Living Happily Ever After


Garden Report 2011

Neighbors have begun sharing the bounty from their gardens. My co-workers are bringing their home-grown produce for lunch. Looks like it’s time for a report on my attempt at gardening this year. (Note the foreshadowing.)

Of the four almost two-year-old fruit trees I began the growing season with…two were chopped down by my youngest and his friend wielding toy swords. The third tree, loaded with approximately 30 little apples when I left on vacation earlier in the summer, was stripped bare 10 days later when I arrived home. (No sign or trace anywhere that there had once been the hope of fruit. I don’t know if little neighbor boys, birds or some other force of nature deserve the credit!) The fourth tree currently has 5 small nectarines clinging to two of its delicate branches; my husband is considering offering our youngest a cash reward if the fruit is allowed to remain there until it ripens!

The surviving peony bush (one of three hauled to Utah in orange Home Depot buckets from my Colorado yard in 2009 and transplanted in my Utah yard shortly after my arrival) still hasn’t bloomed. It has now been two years. I cut it some slack last year, wondering if perhaps it was still in shock at the upheaval and turmoil it had endured (I could SO relate!), but no fluffy pink flowers yet.

Of the flowers purchased by me and my husband at a local nursery earlier this year, the hanging basket (as I reported earlier) died within weeks; the rest were planted in three different pots and placed on the front porch. One pot died within a month, one is half dead, and the last bunch, though struggling terribly, is still hanging on.

Our pumpkin plants grew huge, beautiful leaves and approximately 75 blossoms (more blossoms than I’ve ever seen on anything.) The bounteous green vines are mounding and spreading…yielding, so far, two small light orange pumpkins and one tiny green one!

The zuchini starts we planted never did anything—in fact, they look about the same as when we bought them. The 8 tomato plants are all still alive, although two never blossomed or grew anything, one we harvested 4 small tomatoes from and the rest appear to be loaded with green tomatoes. Of the 6-7 lettuce plants, we made salad out of 3 of them before the rest died.

You know, life is like a garden. Some years, the growing conditions are easy-breezy; other years are more challenging. Some years plants thrive. Some years, not much appears to survive. The point is to keep watering and weeding, acknowledge every bit of growth or progress and to never quit planting. Always make the best of the plot you’re blessed with.

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” (Abraham Lincoln)

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