Ever since we put the first seeds in our garden David and I have enjoyed a ritual of walking out to the garden and greenhouse together in the morning before he goes to work. Part of what makes this so much fun is that the plants seem to experience a great deal of growth overnight, so each morning the landscape is noticeably different. Admittedly, there were days when the growth of the mushrooms was outpacing the growth of our plants (truly stunning how quickly those crop up!) but I still feel excited each time I take that initial look around in the morning. Today was particularly wonderful, and there was hardly a mushroom to be found.
I have to start with the most thrilling. That my friends is our very first green bean!!! Check that, I impulsively yanked the very first one off the vine and ate it so this is technically our very second green bean. What made this so surprising was that the plant really has not been thriving AT ALL. These pole beans are supposed to grow upwards of two feet (this guy is maybe seven inches tall). The bean plant in the greenhouse is developing in a more predictable way (I think) and it looks like this:
The plants in the bed had literally been stalled for months. Yesterday David noticed some new leaf growth and today, voila! It was delicious too.
Next David pointed out this cucumber plant:
These too were virtually non-existent and I was sure there would be no cucumbers this time around. I’m not sure if we just didn’t notice it because it’s in the shadow of the mammoth zucchini or if it just appeared that quickly.
And while we’re talking zucchini:
I’m pretty sure there was only one of these there yesterday. Wow!
And the greenhouse plants are also thriving. The tomato plants are all bearing fruit:
and I think I see the slightest tinge of red. Plus the seedlings I recently transplanted are also very happy:
Finally, I was pretty sure the arugula was done for the season (don’t ask me why I would say that; really I have no idea!) but here it is growing away:
You know, it’s not hard to associate these happy plants with what has to be perfect growing weather–warm enough overnight and tons of sun during the day. And our gardening friends have emphasized over and over that patience is key and some plants take forever. I thought I was being patient–ok, pretty patient, but I am definitely adjusting my sense of what a reasonable time frame for growth might look like no matter what the seed packet or internet says.
“Watching” Things Grow
The daily drama of the plant growth in our garden reminds me of an Oprah Super Soul Sunday episode featuring the amazing photography of Louie Schwartzberg. He has made a career of using photography (time lapse, slow motion, etc) to illustrate the magnificence of the natural world that is beyond what our eyes can see. If this is something that fascinates you the way it does me check out his website. His work is a wonderful reminder of the interconnectedness of all life forms. In fact his current work is all about the amazing world of mushrooms! I will definitely be checking that out in order to increase my own appreciation for the mushrooms are so very happy in our garden.
As we become more familiar with gardening and have an opportunity to experience a full year of the ebbs and flows of plant life cycles I expect that the changes we see from one day to the next will become less shocking. It is my hope, however that we never lose the delight we feel as we “watch” nature do its thing.