Worn.

My thumb is split and splitting more yet. My nails peel and my scalp hurts. My heart is sore, my mind spins, and old fearful aches returned home to roost.

And so I look to others to bloom.

Nasturtiums calling hello.

Volunteer mystery squash shining through.

Snow peas’ purple greeting.

Snap peas white nod has passed.

Red potatoes without red petals.

Blackberries without black blossoms.

A mess of friends of all ilk.

I’ll see if I can’t tend my soil a little more. If I can’t feed my roots a little extra. If I can’t water my leaves a little softer. I’ll see tomorrow.

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Perpetual.

Not every common name makes common sense. (What even is a moonglow tomato?)

But this chard, Perpetual Chard, is aptly named. This is a perennial in my garden. Come caterpillar or cold weather, leaves spring forth a-new from the ever-increasing girth of the trunk.

Fiend.

There’s a fiend in my house. No matter the hour, the meal, or the availability – she wants them.

And sow I put in twenty of them. And while this will not suffice to her appetites, it may help with a budding understanding of seasons, consumption, and responsibility.

Until then, and after, the clamshells that transport her fix will be cherished as squirrel and bird deterrents to her papa’s fix, potted up one final time before the giant leap for garden kind.

Try and try again.

It hasn’t been the year for squash. Last year, The Year of the Squash, I almost nearly tired of them. Almost. Nearly. But not even close. 

A few grey zucchini in the spring. Ten crook neck plants picked up by my love at the local feed store. They try. They try to live, they try to die, they try to bloom, and finally, they try to almost nearly set fruit. 

And then they don’t.

A tomato slow down

And a pepper pick-me-up.

Almost on cue, the garden is packing it in for the summer. The tomato vines are drying up. Some fruit ripens on brown vines. Other fruit dehydrates where it hangs. 

With some help and a helper’s chipper, any soil exposed by the dying crops is now mulched by the gift of a fallen limb.

It may be a bit early, but I couldn’t help myself. I have the first of the fall crop transplants sown in plugs in the laundry room. 

The outdoor oven (aka the weather) has begun. Perhaps I’ll set aside some corn stalks for Halloween. They’re drying where they stand quite nicely.