Friday, July 24, 2009

Rogue Wonder

My vegetable garden was pretty much a bust this year. There were peas but not enough to freeze, the spinach, doing wonderfully well in late spring, was shredded by a surprise hail storm. Much of the lettuce succumbed to slugs, and the cucumbers, the squash, the eggplant and the peppers languished in too much rain, putting out pale, puny flowers only last week. The tomatoes, huddled in their cages, finally have small, hard, green fruits and the potato tops have died down early. It will be a meager harvest.

Though all my careful planning and vegetable planting has come to naught, there is one vine that has triumphed. The patio garden, meant for flowers and herbs only, is host to a rogue pumpkin plant the size of China. The seed must have been buried in the compost. The leaves are immense, swamping the rhododendron bush, shading a whole pot of petunias, and serving as umbrellas for the phlox, the morning glories and the hollyhocks. Bright green tendrils curl along the fence and a single blossom could, if fried, feed a family of six. Already there are six small pumpkins forming and at least five other flowers blooming in orangey yellow profusion. It is the miracle of a single seed and a marvelous reminder to grow where you are planted.

For those of you who couldn't make it to the patio this summer for minted ice tea, maybe you'll come for pumpkin pie!


Barbara said...

Pumpkin pie in the fall sound like a wonderful idea!

I fear our CSA farm in PA is having similar problems because we have had a profusion of cucumbers and carrots, but little else of significance. I worry that I will never see another tomato!

Paul said...

I would definitely do pumpkin pie.

focusfinder said...

Your picture making has improved dramatically this year, P. You're well on your way to being able to illustrate your own print articles. How about submitting a draft on making a patio garden?

Pauline said...

Barbara and Paul - it's a date!

Thanks, B! That's high praise indeed. I'm afraid no one would want to follow my directions for making a patio - it was a bit helter-skelter with lots of improvisation and even more good luck ;)

Meggie said...

Oh I so hope this grows some fruit to maturity for you! I had a rogue plant just like this! I featured the flowers on my blog for a time. I never did get fruit from the vine, but the flowers were magical, & I loved it just the same. Alas, Gom dispatched it, along with most of my parsley, to my enraged horror.

Roberta S said...

Pauline, that is one grand pumpkin plant. Is it a just reward for the other garden discouragements? I think it might be when you sink your teeth into that pumpkin pie(s). :)

Hold the whipped cream, I'll be right there.

Elizabeth said...

A wonderful veggie garden.
How I envy you.
Your bio sounds a bit like mine!

Reya Mellicker said...

Elizabeth just wrote today about the magic of pumpkins. I'd never thought about it, but it's true.

We left a pumpkin in the backyard one year after Halloween. The squirrels devoured it - well - almost all of it, because one of the seeds dropped into the ground and produced a beautiful pumpkin plant the next year. It only made one pumpkin (our backyard is very shady) - a tiny, squirrel sized fruit. It was magic!

Pauline said...

meggie - there are five pumpkins growing rapidly and more flowers beginning to form fruit. I should have enough for pie to spare!

Roberta- saving you a big piece of pie!

Elizabeth - I'll have pumpkins to spare! Enjoyed your blog and will return to read more.

Reya - I agree. Pumpkins have a bit of magic to them!