“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I am a volunteer.

My gardens are showing that volunteers are the best.

Four or five summers ago I planted Viva Italia Roma tomatoes near the house. Bought the plants at Walmart. Since then I have looked for them in nurseries and grew them from seed, but none have done as well as the volunteers that come back every year. And if I planted them where they come up - HA! - they'd never grow. But they come on their own and are the best Roma tomato I've ever had. I have two in the hoop house to see how they do in the cold weather, and maybe this one will go there.

The yellow pear tomatoes - well I never planted them. They grew four summers ago in my compost and have never left. Another great tasting fruit too.

Then the cleomes. They dwindled a bit this year, but after buying two different plants at the country market in 2004, I've been weeding them ever since.

The monster in the garden is a squash/gourd? I haven't harvested anything yet, but since the leaves are getting a bit mildewy, I think I'll have to take a look. I have never grown or purchased something that looks like this, so I am not sure how it got here, but it got to stay because of the hope of an edible. Then it got to stay out of pure show. It seemed to double in size every time we turned.

And three summers ago I switched from the Hyacinth bean plant on the arbor to the cypress vine (cardinal climber) and they have been back every year whether I want them or not. They just make a place for themselves and vine away.

The birds got in on the act, carefully planting a sunflower near enough to a bush that I didn't mow it.

I have always tried to maintain my gardens with perennials, but these annuals are apparently here to stay too.

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