My last garden update was three weeks ago, and a fair amount has happened. My tomatoes are about to explode. I’ve got dozens, if not hundreds, of tomatoes on the vines. I suspect I should have thinned out the suckers a bit more than I did, but I’ll be fine. I’ve eaten three relatively small tomatoes, and they were absolutely delicious — an extremely gratifying snack. But I’ve got some softball sized behemoths that should start to ripen shortly, a bunch of cherry tomatoes that keep multiplying, and plenty of sizes in between.
I’ve already started giving away zucchini. I have been told how it can take over a garden, and now I know. But I’m not complaining. It’s so good and so fresh. A friend delivered a loaf of zucchini bread the other day, and I’ll finish it off for breakfast today. I also know that a 6 inch zucchini can triple in size in just a couple of days.
The cucumbers are wildly successful. I’ve taken to eating a cucumber a day, with some sea salt and a splash of vinegar or lemon. Or sometimes, with some Hendrick’s gin! It’s the cucumbers that have made me appreciate bees, which are attracted to this fruit’s flowers more than anything else in the garden. Bees are so incredibly important to gardens, and I love to see them flying through the flowers, gathering nectar, spreading pollen.
I’m quite excited about the watermelon and cantaloupe. I have one watermelon that’s bigger than a softball, and another that is baseball-sized. I’ve got one maturing cantaloupe that is still green, and a lot of little baby cantaloupe that looked like they’ve just been pollinated.
I visit my garden at least twice a day, and when I do, a complete calm falls over me. This is a calm that is different than the peace I experience when cooking, but no less rewarding. I’m lost in that garden, pulling up a weed, checking the cucumber trellis, seeing the damage the rabbits did (rabbits like cantaloupe leaves; watermelon, not so much). It might be 95 degrees out there, but I don’t care. Not only do I not mind being alone, I cherish the solitude. I’m happy. This is my garden. My space. My time. But at the same time, I want to share it. I want to give away my cucumbers. I want to tell friends about it. I want to show my daughter the watermelon she named after herself (yes, the bigger watermelon is named Clara). My garden gives me serenity. My garden gives me pride. My garden gives me nourishment. My garden gives me excitement.