Friday, July 24, 2009
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!