Late Bloomer

Green and red cubanelle peppers

Green and red cubanelle peppers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have always been a late bloomer. This may explain why, three-quarters of the way through June, our backyard garden is finally planted and right now being watered by an early summer rain. This year we have opted to grow just tomatoes and peppers, and since I am only the occasional weeder and sometimes waterer of the garden, I am not even sure what varieties have been planted. But I know, as sure as Rudolph has a red nose, that most of the peppers are of the hot, hotter and hottest varieties.

The garden is really my eldest son, Adam’s, and he loves to pick the hot peppers, cut them up,  and enjoy them on his hamburgers, hot dogs, and whatever else can use a bit of out of this world heat. He obviously inherited my mother’s green thumb, as I have no claim to any gardening skills. My Impatiens are still on the front porch, awaiting their day in the sun, or more appropriately for these types of Impatiens, the shade—though I play little heed to the directions on the little plastic sticks stuck in the pots. I do know that if I do not plant them soon, they will go the way of their unfortunate cousins, the pansies who never did get planted in May, and are wilting on their little stems. I may be able to save a few.

The garden had been taken over by chives, which had to be moved and given their own half acre. I think we may have to fence the little devils in to keep them tame. There is also some swiss chard growing from last year—we are not sure if we should eat it, but it is a bit of a novelty. I planted a rose-bush in one corner of our little plot, a gift from Mother’s Day 2011, and it is blooming like crazy with very little attention.

We have learned some lessons over the years of growing vegetables, and number one is not to attempt to grow pumpkins or corn. Here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote in 2008 to explain why:

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No More Pumpkins: 2008

I learn from my mistakes. Eventually. Usually I don’t learn the first or second time, but by the third time I at least get an inkling that I may not be on the right track. I have learned, albeit the hard way, that growing pumpkins in your backyard is not easy. The vines tend to take over. And not only the garden. Last year I had nightmares that they had broken down my back door, and stealthily crept up the stairs to my bedroom to strangle me in my sleep.

So this year, no more pumpkins! I am leaving my favourite orange orbs to the experts. Last year we did realize nine of the lovelies and used them to dress up the front of our house for fall, along with some of the corn stalks we salvaged from the feast the raccoons had in our garden. And to answer a question that was posed a number of times, no, I did not make any pies from the pumpkins. You would not believe the number of people who asked me this question. Obviously this making of pies is not the foreign concept to them as it is to me.

2012

So this year we employed the KISS method—keep it simple stupid. And really, are not tomatoes and peppers two very fine vegetables? (If you want to get technical fruit and vegetable).

Hopefully I will get my bright pink and white Impatiens planted (they are a new colour combo this year—so I am being trendy) soon, and all you real gardeners out there can breathe a sign of relief that they are not going to go the way of my poor pansies!

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Published in: on June 22, 2012 at 1:11 am  Comments (38)  
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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Sounds great to me!

    I only just started my little porch garden again. Ah, the constrictions of living in a unit.
    Back when I was living with my parents still I went nuts since there was so much SPACE.

    I attempted pumpkins also and they were definitely more work than I had anticipated. They were delicious, but I think the simpler stuff is definitely better :)

    • so you did eat your pumpkins – did you make pies?

      • We did eat them yes!

        Alas, this was before I had discovered my love for Pumpkin Pie – I’m Australian so it’s not very big over here. I adore it noe though.

        Because pumpkin is seen as more of a savoury vegetable down our way we mostly used it for roasts, etc.

      • how interesting – do you eat it like squash?

      • That’s actually exactly what I grew :)

        Here in Aussie land we call it butternut pumpkin and squash, for us, is this:

        You don’t tend to see the jack-o-lantern style pumpkin here either.

      • those are adorable

      • Really tasty too :D

  2. You remind me of me when it comes to gardening!

  3. This year we have someone who knows what he’s doing helping us with the garden. He lives in an apt (post divorce) and we need help. Here’s hoping it works out. To me, simpler is better.

  4. hope you have a garden of delights – you took the smart road

  5. Been in our house for almost 9 years – Still have no patio & no garden. This year always turns into next year…

    I was a late bloomer – though. Can I stand in your garden?

    • Absolutely–as long as you don’t mind a weed or two or one thousand and one –actually it looks pretty good right now – am just forecasting into the future–I hate weeding but I am a heck of a waterer. who needs a patio and garden, anyway? then you have to take care of it.

  6. These are beautiful!

  7. the peppers are outrageously vivid, aren’t they?

  8. Simple is definitely better….I love gardening on a small scale, wasn’t sad to give up the big gardens when we sold….but I am thinking maybe I’ll try my hand at pumpkins!

    • it is nice to have your own – just be forewarned – the spiny vines tend to take everything over – but if you have room – go for it

  9. Looks like I’m in good company, I’ve never made a pumpkin pie either, but then I do have a good excuse I’m British! But I’m left giggling at your dreams/nightmares of the vines taking over, when I pulled one plant out last year the vine was well over 20ft. Sleep well :)

    • so you can understand my nightmare then. the vines are thick and spiny and like something out of a horror movie.

  10. How long do the peppers take to grow? We can’t grow outside and we get very little sun so my wife doesn’t think they’d even work inside the house :)

  11. I can relate since I consider myself a late bloomer myself. Is there anything better than putting seeds in the dirt and them turning into foods we can taste or flowers we can enjoy? So miraculous, I think. I grew up the country, wide open spaces, and we always had a garden. They call that organic now. :). Lovely post, Lou Ann — thank you.

    • glad you liked it–I too grew up in the country surrounded by beautiful and bountiful gardens – the creations of my parents- and though I profess to have no gardening talents I enjoy the fruits of my son’s labour

  12. Lou…I was kidding about the pumpkins!

  13. he, he….dreams of pumpkins. We had pumpkins that planted themselves one year in CA, from the seeds discarded from carving for Halloween. We had pumpkins take over a corner of our yard for three autumns. :) Great post.

    • they didn\t come up to your room and try to strangle you did they? actually, I am jealous–I love pumpkins–just not their take over the whole yard nature

  14. great post. we’re posting on our garden this week too. we planted early and have been baffled by what has had to be picked first. we’ve come to think of it as the garden of laughter.

  15. Just knowing you have a garden that produces vegetables and fruits inspired me in so many ways. I used to help my dad plants from trees, to fruits to vegetables. It’s fun and fulfilling. And yes, gives delicious produce. Thanks for sharing a wonderful post.

  16. We can’t grow pumpkins here, either, too short of a season. Come to think of it, we always attempt to grow the fastest growing vegetables. Guess it doesn’t matter if you’re a late bloomer. Sometimes late bloomers make up for lost time! ;)

    • I hope you are right about later bloomers — I will need to catch up some time!

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  18. Don’t feel bad, you’re a late bloomer, I am a no-bloomer. Plants see me and pick up their roots and run!

  19. now that is funny ;)

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