It's as if my vegetable plants once wore bikini tops, it's "Garden Gone Wild."
The neighbors and building workmen all 'ooh' and 'aaah', knowing how I've hovered over it and pounced on every weed's first evil green breath. Today, my landlord, Amy, relayed a conversation that made my day.
She hired a Mexican dude to help with landscaping project and he brought along his two sons, aged around 7-10, who pitched in to help. To my delight, they were greatly impressed with the ClizBiz Produce Project.
"Wow! Whose garden is that?" they asked.
"That belongs to the lady upstairs," said Amy.
"Really? Is she a Mexican?"
I'd seen the boys later, hovering around the Plot, discussing. I went down and gave them some bounty - a big ass zuke and a yellow-necked squash. They were totally adorable and gracious beyond their years. I'm completely digging this Summer Santa thing.
Garden: Day One - Planted June 2-3, this summer.
Week Ten - August 12
What I imagined as a peaceful produce plot has become an unruly playground of botanical politics. The zucchini, as previously mentioned, are hyper productive but not terribly accurate. They're like the kid who turns in extra credit but still gets it all wrong. These things are as big as my arm and a ridiculously bright yellow. Still, they taste dee-lish and the intent is there so that's all that matters. Beauty is on the inside and all that.
Then there are the two tomato plants that have 'issues.' The Brandywine is the bully of the plot - knocking down other plants, snatching their water and sun rays like nerd lunch money. I cut his ass back on Sunday, BIG TIME.
Then there is his brother, Best Boy, who is equally stocky but favors the dramatic arts - feigning weakness is his specialty. He is always 'fainting' on other plants, trying to get attention, accidentally 'leaning' on the zukes for emotional support. 'Oooooh, it's just soooo hooooootttt,' and he collapses, pulling on the errant stoic roots of the chocolate mint. The other plants just roll their eyes and try to lean away from the day's faint path. I tied his whiny ass to the fence tonight, otherwise, it's off to military school.
The third tomato plant,Bush Early Girl, doesn't bother anyone; it just sits in the corner, coloring in the lines and eating everything on its plate, no more and no less.
The orange and yellow peppers are Twin Snobs. They are openly revolted by their unfortunate proximity to all the 'common' plants and would prefer having their own space. Perhaps a rooftop garden in Manhattan, dahling? A yacht on the French Riveria? Sweetie, even the changing room at Prada would suffice.
Eggplant is all-too-aware of the antics and silly plot pressures and tries desperately to escape. Eggplant longs for a quieter and funkier habitat, like maybe a monastery in Harlem or a library in Peru. Eggplant is Deep Purple, baby.
The yellow-necked squash suffers from an identity crisis ever since the zukes took on their signature color. The neckers are confused, slow to ripen and terribly insecure - even their crook curve looks half-assed. Neckers need a new stylist/therapist/publicist, just for starters.
The Basil Bush is the most popular girl in the square. She's lush green, with delicate flower buds and a sweet smell. She plays well with others and does not mingle with unseemly types who smell of weed. BB is well-groomed, loved and adored - the Disney-heroine of the Plot.
The two mint plants, chocolate and grocery-store mint, are so stealthy and well-behaved it makes me nervous, like they are plotting something. They smile real nice and everything seems in order but I don't quite trust them. I smell mutiny.
Oh! I always forget about poor lil' Rosemary. She's completely shaded by Brandywine but she charges on ahead, doing her thing, albeit sidewise. Gotta love Rosemary, she's a survivor with no complaints.
And yes, I do need to get out more. Why do you ask? Then again, as hobbies go, I suppose it could be worse.