Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Garden Report - July

If you forget about the dirt, the bugs, and the blazing sun, gardening's a lot of fun. You've probably already guessed that I'm not exactly Nature Girl. I'm not crazy about dirt, am scared witless by bugs, and don't believe in sweat which doesn't make me a great candidate for Gardener of the Year.

Want to know the Topsy Turvy target customer? You're reading her right now. This whole container gardening thing is pure genius and so far it's going pretty well.

Because there's (gardening) life beyond Topsy Turvy, here's a brief report.

1. Orange and yellow marigolds for no other reason than they're beautiful.

2. Crookneck squash, taken a few days ago. It's awash in big yellow flowers today.

3. Globe basil running amok.

4. Green peppers!

5. A tiny salsa pepper

6. Plum tomatoes, taken a few days ago. The tomato is now a deep red and the one next to it is catching up fast. Even better, two new tomatoes popped up.

7. English cucumbers plus very busy ant

8. Three defectors in search of freedom. They leaped off one of the plants and tried to make a run for it but I was too fast for them.

9. Zucchini? I can't remember.

We now have an adorable Japanese eggplant forming and, to my amazement and delight, a few ripening Topsy Turvys.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Topsy Turvy Life

A confession: I'm a sucker for tacky Sold On TV ads. You know the ones I mean: miracle hair replacement regimens, Sham Wow (is that guy scary or what?), super choppers that put sous chefs to shame, and the Topsy Turvy.

I fell in love with Topsy Turvy last year. Unfortunately my love affair began near the end of the growing season so all I could do was pine over that goofy green plastic bag and those upside-down tomatoes spilling out of it. My repressed gardener's heart yearned for my own Topsy Turvy. I wanted it the way I used to want Paul McCartney when I was fourteen years old.

I thought about it all winter and pounced the second the snow melted. It took a little convincing to bring Himself on board but I prevailed and two weeks ago tomorrow we took our first leap into upside-down gardening.

The Topsy Turvys are in the far corner of the back yard, midway between the stand of pine trees and the shade trees Roy planted for my 38th birthday. We bought four shepherd's poles at Cost Cutters (which has since closed its doors; sob), tied them together for strength, et voila!

The planting itself was strange. Our tomatoes had grown a tad larger than optimum size for insertion and I said a few rude things as Roy pretty much shoved them through the opening with all the finesse of a sadistic proctologist. Turns out they're tough little plants and they survived the trauma. Within days they started vining upward in search of the sun.

I'm completely obsessed with these tomatoes. I tell you that freely. All I want to do is dash outside every hour on the hour and stare at the plants. I ran out first thing this rainy morning in PJs and clogs to see what was going on and my shriek probably echoed up and down the street.

We have a tomato! Okay, so it's the size of my thumb nail but it's a real live tomato-in-progress and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

You can see it, right? Follow the stem upward from the bottom of the picture, look slightly to the right under a canopy of leaves. That little round green blob is A TOMATO!

A $45 tomato unless the rest of the plants kick in and start producing . . .

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