{ Monday, November 14, 2005 }

Trying to Make My Container Garden Entertaining. Shut Up. It's Harder Than It Sounds.

The tomatoes love me so much that they have created flowers in my honor! Really, they were just playing catch up with the peppers who had made flowers just for me a couple of weeks ago.

And the cord for my camera is at work and I don't want to rummage through the giant plastic box of cords looking for another suitable one. There are five computers in this house -- surely we have another suitable cord, but I? am lazy. So, we're going to talk about my garden sans pictures.

The peppers had to make flowers for me because they were just trying to catch up with the green beans in the next pot over. Because, you see, I gave up on the pot with the green beans awhile back when they were sad and appeared to be dying.

The porch is only so big and the houseplants are out there now too, so there's no room for a seasonal plant hospice. That is why the cat grass is dead in the pot on the ground. The cat keeps checking to make sure it's still dead and it is a little bit heart breaking every time. We're all choosing to blame the thirty-five year old asparagus fern. Arthur has a big footprint.

So, the green beans. The green beans once flourished and choked out the damned lettuce (it's also possible that a lack of water and the direct hit from the summer sun, even the morning sun inside the air conditioned apartment, was too much for the lettuce) and then they (the green beans) flowered inside of the apartment and I did my best to help them pollenate, but since I am not an insect, it didn't go so well. The cat also tried to help, but that just ended with a lot of dirt on the carpet and an aggravated boyfriend. We got one green bean.

I didn't eat the green bean. I couldn't do it. The cat and the boyfriend both nixed all of my "first vegetable grown without adult intervention" preservation ideas. So, the green bean was not shellacked or otherwise preserved.

Did I mention that I had two cups of coffee for breakfast and two "beers" (we're using that term loosely) for dinner and nothing else all day long except for cigarettes? I got so much done today. It'll totally be worth it when I get scurvy in spite of having an entire vegetable garden to which I haul SO MUCH WATER on my porch.

Right, I was talking about the plants... Then the green beans began looking sad and near death. Which was reasonable considering that they, you know, were growing in a tiny window box inside my apartment in Phoenix. When I moved them to their big pot on the porch, I had no faith.

I watered them anyway, for the same reason I transplanted them and also did not eat that one bean, because they're my plants and I am short on hobbies outside of the ten hour work day. Also, I already had the three gallons of water on the porch...

As it turns out, there were some late bloomers in there. There are at least six actual green beans growing on the wreckage in that pot. There are also some lettuce seeds that wisely chose the cooler weather and less crowded pot to make their prescence known.

So, clearly, the peppers had to hurry up and make some flowers because the green beans are both playing Lazarus and bearing fruit. They did this because they saw that the spider plant that I brought home from the Girl Scouts at the age of eight that more recently travelled across the country in carry-on wrapped in newspaper is finally throwing off shoots. So, clearly, it was time for the once favored green beans to rise from the dead and really perform.

And this all took away from the tomatoes' attention for simply being the tallest thing in my strange little garden. So, they had to make flowers too. Because they love me and want to be my favorite.

Soon, I am afraid that the tomatoes will make, well, tomatoes out of their love for me and the gallons of water I tote from the bathtub to the porch on a regular basis. The problem here is that I do not like tomatoes. Yes, I might have considered that before I planted and nourished TWO varieties of tomato and staked them and made a makeshift cage out of cheap plant stakes and dental floss.

But tomato plants look nice, and they smell nice. And I just wanted to grow things. And tomatoes seem like the kinds of things I could grow. And now they are so tall, up on the table, that I actually can't reach the tops to make sure they get a little rain shower when I water them. I really like them.

I don't actually like tomatoes though. That might be a problem soon.

It might not though because I killed two marigolds, or maybe the ninety degree heat killed them, along with one of the plants I brought home from chris's wedding (also in carry-on), and I also killed off most of the cute blue flowers. One seems to be thriving, but those are small flowers.

The geranium and the other flower from chris's wedding keep refusing to bloom. It's possible that they are just confused about why spring comes after summer here.

So, there are no non-vegetable flowers to attract insects up to the fourth floor balcony where all of this is taking place. I almost bought some 'mums at the grocery store but to date I've killed five pots of 'mums and I thought that might just be cruel. Also, I did not have a suitable pot to transplant them into and my boyfriend looked sort of like he'd rather die than either invite another plant into our home and try to find a good pot for it in the grocery store or tell me that the balcony is full and I may not have another plant.

The tomato thing also might not work out simply because they are growing in a cage constructed largely of dental floss I bought at Big Lots. I also soldered with a butter knife and the stove recently. I know nothing of this box in which other people think.

So, that's what's going on in the "garden". We have volunteer lettuce! And green beans from the dead! And the potential for peppers and tomatoes! And despite the absurdity of their growing in a clump in a pot on a table, the carrots have not yet begun the inevidible civil war for root space! They are all still alive!

And my basil seems to want to reinvent itself as a very crooked bush! This fifth geranium (ever. Not just this year) might finally be the one that I do not kill! I had nothing to do with the death of the cat nip -- that happened on the day that the twenty-two pound cat discovered it. Obviously, he's into gluttony. I'm blaming the sun for the death of the marigolds and most of the cute blue flowers.

The fern has come back from his third near death experience in as many generations! The spider plant is giving off shoots and when my mother comes to visit, she will not be the least bit surprised that the plant she tried to kill for sixteen years continues to thrive and reproduce.

The other plants are doing well too. AND one of my coworkers is gonna bring me some aloe tomorrow. Don't tell my boyfriend -- he might kill me.

Hey, anyone who's read this far must really like plants. So, uh, do you happen to know if one could actually EAT something that grew in Miracle Grow and was watered with the scary water that comes from the taps here and I won't let the cat drink unless it's been filtered? Because I'd rather not poison the nice people who take the unlikely tomatoes off my hands.

posted by mary ann 11:30 PM