A cherry tomato explosion. A zucchini bonanza. Mint, enough said. That’s the feast. Now to the famine: a handful of carrots (niblets), a handful of red onions (bite size), minimal basil, a few radishes, two cucumbers, no edamame beans or yellow squash, and a partridge in a pear tree. That’s what I have to show for my planning, planting, and nurturing this summer. It has left me puzzled.

Let’s start with that feast. We are well into Fall and my cherry tomatoes are not showing any signs of stopping. Sure, some of the leaves are turning brown. The plants are no longer lush, but they are still producing. It’s as though those tasty, pop in your mouth right off the vine, treats are tempting fate. The zucchini has left me virtually speechless. It grew, and grew, and grew. I could pick all the zucchini one day and return the next and not only was there more overnight, it was monster size. There was so much zucchini I could not find enough recipes to keep me interested in eating it night after night.

I was very excited about my regular sized tomato plants this year because I bought a four pack selection that included red, pink, yellow, and orange. All four plants sprouted up and exceeded the confines of their cages. They were so lush, yet somehow they never quite produced. As for the pink and yellow varieties, I am convinced I only had red and orange. Perhaps the pink and yellow were just a hue or two away from their companions and my middle aged eyes were unable to tell the difference.

Chives, oh my chives. I was beside myself last summer after tasting homegrown chives for the first time. Homegrown goes beyond putting grocery store chives to shame. They are not only bursting with an amazing flavor, prompting me to cut them up and throw on whatever I ate last summer, they also grew so well in the little pot on my patio. This summer, not so much. I have yet to clip any chives as the few little stems have remained stagnant all season. That is until now. As soon as October hit the plant decided to grow. I’ve decided I will bring it indoors, place in a window, and if I’m lucky I’ll have fresh chives in December. My two rosemary plants are also late bloomers this year. They, too, started showing signs of life in October.

My learning curve continues. As I reflect on my third year of gardening I have more questions than I did a year ago. Perhaps that is the nature of the hobby. Gardening is after all not confined to a controlled environment. We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature which never ceases to surprise us.

Posted on 2012-11-01 by Michelle Rauch