Soooo, maybe I was a little hasty. Maybe just a little annoyed.
Fact is, we had temps in the mid-80’s last week, which pretty much never happens in July around here. It was raining for much of the time, it is true, but not constantly. One overcast afternoon, I decided that I just couldn't stand it. Our poor garden.
I’ve joined a few gardening FB groups. I’m finding them fun and really helpful. I was able to get an ID on some weeds that, if not new in our garden, than new in their enthusiasm. So I knew what I was yanking.
A few weeks ago, I sowed tomato seeds. I was feeling pretty sad that none had come up. But when I cleared one of the areas...
I was so excited to discover that lone tomato. I don't even recall what variety it is. I don't even care. I'm just hoping it will continue to thrive. I've never tried growing tomatoes at this time of year. The only reason I thought to try is because the tomato plants we buy from the nursery in late spring never survive past mid-July, at least not happily. In fact, this little plant represents two firsts for me -- my first time to grow a tomato plant from seed and my first time to sow mid-summer. Gardening is such a hopeful occupation.
I got a lot of weeding done and there is still a lot more to do, not to mention pruning, training, and planting. There are, at least, lots of flowers among the weeds.
And isn't that true of life in general?
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.