Foliage Foil

Last May my husband and I decided to take on putting in a garden, again. We’ve tried doing it in the past with not disastrous results, really, more like mediocre results instead. We had pumpkins that never seemed to ripen and carrots that wound around each other like the tornado from the Wizard of Oz.

We’ve grown bitter green peppers and mild jalapenos that we took for regular peppers. So why put ourselves through all of this again? I don’t know. Maybe we like the challenge of the thing? Maybe it is just something people in the Suburbs do—like we’ll get a notice of noncompliance and warned that if we do not plant an herb garden immediately, our section of street will not be plowed come winter, nor will our garbage be picked up at the curb—who knows?

So, always a glutton for punishment, we attempted a garden once more. This time, however, we decided to present it differently and plant in pots surrounding a paver patio complete with Adirondack chairs. In theory, it’s amazing! I like our oversized white and blue pots, it’s the stuff growing out of them that’s concerning.

Over the summer our garden has over taken our patio and chairs. We have Red Leaf Lettuce growing in tall stalks, toppling tomatoes, what resembles jungle jalapenos and we underestimated the distance between our pumpkin seeds and our watermelon seeds—I’m terrified we’ll get morphed fruit like a pumpka-melon or water-kin gourds.

The more the summer wore on, the more everything seemed to grow bigger and overwhelming. Every day I’d look out the window down at the scene and hide behind the curtain out of fear and shame and the potential that the abhorrent genetic splicing, though accidental, was producing plants with eyes and ears, ones that knew I was there and knew I was neglecting them.

To gain back control, I’d attempt to curb the growing by pruning. With the tomato plants, I’d cut off an arm, and it would automatically grow a muscular leg, which would send me back to hiding inside my house.

Recently, I went out there to confront my fear, armed with sharp shears and a plastic bowl. I thwacked and whacked cutting through the plants, separating the melons from the gourds. Luckily, not one melon or squash has lips! I gathered all normal looking fruit cleaned, sliced, sifted and made the best-tasting pico de gallo in the world.

Who knows if we’ll continue with the garden thing—though I think my husband and I might be some sort of green-thumbed sadists—is there such a thing as melon masochists?

I don’t know what it is about my spouse and me. Maybe it’s that we don’t know when to quit, or we are incredibly optimistic, or perhaps we’re simply insane. Anyway, here’s hoping we’ll eventually get it right!





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