I know it isn’t like this yet in all parts of the country, but here in Georgia everything’s turning lush and green. The weather isn’t as warm as it should be by now, but it’s been warm enough for me to get outside, start cleaning out the herb garden, and filling planters with potting soil and baby plants that will decorate the deck and – hopefully – give me a bounty of produce later in the season.
I don’t have a green thumb, and am really not much of a gardener. So you’ll never see my yard overflowing with the beautiful and colorful flowerbeds I admire at other people’s homes. But I love my herb garden out in the back yard, and the vegetables I enjoy growing in containers on the deck. A portion of my herb garden always includes what I call my “Simon and Garfunkel corner,” featuring parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. And the containers on the deck could be called my salsa garden, since they usually include several different types of hot peppers, as well as full-size and cherry tomatoes – although I admit freely that I usually eat the cherry tomatoes right off the vine, and I never get a large yield out of the regular ones. So odds are I’ll still have to buy some tomatoes at the grocery store when I’m ready to make salsa.
This time of year always brings to mind past herb and vegetable gardens I’ve planted, and some of the discoveries and disasters that went along with them. One fond memory, from when my kids were small, was when we grew a zucchini so big that it won a zucchini-and-pumpkin growing contest sponsored by our local newspaper. My kids, along with the zucchini, got their picture in the paper that year.
Then there was the time my son’s kindergarten class planted pumpkin seeds in Styrofoam cups. We were moving to a new house soon, so my sister offered to plant the scrawny, overwatered pumpkin shoot in her garden, expecting to give the sickly sprout a decent burial. Next thing we knew, it was taking over her garden, eventually producing four or five large pumpkins. Naturally, we let her keep one.
I also remember the year my mint “escaped” from its container and threatened to take over our whole back yard. And the time I planted stevia, which is a natural sweetener. It seemed like a good idea at the time, till I came out one day and saw that the entire plant had turned black. It hadn’t gone rotten overnight. Instead, it was covered – literally covered – with black ants.
I haven’t had any out-of-the-ordinary gardening experiences here in Georgia yet, but if and when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know. We’ve just been here a little over a year, so there’ll be plenty of time to see what comes up – this summer and in the years to come.
My mouth’s already watering.
April 13, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018
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