Gardening is a pursuit I dream about loving. I don’t really love it. I just wish I did, because gardeners who do, achieve spectacular results. So far this year my attempts at garden beautification include spending a few hours weeding. Regrettably, the weeds have all returned and brought friends and relatives with them. I also bought three gorgeous begonias that I set in a sunny place where their beautiful forest green leaves tanned too dark and crisped around the edges. Yesterday I checked these plants into recovery in a shadier area.
Discouraged by these and other setbacks, I decided vegetables would be easier, from seeds no less. I planted carrots, two kinds of lettuce, spinach and radishes. I now have three lettuce plants an inch tall, four spinach with holes in them, and lots of radishes with half-eaten leaves. Maybe I thinned too soon. After assessing this bounty two months after planting, I decided that I should grow a vegetable garden in patio pots. My arugula seedlings look great. Too bad I rarely eat arugula, but if the plants survive past infancy I will add arugula to my menu.
The one plant guaranteed to grow, and from seeds, is the lowly nasturtium. I count on its success every year. So confident am I that I told my friend Jackie, who said she had failed at growing anything, including nasturtiums, from seed that I would plant seeds in her garden and guarantee results. She has doubts. Below she is photographing the “before” scene. I know she’s expecting the area to look like a crime scene later, when no nasturtiums appear and she has a gaping space where I yanked out the perfectly good plants that used to bed there. However, I have no worries about succeeding in this endeavor. She travels a lot, so I can always check on the seeds’ progress when she’s gone and plant some fully developed flowers — whatever I need to do to prove myself right — to greet her when she returns.