As many of you know, Larry Moore is a master gardener. He even wrote a book all about making things grow. It must have been difficult to hold the pencil with two large green thumbs. A few years ago, Larry even did a presentation at the Garden Show entitled “On Growing Bigger, Better Tomatoes.” I can vouch for how big these things get. Larry is very generous about sharing the bounty of his garden.
Some of the tomatoes are so large they have their own gravitational pull. Some have their own zip codes. They are so big you have to pick them in sections. These tomatoes are so huge that when they sit around the house, they sit AROUND the house. You may not be laughing right now or even smiling but, I have to tell you, this routine absolutely kills when I do it standing in the middle of Powell Gardens.
When I was a little kid, I had a small garden. Our next-door neighbors, The Moely’s, had moved into town after years on the farm. Since he could not imagine not being in the growing business, Mr. Moely used part of their lot for a very big garden. When we moved in next door, Mr. Moely carved out a square of soil for six-year-old me. I grew radishes, onions, sweet corn, peas and carrots. I kept the garden going for several years.
I also sold seeds door-to-door as a way to make a little money. Although, I usually skipped the dough and traded the points you’d earn for novelty products like a foam rubber ham sandwich or fake spilled milk or, best of all, “So Real Even Fido Will Be Confused!” doggie doo. Looking back, I really should have taken the money. I’ve found that our mortgage company refuses to accept fake food or fraudulent but “incredibly real”–I apologize in advance– vomit. In any case, those few years from age six until about 12 were very fulfilling. The idea of putting something in the ground…weeding, watering, watching…and, then, being able to actually contribute to the family table was pretty cool stuff. Unfortunately, that was my first and last successful business venture.
My wife tried to do a little landscaping at our last house. It was intended to be a fabulous rock garden. After the poor woman dragged stones and rocks and boulders of every size, shape and design into the backyard, she went to work. She also got a little bench to put in the middle of it all to allow for “deep thoughts and meditation.” It was like watching a great artist at work.
The thing is, when you are creating something like a backyard rock garden, you hope the artist is Norman Rockwell and not Dali.
Yes, it ended up looking rather bizarre. It resembled a training facility for the builders of Stonehenge. “Well, Murray, keep rolling that stone around and one day we’ll move you to the first string to work on the big project across the pond.”
To be fair, I did use that meditation bench. I sat there staring at all the pebbles and pondering other ways we could have spent that money. Maybe we should have used the moolah to visit those giant rock heads on Easter Island. Now, that’s a rock garden!
Honestly, even our indoor plants have to struggle. I’ve come home to find them all slowly inching their way toward the sink. “Please…just a little drink….” It is especially hard for those plants that get put on top of the fridge. That jump to the counter is a doozy. The last real gardening success we had was with some sunflowers a few years ago. We just threw them out there and they went crazy. One grew so tall, all you needed was Jack and a giant and you’d have a real story. Of course, the roots of these mammoth flowers probably did some damage to the foundation of the house.
Looking back, I suspect that my childhood garden was a thriving success due to some quiet intercession. Mr. Moely had the touch.
It’s true, I’m all thumbs. None of them, green.