I’m feeling very protective of our garden this summer. Of course, we haven’t reached boycott conditions yet. It’s still only June. I wonder if I will get to the point of pretty much leaving it to fend for itself for the better part of two months. It’s a distinct possibility and, I admit, a tradition.
At the moment, the giant plants haven’t reached their gigantic proportions just yet, flowering plants are still pretty, and the vegetable beds are untroubled. Moreover, I just received some new seed packets as well as discovered some I forgot that I had. They’re not old packets, either. So now I find I have three different tomato varieties rather than one, three peppers rather than one, and a fairly exciting assortment of herbs and annuals. I don’t usually have luck with flower seeds, which makes me wonder how much it could hurt if I sow them here, there, everywhere. With this gardener’s luck, they will probably pop up and thrive in all the least convenient spaces.
I’ve never tried to grow tomatoes from seed. But due to Covid-19, there are not a lot of transplants available right now, nor will I go here, there, everywhere to find some. I’m just happy that my favorite seed company, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, is still operating. Most of my seed packets are from them. I have a Sunrise Bumble Bee tomato, a Purple Russian tomato, Borage, Pepper Lipstick, Blue Spice Basil, and Cosmos, to name a few. What I don’t have is space for so much variety. Eeek. I mean, do I yank the kale? And can herbs crowd out or choke my two small blueberry bushes?
I guess I’ll be finding out.
Today started off steaming hot. By the afternoon the temp had risen to 98 degrees with a heat index of around 102. But even in the early morning, we could see the humidity.
My husband and I enjoyed our garden from indoors, gazing out the windows as we sipped our morning coffee. To our amusement, for the second morning in a row, a cattle egret ambled across our ligustrum hedge. Seems a strange place to take a walk, in my opinion, but I suppose the rough areas around the golf course might offer a breakfast buffet.
As for a garden update, we don't have a lot of vegetables growing at the moment. We have one tomato plant that has been generously providing us with unspectacular but homegrown, non-GMO tomatoes. We have a variety of hot peppers and many herbs. We also just sowed cucumber seeds a few days ago. They're our grandchildren's favorite, so you can believe we'll be babying those along as much as possible.
But it's the flowers that are showing off right now, particularly the roses.
I plot and I plan. I work under dangerous conditions. I am frequently under assault. At times, I might drop everything and run for cover. I strive to work towards the greater good.
Gardening in southeast Texas can be brutal. Heat, humidity, and potentially disease-carrying mosquitoes are problems for more than half the year and a dangerous combination in summer. That’s to say nothing of fire ants and other biting, stinging insects. Snakes, too, although they only make a rare appearance in my little garden. Poison ivy and oak are common and birds sow both generously.
Despite some uncomfortable conditions, I feel very protective of the wild in my garden. It’s important to know friend from foe, for example, venomous from nonvenomous snakes. Even then, it’s often not necessary to engage.
As for the bugs, it is not fine with us to hurt the good with the bad. Pesticides are banned. So are herbicides. Our beds, whether food or ornamental, are organic. And while our garden isn’t entirely native, we do have plenty of native plants that please the local wildlife as well as ourselves.
While every garden is different, they all offer challenges, pleasures, time with nature. Much like people, they have their good days and bad days, high seasons and low; and they can all be fun and beautiful if you love them enough.