From what I hear, this has been a difficult year for a lot of gardeners. Michigan weather offered snow late in the spring, unseasonable cold that lasted through planting season, then suddenly hot, and dry, dry, dry. Along with many others, I worried, watered and waited. Like most gardeners, I know that there’s always something that gets in the way of perfection. Still, there are always rewards.Big winds and pouring rains toppled one tomato plant (not fatally), gave the pole beans incentive to reach for the sky, and caused the summer squash to produce overnight.
This year, the cabbage butterfly has found my kale, and it is pock-marked with holes. The pole beans were late in going in, and slow growing. They have finally climbed up the tepees I fashioned for them, and have blossoms, but no beans yet. I’ve had two small pickings of bush beans, and there will be more. The peas are still offering a few delectable pods each day; the Chinese cabbage is sprawling out its beautiful puckered leaves. Tiny “Juliet” plum tomatoes offer perfect red jewels every day.
Even when the garden offers almost nothing, it’s okay. I enjoy the process of preparing the earth and putting seeds and plants in the ground. I love watching things grow. Where there are failures, I think about how I’ll do things differently next year. When it is productive, it’s like Christmas every day. To me, it’s always worth it.