Friday, August 13, 2010

Gardening Can Be Confusing...

Hi! :D So much to do and not enough time to do it all in... So busy, I haven't even examined my own garden closely enough to recognize my own plants. :O... Do you remember that post in which I showed you my garden... "How Does Your Garden Grow?" Did you see the WEED that I proudly displayed? LOL... YES! You heard me right. WEED!

I was out watering my garden a couple of days ago when I looked closely at the "potato" plant growing in my compost pile... the one I was so impressed with because it was so much bigger than the other potato plants... the one I was surprised lived, due to the very overly high nitrogen content of my compost... the one that I proudly displayed (since it was so much bigger than the others were); and I realized - it was a WEED!  In fact... it looks NOTHING like my potato plants... so I don't know why I ever thought it was one (oh... maybe it is because I threw some eyelets in the compost - doubtfully wondering if they would do anything. I suppose since I was sort of looking for a potato plant I sort of found one. :O). So today, it is with much laughter and humility that I present to you...

- One of my weeds...

- And one of my potato plants...

 - And the reminder to myself to be careful about what I look for... because I just might see it - even if it isn't there!  ~  :O

And while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and show you the whole garden as of now...

It is a small garden, and I haven't gardened in years - so this is no brag session. But I am still so happy to be gardening again and I'm sure to get quite good at it with time. ;)

By the way... does anyone know what THIS is?

Among all the small plants that I planted in this garden, two plants have really flourished. At first, I thought they were cucumbers. I thought that perhaps I had planted the other cucumbers too close together, and that these two seeds fell in the center of the garden, and having room to grow they did better than the others. I even recklessly transplanted many of my cucumber plants so they would have room to grow and flourish like their neighboring "cucumber" plants (note the very small transplanted cucumber plants in the front of both gardens. They are just getting over the trauma of being transplanted and therefore a bit smallish. There are other small transplanted cucumber plants throughout the garden on the right as well).

But now that I have produce... I realize they are some kind of squash. They look like a cross between zucchini and cucumbers. Before they got this big, I wondered if I dropped two zucchini seeds next to the cucumber plants and the bees cross pollinated them simultaneously giving me a cross breed of cucumber and zucchini. I am - once again - humbled by my ignorance.  :O

As I contemplate the cucumbers that I transplanted because they weren't doing as well as the squash (which I thought were cucumber plants... there fore I expected the cucumber plants to be just like the big squash plants) I can't help thinking about my children and their life missions. I wonder if we ever compare children with each other... thinking they should all do and be certain things, like their bigger sisters or brothers, or like their parents, aunts or uncles; when really, they were created to be and do something entirely different.

I hope we do not "transplant" our children from growing where they are planted - in effort to make them bigger and stronger like their siblings. I think it is especially easy to do with children who are not like ourselves. As we watch them grow there will be stages along their growth cycles that we do not recognize because we are different than they are and are expecting them to look the way we looked, or perhaps the way a sibling looked. I hope that in our family gardening we will remember to water, nourish, and tend them; but let them grow where they were planted and not compare them to others or try to make them something they are not.

Sometimes I feel slightly clueless in areas of both gardening and parenting. But I do know that if I water and care for the garden, and nurture the kids with love, time and teachings... they will all grow up to be something wonderful! And it sure is an adventure! In fact... it's actually a greater adventure than it would have been if I had known what they were going to be.

My how life has a way of making itself interesting! ;)

~ Once again, happy gardening! Corine  :D

PS I have some lovely lettuce and various swiss chard growing behind the other plants. The lettuce is a little bitter, but the chard is absolutely delicious! I love that stuff both raw in a salad, and steamed with butter and salt. It is absolutely
D-e-licious!  :D


  1. I loved this! I love your garden! I don't manage to grow too many things, We have rubarb this year and Swiss chard. I also love Swiss chard, but i really need to do some raised beds like you have. One of these days I just might have my own crop of squash. I loved the fact that you compared your garden to your kids. I often feel that way about mine. And I am sometimes just as lost in motherhood as I am in the garden.

  2. Thanks Corine for your kind comments on my article on happiness. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures in the your garden. It looks like a veritable oasis of healthy foods.
    PS I went to a lovely Morman wedding last Saturday, Ive written a little about it in articles on called 'In Praise of Modesty'- hope you like it, Susan x

  3. What an odd looking plant! My husband said it looks like a zucchini but it sure is big. Look at your garden grow, girl!

  4. I am looking forward to having a garden of my own again.. even though I tend not to have a green bone in my body I still love getting my hands in the dirt!

  5. Patty Ann – Thank you. :) It was a lot of work to make them… but so worth it. From now on it will be a cinch; just add compost and fertilizer and plant seeds. Motherhood, however, is far from easy… though it is absolutely the best and most wonderful occupation there is...

    Susan – Thank you. I read your article about modesty, and it was wonderful; thank you for sharing it with me. I couldn’t agree more and am glad to see people increasing the popularity of modesty. Modesty is beautiful in every way.

    Hi Lori – The unidentified plant has little white spots on the leaves, which zucchini plants don’t have. And the vegetable is certainly different. When the plants were small they looked like cucumber plants, but did not trail off as cucumber plants do. It is so huge now it must be squash, but not a squash I have ever eaten; I’m anxious to try it out.

    Crazy Family – I love gardening. I love walking in dirt… but this garden I won’t be walking in. I do really enjoy watering it though. I never use a sprinkler; I water each plant individually with a hose and a sprinkler nozzle; I find it very relaxing.

    Thank you all so much for stopping by. :D

  6. That! Dearest Corine is a cuzzhini plant. :D You crossed your cucumbers and zucchini's and got those. They'll taste fine. We did that one year. You gotta be careful and spread your squash, cucumber, etc. plants out.

    Question: What are the white bars that go across your gardens? PVC pipe? I'm wanting to expand our gardens but am trying to decide right now what I want to build them out of. I hadn't thought of the cinder block idea.

  7. Your post makes me think of John McCutcheon's song, Family Garden...

    Family Garden
    John McCutcheon & Si Kahn

    Winter’s over and the snow is gone
    Go get your gloves and pull your work boots on
    Gotta clear that patch, pick them stones
    The sun’s gonna warm those lazy bones
    Winter’s over and the work’s just startin’
    Time to get busy in the family garden

    Turnin’ the soil and plantin’ the seeds
    Layin’ down mulch and pullin’ up weeds
    Hoein’ the corn, row on row
    Then you stand right back and watch it grow
    Even little children gotta do their part in
    Helping things growin’ in the family garden

    Cool spring rain and summer breeze
    Yellow squash and black eyed peas
    Japanese kale and pinto beans
    Italian tomatoes and turnip greens
    Now we’re picking and canning and working hard in
    Trying to beat the winter to the family garden

    Beans in the jar, potatoes in the bin
    Squash in the cellar, winter in the wind
    Even the youngest gardeners know
    You’re gonna reap just what you sow
    Now all say grace and I beg your pardon
    Won’t you pass them pickles from the family garden

    Berries on the bush and apples in the tree
    Growing in the garden like you and me

  8. Rachel - I actually took my produce to church with me today to show to the "seasoned" gardeners (the cute elderly women :); they didn't know what they were, but said they were probably from hybrid seeds a couple years old, so could be anything. I looked at the packages of seeds that I used and noticed that the squash seeds that I thought I planted there, were indeed hybrid seeds; planted right between cucumbers and zucchini. They do seem like zucchini and cucumbers... but the seeds are soft inside (unlike the seeds from overgrown zucchini); I think this was the best mistake EVER! They are huge zucchini with the quality of small zucchini. :D I'm excited to be able to let them grow bigger and still have good food!!!! Thanks for your input.

    The bars are pvc pipe. I used the smallest ones I could get which had good flexibility (imagine me testing them out in the store... ha ha!). They are wonderful for draping tarp over when it rains too much (in early spring many plants from other gardens were drowned this year from the heavy rains). I do love my cinder block garden. It will last forever, is easy to weed, fun to water, pretty... :) Next year I will plant onions inside of the blocks. BTY if you do cinder blocks, you may want to get the smaller ones (not square) like I did to save money. However, make sure you do the math if you go that route to be sure you have the right amount of blocks to be about to turn corners etc and still come out straight. With the square ones, you can do any size (since the width is half of the length). Just a note so you don't discover it the way I did and have to move your blocks and change the size like I did... esp. after working to flatten the ground a bit. If you have any questions let me know! TTFN... Corine :)

  9. Jason - Hi! :D Great to see you again! I Love that you actually put all the words to that song here! I've never heard it, but I swear my head sang it as I red the words. Thanks... I'll look it up and see if the tune compares with mine. ;D

  10. Already did the hard part for you…

  11. Jason - Thanks for the link; though I have to admit... my tune was MUCH BETTER! :) IT WAS STILL FUN! :D

  12. Ok, so you so have to tell us what the squashzuchincumber tastes like :) In our magical garden I thought for the longest time the peanut had planted some green peppers - my neighbour just informed me this magnificent plant is actually ragweed, LOL!!! Oh well, live and learn!!

  13. Kelly - Like zucchini, they don't have a lot of flavor, but they are slightly sweet... or rather, refreshing like a cucumber. The seeds are nice and soft and more comparable to the seeds in much smaller zucchini. I love being able to let them grow large without losing the great softness and quality of a small zucchini. :)


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