Monday, August 11, 2008

summer gardens

I'm still fairly new to this whole gardening thing - seems it's either feast or famine with me. Flower beds overflow the borders as plants crowd each other out - or the plants struggle to fill their allotted space, looking spindly and forlorn.

But not one for admitting defeat, this spring, instead of just planting flowers, I put in a vegetable garden as well. And it will be a feast of tomatoes, zucchini and squash - while a famine in carrots, onions, peas and peppers.

Well, I'm learning as I go. Learning that 3 zucchini plants is more than enough - I now greet my neighbours with 'hello, would you like some zucchini?'

V and I are learning what to do with this feast of zuccs - yesterday he made a moist, dense zucc spice cake. We've also had grilled zuccs, zucc frittata, zuccs in tomato sauce, zuccs with couscous, zuccs in curry... and that was probably just last week.

I also have what seems like 100 tomatoes almost ripe on the vines - we're having a string of cool days and even cooler nights, so they seem to hanging there, unchanged, taunting me. I know when they do start to ripen we're going to be overloaded. 'Hello neighbour, how about some tomatoes?'

The one squash plant I put in has also gone crazy. A couple weekends ago V built a 9 ft frame for it to climb on since it was reaching around and strangling everything it could get its tendrils on - tomato vines, day lillies, zucc stems, raspberry bushes... We leaned the frame against the garage and I tore up an old pillowcase to make strips to attach the squash vines. Already the plant is climbing up and over its frame. Seems we might be up on the garage roof to harvest this fall.

So for all my inexperience, I'm seeing how forgiving gardens are. I may not have put things in the best location, or foreseen how much room each plant would need, but they seem willing to make do with what they've got, rewarding at least my effort. And I'm learning from my mistakes, seeing what works and what doesn't. V has already dug up more ground for an expanded garden next summer... but now I have to go, the zucchini muffins are ready to come out of the oven.

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