Horrors! Two weeks of neglect is one week and six days too many. Yikes. That poor tomato plant finally succumbed to the heat and who knows what else. I’m pretty sure someone would know, by the way – even me – with a moment’s examination, but that’s not the point. It stopped fruiting weeks ago and was fighting an interesting battle with the purslane.
The pumpkin plants weren't fighting. They were bailing, desperately trying to find another place to grow. Our little grandchildren had carefully sown the seeds and the birds got most of them. I know this because I saw a cardinal helping himself. But a couple of plants survived in two different beds and I aim to watch out for those as best I can.
It was a hot, muggy, buggy, unpleasant task cleaning out that bed. Fire ants had taken over a corner, even despite the crazy purslane. But I did manage to clear it and now the pumpkin, Musquée de Provence, has room to spread. I haven’t raked the bed yet, but it looks so much better.
It’s lovely just thinking of fall.
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.