Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Product of Twisted Genes??

I spoke to my 81 year old mother on the phone yesterday. She and my dad, who is 86, live far away from us in Florida so I don't see them often. She was complaining how exhausted she was because for the past several days she'd been busy scrubbing her driveway. Scrubbing her driveway???? Ai ai ai!!! I can think of a million better ways to expend ones energy, but she is probably a product of her German upbringing and I'm sure her mother instilled that craziness in her. You could eat off her floor and feel comfortable about it.
My American grandmother on the other hand could have been featured on an episode of Hoarders. The few times we visited her when I was a child I remember the piles of stuff, taller than I was, that you had to steer through just to get to a useable chair in her house. It was utter chaos.
Why am I writing about this? Because as both a gardener and a housekeeper, I seem to have a constant battle going on between these two sets of genes that are warring in me. I like neat and tidy, but I leave bits of detritus in my wake wherever I go. It's been a lifelong struggle and I can't tell sometimes if I'm winning or losing it. I think in the garden I've moved a small step closer this year in the tidiness battle. I won't comment on the house part of the equation! However...
 This photo actually covers up some of my evil ways, but you can see the wheelbarrow, the tipped over watering can and the hose and sprinkler just lying around. And in the photo below you can see how long the wheelbarrow's been standing there by the rain water that's sitting in it! It's hard to discern, but there's also a tin can just to the top left of the marigolds that had been used to drown squash bugs. Everywhere I look there are little tools and plant containers just where I dropped them.
What to do, what to do? Obviously I have to change my bad habits. My husband is the complete opposite, but after 38 years he has just gotten used to me I guess. I have done a little better this year in terms of garden neatness. At least I got a handle on the walkway weeds and they did not get out of control like they did last year. Not perfect, but much, much better. The picking up after myself is slowly improving too, but has a long way to go. I suspect someday when I'm long gone, those that come behind will be tripping over my tools for years to come.
But on to something a bit more positive than my bad habits. I've enjoyed seeing some of the last of the trombocino doing its best to put out fruits. It is the only squash vine that's still alive and relatively strong.
There are about eight of these little guys trying to grow before the frost comes. I can't say enough of how glad I am that I grew trombocino, because it really produced where my bush zucchinis failed spectacularly. The vines do take over the world though!
It's forecast to get colder next week, but still no frost predictions. I still have kale, parsnips, carrots, green beans, arugula, bok choy, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts growing well. My fall cabbages look like lace they were attacked so badly by cabbage worms. My bad for not covering them. I also dragged my feet planting out my fall lettuce seedlings, so they are quite tiny, but some are planted in window box planters and can be protected, so I may get some salad out of them yet.
I've begun the process of getting things ready for winter by pulling out two of the green bean patches and some of the dead tomato plants. As various beds open up I've been bringing in cartfuls of compost to build up the soil for next year. And in the process, bit by bit I'm picking up after myself a little. Let the battle of the twisted genes begin again!


  1. I think your garden looks beautiful, just as it is. The personal things that are left behind just give it character. They show that someone cares. I often have a hoe or rake left leaning against a fence, a trowel sticking up out of a garden bed, an ever present shovel waiting for its job of trench composting. They are the tools of my trade, not to be hidden but to show off with pride.

  2. Ooh Granny, I think you have just given me permission to be a slob, lol! It's what you don't see in the pictures that really cause me to fret, but I've no one but myself to blame!

  3. Your garden looks pretty and neat to me! Scrubbing the driveway is too, too much. She must have way more energy than I!! Nancy

    1. Thanks Nancy, but trust me, I did not include pictures of the bits of Styrofoam cups, planters, small tools etc. scattered all over the place. And I am trying to pick up after myself! As for my mother, she is a bona fide type A personality and there's no hope for her!

  4. Scrubbing the driveway?

    Yeah, that's never going to happen at my place.

    1. Same here! I don't even scrub the kitchen floor much!