Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Don't Always Get What You Ask For (but sometimes you get something better)

Every spring I have an overwhelming desire to plant a vegetable garden. And every spring something happens to prevent that desire from bearing fruit, so to speak.

This year I decided to start small. All I really wanted were some tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, basil, cilantro, and mint. Everyone in my family enjoys these, and I already had empty beds outside my back door, ready to be planted. Easy, right?

So during one of Katie's art lessons, I lugged Owen and Audrey over to Fred's to see what they had to offer. The plants all looked healthy. I got exactly what I wanted, plus a few things that I didn't really want. I have a hard time saying no to children who are asking for healthy things! So we added in one watermelon plant, one catnip plant ("Hugo will LOVE this!"), and a few flowers.

The mint never sprouted. The cilantro bolted to seed in the heat of June. The cucumbers dried up and shrivelled away. The bell pepper plants kept blossoming, then...nothing. I did get a handful of grape tomatoes, and currently have exactly four small, green slicer tomatoes on the vine.

 Gangly Tomato Plant

 Sad Little Pepper(less) Plant

And what became of that superfluous catnip? And the watermelon, which I personally dislike?

Beautiful Monstrous Catnip

 Eight-Foot Long Watermelon Plant

Baby Watermelon ( it IS cute.)

My friend Lee Anne says there must be a Gospel message here. I haven't had time to wrap my brain around it yet, but I think she is right. I do know that there is one plant that clearly displays getting something we do not deserve - my sunflowers....

We studied birds last year for Science class and managed to attract many of them to our tiny, suburban back yard. Almost every bird likes sunflower seeds, so we keep some scattered on the patio outside our kitchen door.

When Kevin mows the yard, he uses the leaf blower to blow all the hulls away. Much to our surprise, a small growth of sunflowers began to sprout up in a tiny corner of the patio. Today, they blossomed. It was so lovely to see the yellow petals, which we had not intentionally planted, open towards the morning sun. What a beautiful background for our bird watching!

 Lovely Sunflowers

 Sunflower Blossom (Look closely to see a tiny ant!)

Mockingbird Enjoying a Cool Drink

Undeserved favors...thank You, God, for your blessings!


Lee Anne said...

LOVE! I always enjoy seeing your flowers - and even more so in person. I can't wait to read your follow up to this post. ;)

Camille said...

YAY! SO HAPPY to see you writing! YAY! And the sunflowers are awesome. :)