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:
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.
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?