Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Tomato Named Molly

My friend Joanna is somewhere over the Atlantic en route with her daughter to visit us here. I have been cleaning and sorting like mad. My friend Heather has worked even harder than usual to make the place tidy, but there are so many things that still need doing.

As I wrestled with nettles and goosegrass in the garden in anticipation of Joanna's arrival, I started thinking about some of our shared experiences. I love gardening; Joanna didn't. She decided, however, one season, to see what I was so excited about. We dug the hard clay soil around the edge of her back yard. I forget what we planted, but I remember it mnade Joanna happy and we had some good laughs over it.

From time to time, she would mention her garden, but I did not get out to her house all that season. Finally, in triumph she announced that she had a tomato--not a tomato plant, mind you, a tomato. In her affection and admiration, she named it. She named her tomato, Molly. I am not sure why, but it seems a good enough name for a tomato.

I think Joanna ate Molly and enjoyed it. I thought that she was now a converted gardener. I mentioned at the end of the season, "We need to look at what you want to do next year and see about ordering seeds." "Next year?" Joanna responded. I nodded, realizing that something was not connecting. "Oh, I thought that was it for gardening."

Well, one tomato does not make a garden for me, but apparently it does for Joanna, and I suppose there is a logic in retiring at the top of your game.

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At 7:01 PM, Blogger Ruan Peat said...

My mother did something similar a few years ago, after my fathers death I thought I would get here gardening to fill more time, well I bought tubs and plants and seeds and even got my sister in law to get some self watering boxes for flowers, and we got them all running on the back patio. At the end of the season I asked how much she got from them and she said nothing, why what was she supposed to do? it turned out she hadnt watered (self watering you know) or checked or picked anything, "you mean I had to do something?" and reminded me just what a city girl she was before my dad bought the devon house. She has a gardener for the borders and grass or it would be concrete from her choice.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Joanna sounds like someone after my own heart. I encourage trees... for the shade and the extra benefit of their killing the grass beneath, thus obviating any further need to cut the lawn.

It's my wife who's the gardener. She laments the increasing shade around the house... from the bushes and trees she's nurtured, from seedlings and cuttings... because it makes it difficult to find a place where her tomatoes will thrive.

And she does not name her tomatoes.

Sunflowers were another casualty of our increasing shade. I used to like to see the birds attracted to the giant flowers -- birds one doesn't often see in Chicago.

Enjoy your visitors.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, no, how sad. I can hear the poor grass crying out to her. I have to accept that some people are gardeners and some people just are not, but I am glad she has not concreted it over!

At 9:17 AM, Blogger landgirl said...

Oh, Cur, life in the city can leave you alienated from earth and gardening and such, but I suspect that you may have chosen a city existence because you had no fondness for earthy things. Mowing grass I think really discourages folks from enjoying working in garden, so I am pretty staunchly on the side of minimizing grass--and I would love to have more trees here. Well, whole new meaning to bloom where you're planted.


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