Back in May, during planting season, I dragged my pregnant self into the garden and, after some half-hearted prep work, planted my vegetables for the year. I didn't plant a lot, especially in comparison to other years, but I planted enough to feel like I had a garden, while acknowledging the very high likelihood that weeding and watering would be the first thing to face the neglect of new parenthood.
So far, this has been the best year for neglected gardens. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the weeds grew up around my tomato plants and the crab grass started to choke out my carrots. But, despite the neglect, my garden has been surprisingly, delightfully thriving. We've had just the right combination of rain, sun, and heat to push almost all of our vegetable plants into high production. Our tomato plants are heavy with fruit, our zucchini full of blossoms, even our lettuce hasn't bolted and become too bitter to eat in excessive heat for the first time since we started planting gardens.
These photos aren't pretty. You aren't going to want to pin them to your gardening inspiration Pinterest board. But somehow, this neglected garden has been one of our most successful ever.
I think I'm going to need lots of suggestions for cooking with zucchini... There are two of these plants!
This tangle of tomato plants contains dozens of proper sized beefsteak tomatoes waiting to ripen as well as little cherry tomatoes, turning beautifully red.
Our green beans have taken well to our trellis, even choosing to climb further up the branches of the tree at the back of the garden. And our lettuce? It likes this spot, despite the weeds encroaching on its space.
I think there's a lesson here in this garden. I didn't take it very seriously this year. I planted seeds and a plant or two purchased from the garden centre, and then I sat back and let the garden do its thing, while my focus was elsewhere, on other more important things. So far, it hasn't been a disaster. So far, while I've been enjoying the snuggles and struggling through the crying fits of new parenthood, the garden has taken care of itself.
So too can the rest of the world.