There’s nothing more breathtaking than a garden created and kept with care. I’m talking about gardens with flower beds overflowing with harmonious color, wandering pathways, and secret nooks that beg for someone to come and hide away with a good book.
My garden is still a work in progress. The few flower beds I have spring up with weeds the second I’m not looking and are home to a bizarre variety of plants that have made their way to my home over the years. It’s an eclectic mix of pinks and purples that isn’t entirely unappealing, but it has the potential to be so much more.
In comparison, my neighbor across the street has a gorgeous garden. I try not to let it ruin our friendship, but it’s hard not to be jealous. I suppose if I had her life with no kids and working as a photographer, I might manage to get my flowerbeds in better condition as well. She was smart enough to move into a house that faces south which gives year round sun for the plants in front and shade for the patio in the back. The front of my house, on the other hand, is engulfed in shadow year round. While this makes for pleasant shade on summer afternoons and I can watch the kiddos play and not die of heat stroke, it also means that come winter our entryway turns into a solid sheet of ice.
Nature is a wild thing and my garden reminds of this fact every day. There’s nothing like discovering a baseball bat sized zucchini hiding in the garden or a six-foot tall weed in a neglected corner. This spring we found yet another family of voles living in the grass. If it’s not voles, it’s gophers, or wasps, or gutter birds.
Last week I found something entirely out-of-place. Out near the front entryway in the shadow of the house I found a tomato plant hiding among my petunias. I can’t fathom how it got there or how it was able to grow. We grow tomatoes in a vegetable garden clear in the back of the backyard and even then we have to buy plants instead of starting seeds, the growing season is too short.
I haven’t decided if I will let it stay there. Tomato plants don’t stay small for long and I’m sure someone will notice it doesn’t belong where it is. I’m not saying that produce can’t be among the petunias, but tomatoes are a bit of a stretch.