Mission Accomplished (Almost)

This weekend, Jim and I finally got most of the garden in.  Most of what we plant is seeds because in this dry, hot climate we find that the plants do better if they have a chance to establish from seed.

Look Carefully for the Giraffe

Look Carefully for the Giraffe

*This is probably a metaphor for writing, but I’m not sure exactly how to work it out. *

We purchased seedlings from a local nursery for peppers and eggplant and, this year, most of our tomatoes.  For some reason, the tomatoes we started from seed didn’t do well this year.  Unlike last year, when we planted twenty-one seeds and ended up with twenty-one plants –  most of which grew up to monster bushes that produced lots of fruit – this year we planted twenty-one seeds and ended up with only three surviving plants.

*There is a reason I would not want to be a farmer.  Farming makes writing for a living seem almost like a sane and predictable career choice.  Kindly note, I said “almost.”*

Now the fun begins.  I’ll start my morning by opening the blinds in the bedroom and looking out.  First a quick count to see if the seven tomato plants I can see from there made the night.  Next, have any of the beans sprouted?  We plant the climbers to grow up a net right outside our window.  By midsummer, if all goes well, we’ll have a natural curtain of green livened with lavender (liana) and red (scarlet runner) bean flowers.  Oh, and lizards.  They like to climb the bean vines.  And hummingbirds come by to sample bean nectar.  The cats love it.  So do we.

But that’s later.  Right now, the game is spotting what’s coming up.  The squash bed is a bit further away, but zucchini seedlings have fairly large leaves, so sometimes I can see what’s come up from a fair distance.  Carrots and radishes, however, require a closer inspection, as does basil, chard, cucumbers, and various herbs.

*I suspect this is also a metaphor for writing.  Probably something to do with coming up with ideas that aren’t obvious.  Hmm…*

We didn’t quite finish planting this weekend.  Many of our perennial flowers are already doing very well.  The lilies are shooting up, and we should have blossoms in a couple of weeks.  The window boxes have been spruced up with snapdragons and dianthus that we purchased leafed out and budding.  We’ll plant a chaotic assortment of zinnias and portulacas in other planters,  as well as among the hollyhocks, so we have color when the hollyhocks are done with their first round of flowers.  We’ll also plant more zinnias along the sidewalk leading to the front door.  By the end of the summer, getting up that path will involve skirting flowers.

*Probably another metaphor, although whether for writing or for life in general, I can’t say.*

So, we planted most of the garden this weekend.  Of course, that’s just the beginning.  Persistence and patience will be needed if we’re to see fruit and flowers, rather than just dust and dry stems.

*And this is truth and also a metaphor.  Funny how that works, isn’t it?*

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