rain which took half of my seeds into Iowa in about three minutes. The other half did grow, but apparently I over-fertilized them as all I got was a jungle of three-foot high stems and leaves and about three pink blossoms two days ago. I think they’re morning glories, but I’m not certain. I noticed today that there are a few…what are they called? Oh yeah, forget me nots.
I planted some sunflowers the same day as the wildflowers, but they were all eaten by rabbits except for one which somehow grew up in the tomato barrel.
My cherry tomatoes have done well. I made a fantastic roasted tomato-basil soup but I had to use dried basil as I forgot about my basil plants and they all went to seed and got smashed up by hail. I thought my large tomatoes had miraculously escaped blossom rot but just this week I see that they have not. Sigh.
I think, when it comes down to it, I ought to stick to theology and forget about gardening. Then again, maybe if I prayed a little more for my plants that would help. Either way, the “disheveled” moniker fits. And, I’m okay with that. A few disheveled plants, plus this disheveled gardener/theologian, and I have a happy summer.
I wonder if I dare plant some bulbs this fall?