Squash

30 01 2008

I treat my vegetable garden as free-form sculpture, the raised-bed boxes creating the supporting structure for seedlings. I plant according to mood and a slim grasp of pleasing groupings of shape, texture and color as well as principles of companion planting. I am invariably surprised, not by what I have wrought, but what last year’s plants have, and the birds scattering sunflower, tomato and squash seeds in astonishing complements to my own messy efforts. Volunteer squash tendrils slither along the stone paths, sturdy sunflowers shoot up next to cucumbers and basil, and leafy tomatoes punctuate straight, solemn rows of corn.

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3 responses

31 01 2008
Brian

You weren’t here in East Van, so it fell to me to give this a reading over the table this morning. I was a bit sluggish, but it still went over pretty well.

It reminds me of this post that Keira did:

http://tothequick.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/the-soil-lives/

31 01 2008
Keira McPhee

Here’s to elegant writing on messy gardens. Lovely.

Last year more than half of my garden was volunteer. All the annuals seem to want to become perennial. One of my garden teachers advises not pulling plants out at the end of the season but to cover their spent stalks and a seedhead or two under some mulch. “Let them complete their cycles.” It is deeply satisfying to eat what I didn’t plant.

31 01 2008
bgexperiments

Brian and Keira,

How great to have you both read and comment–I’m so glad to have the link to Keira’s post (and blog now)! Thank you.

It is deeply satisfying to paint with seeds in a messy, abundant garden–I have so little control over it, kind of like my classroom teaching style. 😉 I love that tip about covering a few seedheads with mulch. I’m going to do that next year. The birds eat most of what I don’t harvest (sometimes they beat me to it), but they (and the wind) do a right fine job of sowing volunteers.

And I love your card.

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