It’s mid September, and the house is decked out for autumn, and our garden is growing and going strong. When we moved from the city out to the Texas Hill Country, I assumed our gardening days were over. And frankly, I didn’t mind that thought for a while — no more weeding, pruning, staying ahead of the caterpillars and slugs, or wrestling with that impudent and uncontrollable trumpet vine.
But it didn’t take long before I yearned to get my hands dirty, to watch things grow again, and to have that familiar hopeful feeling that gardeners have. That’s when I started to learn about container gardening. I’m telling you – it’s the best. We’ve enjoyed patio tomatoes, peppers, fresh basil and thyme all summer.
And then I learned about cucamelons. The catalog made them sound rather exotic, easy to grow, and tasty when sliced and thrown into a salad. They’re shaped like a watermelon, even with the stripes, and about the size of a pecan. So I ordered the seeds. They sprouted quickly, and the vines started to grow. I was so glad they were in a hanging basket. I have a natural fear of anything vine-like after my trumpet vine experience.
I’ve made early morning trips to the deck for three months now searching for anything that looked like a cucamelon. I’d never seen one, so all I could go by was the photo on the seed package. As of this morning I have three cucamelons less than the size of a black-eyed pea. I nearly nearly knocked over the bird bath in my excitement. It was a picture of “hope fulfilled.”
In my research, I also found a fig tree and blueberries genetically engineered for growing in pots, and even a pomegranate. They have joined my Meyer lemon with over forty lemons hanging from frail limbs. So early every morning, I walk outside to my second floor deck to feel the breezes dancing through the valley and to visit my potted orchard.
Listen to me, container gardening is the best — no weeds, no bending over, no hoes, rakes, or shovels, insect control with peppermint spray. And it makes me so happy.
You’ve heard the quote, “Bloom where you are planted.” Well, I say, “Garden Wherever You Are.” It’s good for your soul, and harvesting provides a few treats for the table. I think gardeners rank right up there with fishermen in the hope department. Really, who could be more hopeful than somebody who’d put a worm on a hook or someone who’d plant a cucamelon? And I’m watchful every morning to see if I can pick the squash, and I’m expecting fresh kale later in the fall. I’ll be so happy to share big juicy lemons with my neighbors in December, and I’m really hoping for fresh figs and blueberries next summer.
After all, is there anyone these days who doesn’t need a bit of hope?