Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

How does your garden grow?

by Rebecca on 2009-06-07

The previous owners of our house planted a nice garden in the backyard for us. Itʼs a good thing that they did because with all of the other things that I want to do with the house, a garden wouldʼve been low on my priorities list. But we have a ready-made garden, and all I have to do is keep it watered and alive.

I've decided that caring for this garden is kind of like suddenly being responsible for someone elseʼs kids. Iʼve seen kids before and babysat occasionally and can kind of guess at what things they need to be happy (food, milk, toys, and sleep, right?) But if I were to try to take care of your kid (and Iʼm not offering, mind), it would take me a while to figure out their feeding and sleeping schedule, what kinds of food they like or dislike, and what they enjoy doing.

Same with my garden. We donʼt know what all of the plants are. Iʼm guessing that if we water them several times a week, and feed them once a week, theyʼll turn out OK. But I donʼt know what each individual plant needs or wants. So, Iʼm just sticking with the general watering policy.

And the plants seem to have personalities. The dill just took off and threatened to overrun the garden until we removed one of the plants. Now it seems to have lost general interest in life, without its sister plant. The Anaheim pepper plant just grows abundantly without asking for too much in return. The pink flowers, oh, heavens. They just like to show off. The tomatoes have miraculously risen from the brink of death but seem to be peeved at me because theyʼre not producing fruit. The basil and the chives try so hard to be useful, but there is just so, so much of both of them. And the unidentified hairy tall plant grows silently but doesnʼt want to tell us his name.

Weʼre also attracting all kinds of wildlife. Iʼve seen ants, worms, caterpillars, June bugs, birds, and even rabbits hanging out in the garden. Ah, the rabbits. We have a rabbit problem in this part of Austin. Better than a deer problem, but annoying nonetheless. I even had to chase a Peter Cottontail out of the garden, and he hopped away with his mouth still full of chives. He looked like he had a green beard. Sheesh, bunny. You have gourmet taste in your salad greens.

Thatʼs our garden. Right now, itʼs thriving, and Iʼm hopeful that weʼll have some tomatoes one of these days and that the mysterious tall plant will soon make its fruit appear. Good practice for kids, right?

Do any of you have any guesses about what the tall plant might be? So far, Iʼve heard pepper, eggplant, and zucchini …