Garden Brag, Part 2

Slightly over a month later, and the tomatoes are Out. Of. Con. Trol. They’ve replaced the lettuce as the mildly frightening entity in the garden. They’re growing at such a rate, that it feels like a scene in The Birds, when Tippi Hedren looks at a barren tree with several crows perched on branches, then looks away, and when she looks at it again, a moment later, it’s now completely covered in birds. I feel slightly suspicious of them, like they’re ominously  growing behind my back. I’m weeding and staking, and I turn away to pick up the scissors, and I turn back and it’s AHHH!

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Don’t they look like they’re up to something?

There are about 15 of these tomato plants, almost all approaching 4 feet tall. Most of them have been staked at least twice. The paddock (the Kiwi word for “field”) of tomatoes are dotted with clusters of vine-ripening green fruit. I’m tempted to use words like “bulging” and “swollen.” Too much? “Blistering?” I’ll stop there. I can’t wait to pair these with some homegrown basil on toasted bread.

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Which brings me to the basil!

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Maybe in this extended metaphor of my murderous organic veggie garden, the lettuce and the tomatoes are the red herrings. The tragic irony will surely be that while I’m looking over my shoulder at the tomatoes, the innocent-looking barrel of fragrant basil and cucumber, (which happens to be located closest to an entrance to our house, by the way), will be the ones to swallow us all up, house and all. Those cucumber tendrils that reach and coil, it’s definitely more animal than plant in my book.

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All kidding aside, I love my thriving (if surprisingly robust) veggie garden! I can’t wait for all those tomatoes! Sean and I eat salad every night. And until moving to New Zealand, we bought little grape tomatoes year-round to decorate our salads. Once we moved here, we were reminded of the importance of eating seasonally, when we bit into our first early-spring tomato. We’ve replaced the red in our salads for the last 3 months with red peppers, which is fine. But we miss our tomatoes. So imagine my delight when I saw these little guys the other day!

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I plucked them off the vine last night and we each got one, carefully sliced in half, in our salad. Oh, the joys of a home gardener.

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And lastly, the big trophy of the garden at the moment is the sunflower.

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Here is some perspective: she has grown taller than Sean, who is 6’5″! The petals seemingly opened all at once, over the span of about 36 hours. I wish I’d have stood there watching. I bet I could’ve seen the petals opening with my bare eyes. We are basking in her sunny face and awaiting her little brother’s arrival.

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More to come. Stay tuned!

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