The Ups and Downs of Gardening

Sometimes, I hate my garden. When the deer eat the baby cucumbers, when something digs up my whole crop of elephant garlic and spreads the cloves willy-nilly along the path, when it’s too hot, too wet, too cold, too dry, too buggy.

Other days–admittedly fewer in number–I love my garden. Today, the temperature is just right, there are no bugs yet, and in cleaning up for soil preparation, I dug up a dozen sweet potatoes I’d forgotten I’d planted. I might have remembered–if the deer hadn’t eaten all the leaves to tell me they were there.  So, sweet potatoes for dinner tonight!

The onions are doing well, the garlic is still buried, the turnips are slowly coming along, the broccoli heads are small, and the cabbage…is cabbagey. By the time the weather gets warm enough to plant the spring seedlings that currently live in the sunshine on my dining room table, the others will need to come out to make room.

I’m trying flowers this year too–so into the ground today went freesias, gladiolas, lilies, and a single amaryllis. All pinks and reds.

Seedlings are spinach, sweet peas, morning glories, tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflowers, peppers, zucchini, and … something else I don’t remember. Last year, the squirrels got all my tomatoes and melons–I suspect because I put the birdfeeder above the deck and the seeds attracted the squirrels. The deer got the blueberries and the climbing hydrangea, but I’m hopeful they made it through the winter, and soon I’ll start spraying Deer Off on them again. I’ve also got Concord and muscadine grapes, if they made it through the winter.

Gardening is an iffy thing for a lazy and haphazard gardener like me. I’ve stopped taking it personally when something doesn’t grow, figuring it just wasn’t meant to grow in this sandy coastal soil. When something does grow, and grow well, I think I’ll just plant more of it. That might lead to a garden full of sweet potatoes…and I can think of worse things!

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