Time Destroyed my Thyme: Failures of a Suburban Organic Gardner

I was Queen of the garden, guardian of nature, supreme boss of the land.

 These photos showcase delectable memories…

…of last year’s amazing garden.

 An army of multi-colored sunflowers stood guard against my garden fence, their bright and showy blooms following their namesake across the sky each day.

Plump, warm tomatoes hung from sprawling branches no cage could contain and mingled with sweet basil and savory green onions.  Oregano and thyme trailed over the garden wall, perfuming the air each time we brushed past. 

I scavenged through cookbooks and websites in search of new recipes to utilize the bountiful harvest.  Graceful flowers mixed with aromatic greenery covered tabletops and counters. The essence of summer permeated our home.

After the success of last Spring’s garden I decided to kick it up a notch: this year I would grow all my plants from seeds. I would be a suburban organic farmer and locovore extraordinaire. Better Homes & Gardens would be knocking on my jasmine covered garden gate begging to do a photo shoot.

I planted my two favorite varieties of tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, green onions, chives, sweet red onions, yellow squash, zucchini, four types of peppers and two kinds of corn.  I worked organic manure into the soil with my thinly gloved hands.  I tied homemade tomato cages together with biodegradable twine.  I nurtured my seedlings with daily waterings, organic fertilizers…I may have even sang to them a few times, encouraging them to grow vigorous and healthy.  I was going to have a garden to rival Martha-Freaking-Stewart.

Bees and dragonflies darted between the delicate blossoms.  Green tomatoes small as peas and mini ears of corn poked from beneath green leaves.

Then the trouble began.

A family of field mice conducted nightly raids on the yellow squash and zucchini decimating the harvest until Hubby wiped them out in revenge. The young plants never recovered (though neither did the mouse colony).

My tender seedlings needed daily watering. The lack of rainfall this Spring doubled my monthly water bill.

Finally the rains came and brought with them a plague of mosquitoes so thick I had to douse myself  with half a bottle of Deep Woods Off AND wear long sleeves, pants, and an utterly unattractive scarf/hat combo just to pull a few of the never-ending weeds erupting from the soil.

Then came this Amazonian heat and humidity. Summertime arrived with its red hot guns blaring. June brought afternoon highs topping 100 degrees. Nighttime temps hovered in the 70s. Just a peek at the garden and I was soaked with sweat. All I could do was stay inside and hide in the A/C.

  Unfortunately, my garden wanted to do the same…

The weeds and repressive heat threw a coup d’etat on my garden.  My harvest consisted of one dish of lackluster tomatoes.  One 3 by 5 inch dish. Only brittle skeletons of my beloved herbs and crops remain.  The once beautiful plot now looks as if it was the victim of a forest fire or plague of locust.  The wild weeds have taken over and mutant mosquitoes reign over the land like Dracula’s spawn.

Bye bye dreams of BH& G. Screw you summer and Martha-Freaking-Stewart.  Screw. You.

Next year I’m just going to hit the farmers market and save my sanity and my skin.

I get the point Mother Nature.  I know who’s the boss now.

Mama’s Losin’ It


19 thoughts on “Time Destroyed my Thyme: Failures of a Suburban Organic Gardner

  1. Barbara

    I'm sorry your dreams of BH&G have vanished. You can come look at my garden whenever you want to feel better because I kill everything instantly! I have the black thumb of death!
    My recent post WIWW…16 weeks

  2. Staying Afloat!

    I SO admire you and your desire to have your own organic garden. I'm sorry that all your hard work and sweat didn't pay off. Me, I don't think I could do it, and I blame the fact that we don't have a garden on the fact that we do have a dog! I'm definitely a farmers market type of gal!
    My recent post Mama Bear Is Seeing RED!

  3. Cook the Story

    Oh no! How terrible! And after all that hard work. That's the kicker. Hop eyou enjoyed those few tomatoes at least. *sigh* Me, I haven't gardened since little J arrived and I moved to Florida. I have no idea how to garden here and no time these days either. Maybe when I become an empty nester?
    My recent post Food Snob Humbled by Stranger in Grocery Store

  4. carol

    Mother Nature played a mean trick on you! I can so relate. Summer where I live has been hot and dry, too. Being the farmers the hubs and I are, we have learned from many growing seasons that Mother Nature is ALWAYS the boss! Your last year's garden was just beautiful. Take heart… there's always next year!


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