Garden fail

The other night I dreamed of cauliflower. More specifically, I dreamed of turning the clock back to that glorious time when my perfect, white cauliflower was still a cute little cherub within its nest of waxy leaves. I dreamed of a moment when I took full advantage of its ripeness, despite its smaller-than-hoped-for size, by picking it from the garden and taking it inside to enjoy in a wholesome dinner. I dreamed of what I could have had if I hadn’t have hesitated with my harvest – got a little too greedy – and left my previous cauliflower in the garden until that horrid, dreadful day when it went to seed. So quickly. So tragic. Before I could even notice, it had transformed itself from a luscious white fruit into this tangled mess of bitter flowers:

Oh cauliflower, this isn't the way it was supposed to be!

Oh cauliflower, this isn’t the way it was supposed to be!

I am a fairly neglectful gardener. In fact, if my garden inhabitants were pets, you would call it animal cruelty. I just kind of think I can get away with it because plants tend to be hardy enough to not quite die before you finally remember to feed them again. I got a bit of a fright the other day when my luscious aloe vera plant was purple and droopy so I drowned it with water. By the afternoon, it was looking green again and I thought, “Close call. But that taught me nothing”.

The cauliflower incident might just be enough to tip me over the edge and learn to be a better gardener.

What a waste.

What a waste.

This week I have enjoyed an influx of homegrown vegetables suddenly thrust upon my kitchen from numerous good folks. I love fresh vegetables and I am determined to grow some of my own.

I guess the lessons of patience, diligence and a few other ‘nce’s come into play with home gardening – including acceptance.

Fruit and vegetables grown at home just don’t look like the ones in the shops – and that’s the beauty of them. A friend’s cucumbers we ate on the weekend that wrapped around themselves in hilarious U-shapes reminded me of that. I guess I was just hoping my first ever cauliflowers might keep growing to turn out something like my first ever zucchinis – freaking huge. Instead I let them waste away because I didn’t seize the moment and eat them in their prime.

Next time I will be more careful.

What kind of gardening failures have you had? What lessons did you learn from the experience?

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8 responses

  1. Years ago friends gave me a cute Bonsai tree….it died…too much water/not enough water…who knows?? This year they tried again but gave me ‘food plants’…each day they droop in this heat; each day I water them and they miraculously come alive again….they are bearing cute stripey eggplants and lovely red capsicums…maybe I should pick them and eat them while they are young and fresh:-) There’s nothing like home grown vegies and herbs!

  2. cauliflowers do that!!! very frustrating!!! the best thing to do is make pickles with them between the stage of “tight white” and seed if you can catch them then!!!!

  3. Pingback: My losing battle with the vegetable garden | Cutting Corners

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