Wednesday, August 6, 2008

One tomato, two tomato, three tomato...four?

Well here's to hoping at least that this one tomato will lead to four or five or six or maybe more, because right now, there's only this one. This small, little engine that could. I spotted him a few days ago while watering and I squealed like a little girl at a Jonas Brothers concert. I immediately grabbed my camera to capture this baby's first days of life. They grow up so fast!
See, back in May I went to Home Depot, filled with the vim and verve of spring fever. I was ready to get down and dirty, become one with earth, plant some things, ya know. The whole nine yards on my 9x9 patio. It was a beautiful day. I bought hanging pots, petunias, a bunch of herbs for my pots, some big bright orange begonias and a few other assorted flowers that I can't remember the names of. I came home, planted them tenderly, rubbed some dirt on my face and called myself a gardener for the day. It was organic.
Then as I surveyed my work, admired my fashionable choice in color arrangements and pots, I was reminded that in the front of our patio we have a huge gap in the landscaping. A gap where a bush used to be. Apparently, before we lived in the townhouse, this bush died and the condo association gardening company had it removed. And then never replaced it. With anything. Which, suprisingly enough, really annoys my husband. Every time we sit outside on the patio he remarks about how he can't believe they didn't give us a bush back. I mean, normally, nothing really gets to this man. He's pretty go-with-the-flow. But for some reason, he hates the gap in the bushes. So this summer, I decided to quel his irritation. But what should I plant there?
I toyed with the idea of putting a trellis there with climbing ivy, but that can get annoying to maintain. My mom suggested an azalea, which is probably what I should have done. But no, I decided to nurse a tomato plant in the gap. Being Italian and growing up with basil and tomato plants in the backyard, I was really excited about this. And I figured it was in my genetic make-up to grow tomatoes, so I would have no problem.
Well, this wasn't the case. See, I knew that you had to pick flowers off the basil plant to help it grow. I figured, it must be the same with tomatoes. So I gingerly plucked off any and all yellow flowers I saw thinking, a'ha, I'm way ahead of you tomato plant. Yeah, THAT wasn't such a good idea. I was basically killing any and all hope for tomatoes on my little vine. Finally, someone told me what I was doing wrong. However, despite my calculated cold-blooded massacre that I unknowingly unleashed on the plant, it still did give me one tomato prior to the baby featured above. It was very small though and extremely mealy. I think my plant was trying to tell me something.
Anyway, in an effort to make it up to the plant for killing it's offspring, I nursed it back to health, watered it daily, feed it organic plant food and prayed that yellow flowers would once again sprout. It seems like something worked, though I'm not sure what. There are about 8 flowers and this one tiny green glimmer of hope that not all is lost. So perhaps my summer may still be filled, no make that brimming over, with fresh, garden tomatoes before you know it. Hey, a girl can hope!

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