Monday, August 4, 2014

Garden Glory

The other day I posted a picture to Instagram, the hip little sister of my social media world.

It was taken in the backyard between Nora's bedtime and sunset. Jonathan and I dug through the debris to find tomatoes in the plants that had fallen over in the last storm, we untangled weeds to pick dozens of jalapenos, and we sifted through the dead cucumber vines to find the hidden survivors. I was surprised to quickly fill a bowl with tomatoes ranging from pink to purple, and the pile of peppers grew higher and higher. I posted a portion of the harvest and said even though my garden looks more dead than alive, we're still trucking. It doesn't look like I wanted it to. Forces beyond my control {and also maybe within my control} were the cause of that. It's ugly, it's worn, it's tired, but it perseveres. We keep picking.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to photograph my garden's lush, beautiful stage, but the bounty is still abundant. I'm not exaggerating when I say I haven't watered once this summer thanks to this insane Arkansas weather. The grass is still green and plants that should be cooked to a crisp are still producing. It's been cool, it's been wet, it's been wonderful. Although I don't have any garden growing pictures, I have a few photos that show July harvests. I also have photos to show where they came from.

{Yes, those are new bean plants in the center. Their predecessors gave all they had, and then stopped. This particular variety was delicious and I'm looking forward to even more. New cucumber plants may be coming, too.}

Branches have cracked in half, yards have been littered with debris, and tomato plants have been ripped from their cages in this summer's storms. We've had no serious damage, thank goodness, but it has contributed to the above photos. With three kids and rainy weather, my gardening motto has been to let it be and harvest when ready. For me, this has stripped my garden of its usual uniformity. Tomatoes left to ripen on the ground, plants sprawling horizontally, and bugs setting up shop. Success lies on my counter tops, which are covered by produce in various states of ripeness, but it hasn't done much for curb appeal. I'm learning that's okay. It's not always pretty, but it works. Sometimes you just have to let things go to see what will happen, and sometimes you might be surprised.

So, this has been a garden update filled with metaphor. I hope it fills the quota for tomato pictures, deep thoughts, and excuses for the rambling wilderness spilling across my backyard. I wish you a very happy Monday and I encourage you to let things grow, even if things don't look the way you planned.

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Georgeanne @ Eggshells said...

You haven't watered ONCE? Even with the weather, where my plants are located has required it. In fact... I've got some fall tomato seedlings wilting right now in the sun!

I love seeing other people's gardens--this was my first year trying for one. We'll see how it goes!

Sonya K said...

It is wonderful that you have been able to harvest so much from your garden. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers sound so yummy. Stopping by from Arkansas Bloggers link-up.

Saving Everyday With Sonya K

Jessica Bauer said...

It has definitely been a yummy summer! And, cross my heart, Georgeanne, other than watering in at planting in May, I haven't turned the hose on once. I even waited to plant my second round of bean seeds until right before a storm so Mother Nature would take care of it for me. It's been one wet summer down here. PS: I hope your first garden brings you plenty of delicious success! :)

Karen Weido said...

Ting wants to plant a garden so badly next year. We may need to hire you for some consulting services. I have no idea what we are doing!

Jessica Bauer said...

Would love to help y'all, Karen! I'm no expert, but I've figured out a few tricks over the past few years.