That was me, this afternoon, as I spent more than three hours in the blazing heat salvaging what remained of my garden, and getting rid of what hadn’t survived a summer of lackadaisical (at best) attention. Everything this year went in one of two directions — abundance or death — and nothing in between.
Unsurprisingly, my tomatoes never recovered from the chomping they received from squirrels, and joining them in the “dead” column are the impatiens, which succumbed to something I suspect was root rot, and the petunias, which grew too leggy to be pretty and were summarily allowed to dry up. On the flip side, my herbs grew insanely well; the mint, thyme, and oregano were all large enough to be transplanted into window boxes, I harvested enough cayenne peppers to melt my head, and then there is the basil. I planted four different varieties this year, and they have taken over nearly half the porch. Next weekend will be spent in the kitchen with the food processor, making up massive quantities of pesto. (The new header photo, incidentally, is of two of the types of basil, purple and sweet.)
The ficus Eileen left with me when she moved to Texas has been thriving as well and was rewarded with a bigger pot, as was my sad little Norfolk pine, which looks as if it may live to see another year as my Christmas tree after all, though it will need a Charlie Brown-like miracle to look anything other than pathetic. I settled some new petunias into the hanging basket and potted several indoor plants I’ve been rooting, in addition to everything else, so it was a long and tiring process.
Did I mention it was about 90 degrees on my porch? I was a disgusting, sweaty, dirt-covered mess by the time I was done. But the garden looks so much better now, so it was worth the effort. I just can’t let it go that badly again…