Community Garden: Successes and Setbacks

It must be a curious sight indeed to drivers passing by to see me leaning against my car, swapping my flip-flops for gross-o rubber boots (which pair fabulously with my work clothes, I might add), spritzing every square inch of exposed skin with bug spray to ward off mosquitoes, and marching into the garden with a basket and some wrinkled gardening gloves.

My plot has grown and blossomed, but it’s not all sun beams and elegant arcs of water pouring from a brushed steel watering can. There’s been a tragedy.

During my week of vacation, an army of squash bugs infiltrated plot B2 and launched an aggressive assault on my thriving zucchini plant. I returned from Colorado with hopes of zucchinis to last me through the next several weeks, but unfortunately, the damage was done.

Sadly, the whole plant had to come up, leaving me with one, last, giant zucchini to remember it by. I know that everyone, human and bug alike, needs food, but I’m still annoyed. How did they multiply so fast?! Urg.

Fortunately, all is not lost. The zucchini may be gone, but the tomatoes are ripening, the okra pods are lengthening, and I finally have some bell peppers making an appearance on their stubbly little stalks.

And it’s not just veggies. The okra, for instance, has surprised me with stunning, delicate yellow blossoms. Who knew?

Plus, the sunflower saga continues. No blooms yet, but the heads are beginning to form, waaaaaaay up in the sky.

Seriously, they’re seven feet tall. I think the seed package said 4-6 feet. Surprise!

With luck, I’ll still be able to reach them when it’s time to snip a bouquet that promises an explosion of gold, orange, magenta, and pink to help ring in the fall.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Fall is still several weeks away, and even without the zucchini, there is still plenty of harvest to enjoy as the summer draws to a close. Already, I have more jalapenos than I know how to use (there are 23 in my fridge…. I was totally expecting like, 10 total) and the basil situation is getting a little absurd. I mean, can one have too much pesto?

I just may find out this summer.