It's not July-hot around here. No sir, it's August-hot. The steamy kind of hot where you start to perspire before you walk more than a few feet outdoors. These are the type of days where Tim and I look at one another and ask, "How did we live in that townhouse without air conditioning?"
Because we were newlyweds. In love. It had a backyard. And I was going to grow things.
In reality, the backyard of that townhouse was barely 15 ft x 15 ft and was mostly shaded mud, but I tried anyway. I hung one of those upside-down tomato plants in the one spot wayovertooneside where I thought it just might get enough sun. It didn't really grow and I was disappointed.
During that first year of marriage we added two little (and rambunctious) dogs to our family, and they needed more space, too. We looked around in the city, but there wasn't anything that fit all of our needs--central air, a big yard with a fence, a couple of bedrooms, and a garage or basement for storage. As a semi-last resort, we looked in the suburbs and found a place that met all of those requirements.
The dogs like it--there is plenty of room inside and out for them to run, explore, and wrestle. It's very quiet here, which is so different than anywhere I lived in the city. There is a calm in the neighborhood that I can only attribute to people putting down roots. It makes me feel calm, too, and I like it.
The biggest perk, of course, is the vegetable garden. Especially when it's this hot--August-hot--we just walk outside and turn on the hose, neither of us minding if the spray gets caught in the wind and blows back on us.
I know it seems like I just bragged about how much things where growing in the garden, but I'm still surprised every day at the progress of the plants. The Mr. Stripey heirloom tomato is a monster of a bush, towering over our other plants and continuing to reach upwards. And the White Wonder tomato plant has been officially nursed back to health and even has new blooms. The Early Girl tomato plant that we have been growing in a pot on our patio has already given us four ripe tomatoes with many more green tomatoes maturing.
Tim picked an eggplant today that was getting so big and heavy that the plant was tipping to the side. I'm not exactly sure what to with just one. Grill it? Fry it? Parmesan it? Suggestions are appreciated.
As for the pumpkins, we have two that have really started to take off, going from the size of a softball to the size of a large melon in less than a week. I can't find any information specifically about "compact pumpkins" online so hopefully I will intuitively know when they are full grown.
How about you, reader? How is your garden coming along?