Confessions of a Less Than Mediocre Gardener

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Fact: I often forget to water plants

Fact: These plants often die a dehydrated death

Fact: I'm not a great gardener

Fact: I don't know if that will ever change

We usually have an herb garden in pots in our back yard. Various ones have died a horrible death over the course of the summer/early fall. Most of them came close to death, while we were on vacation for two weeks. But they thrill of going out and cutting some fresh herbs (which we use a lot in our cooking) the three times the plants are alive, completely outweigh the idea of not planting an herb garden. This year at several points, I harvested lots of basil, parsley, mint, thyme and (shocker!) cilantro. (I find cilantro really hard to grow and it usually dies quickly and hopefully peacefully.) We even made basil-almond pesto one night to my own delight. 

Anyhoo, we never really delved into other kinds of growing, except buying a couple of tomato plants and forgetting to plant them got it....they died. 

Andrew was on the ball this year and bought some veggie plants to plant with E. We got a couple of pumpkin plants, onions and cabbage (?really?  cabbage? We eat cabbage on a rare occasion). 

So the onions grew a minimal amount. Andrew says we should call them "shallots" to hide the fact that they didn't grow. Slugs ate one cabbage plant and most of another (Slugs are assholes...and before some slug defender comes out from behind a curtain...I googled it..there are a few links where people struggle to defend slugs and their purpose. The best thing people could come up with is that they break down organic do worms! Sorry for the slug rant). 

So that leaves us with the always lovely, rarely eaten, pumpkin. But hey, we could always make a jack-o-lantern.

We actually were successful in growing a vine of pumpkin flowers, which were lovely in itself. We had lots of flowers...but remembered from my dad growing pumpkins back in the day....there were male and female flowers! How did this work? (cue the song..."Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees...")

At first, we were hoping that the pollinators in the area (mostly bumble bees) were going to do their job...but after some female pumpkin buds came and died (you see the theme here?) we decided to become more aggressive with pumpkin making. 

If you had driven by our house on any given morning in August and September..there was probably a large chance that you would have seen Andrew or I out by the side of the house with a small paintbrush....trying to speed up the process of pollination. It was quite fascinating...and in the end...I don't know if it was the paintbrush or the bees...we ended up with two pumpkins. 

I think we were more excited them E. 

Then we realized that these pumpkins were mini, if you will. My dad had encouraged me to fertilize them when it was first apparent that the pumpkins were growing. But since I have a history of burning and killing plants with fertilizer...I decided against that. Besides, a small pumpkin is better than no pumpkin, amirite?

After a week or so, I asked Andrew:  You sure you didn't buy a mini pumpkin plant?  (Does such a thing even exist?)

He said....(wait for it)......"No".

Sure enough....we ended up with two stunted pumpkins. 

The great pumpkin harvest of House Perkins, 2015

But that's ok...I don't think E. minded.  They are now living a happy pumpkin life with some fellow gourds on the window sill...

Maybe next year we will try the meantime....maybe I should get some tulip bulbs...

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians!


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