How Does Your Garden Grow?

Lush, people.  My garden grows lush.  See?

I’m kind of shocked.  It was exactly seven weeks ago that I planted this sweet little community garden plot.

I’ve checked on in periodically, and admired its progress.  And then I turn my back on it for a week while I’m camping in Maine, and I come home to a Little Shop of Horrors kind of growth explosion.  An entire tomato cage, burdened with heavy green fruit, actually toppled itself over in its enthusiasm.  Two kinds of squash, on either end of my garden, have hopped the path and tried to snuggle into my neighbor’s beds. It’s kind of embarrassing.   My pumpkin vines have dwarfed my peas.  The watermelon vine is making a break for Edenton Street.

I didn’t have any veggies growing when I left town, but nine days later, I harvested nine pounds of yellow squash, zucchini, and spaghetti squash.  And that was just five vegetables, total.  My tomato vines are threatening enough fruit to weigh down the Eastern Seaboard, and tip the earth off its axis.  The number of squash blossoms alone indicates that I need to be on the lookout for some recipes, in the event of a bumper crop.

It’s an alarmingly wonderful champagne kind of problem to have.  It’s just what happens when you give June a little leeway; June and North Carolina soil and a lot of rain.

Rain. Which brings me back to Maine.  I packed up everything in the Acadia woods, and after seven days of on-and-off rain, it was all at least damp-ish.  In the words of Buddy the Elf, “Everything smells like mushrooms.”  Mushrooms, except for my hair, which I noticed somewhere in the air near Philadelphia, smelled like campfire.  It could be a lot worse, after seven days in the Maine woods.   I didn’t mind.

So, home for twenty-four hours; I spent the first twelve of those deeply appreciating how nice a bed feels, after seven nights on the ground.  Everything that went up north with me has been washed, aired, scrubbed, and hung to dry, I mean really dry.  Every inch of me has been shampooed, exfoliated, shaved, scrubbed, bandaged, lotioned, and/or polished.  Yes, I took myself for a manicure today, and got my nails done in petal pink just to be sure I felt like a girl again, after a week of tent-staking and pocket-knifing and campfire-starting.     I’m absolutely going to do all of that again, wilderness and campfires and hiking and outdoor adventure, at the first opportunity.  For now, though, I’m going to enjoy lipstick, and pillows, and hot showers, and high heels, and Morning Times lattes, and lots of great music ahead.

It’s great to go away.  And it’s really nice to be home.

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