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Er, you weren’t expecting anything from me, were you?

The garden has been, um, there. We’ve gotten some tomatoes, most of which went immediately into Chloe’s mouth. I picked two the other day. She pointed and whined, so I handed her one. She ate it like an apple, stem and all. She pointed to the other one. I destemmed that one and handed it over, and she ate it as well. She loves it when dinner includes a fine heirloom tomato, chopped up just for her. She doesn’t especially like the ones you get on sandwiches and burgers in restaurants, so clearly she inherited some good taste.

But yeah. Some tomatoes, some peppers–I finally grew Alma paprikas this year–some herbs, a couple of scallions, a few green beans before the teepee fell over. Three carrots and a solitary beet. A lot of raspberries and parsnips. There are probably still potatoes down there somewhere. But mostly, the garden is a wreck. This gardening-with-a-small-child idea is just not practicable, not for me. And next year is going to be even worse, because I’m doing it all over again next spring. 

So I’m closing down the garden. I’ve been slowly making last harvests and pulling down stakes, and I’m going to move the few herbs and flowers I really want to keep (the cannas I planted way back when have just started coming up; doesn’t that figure?). Then I’m going to pull everything down, cover it with compost and black plastic, and let it sleep for a year. It makes me sad to do, but looking at the weed-encrusted rotting shadow of what a garden should be makes me sad, too, and I’m just plain not going to have the time or energy–if I didn’t with one baby, I certainly won’t with two, and first-trimester symptoms are even worse this time than last.

So next year will be a year without a garden, even if we sell the house, which we’re still trying to do. I’ll grow a few things in pots; I think I can manage that much, and Chloe’s appetite demands at least one or two tomato plants. But otherwise I’m closing down shop.

Which means I’m closing down the blog, too. I may come back to it, if I feel like writing and feel I have something to write about, but I’m also working on other projects, and my energy is wearing thin these days, so for now, I’m putting it into hibernation with the garden. Good gardening, everyone! Plant a seed for me.

I had a little time this evening between getting home and going to see the Star Trek movie (our tentative verdict: decent as a movie, not so good as part of Star Trek canon, passes the Bechdel-Wallace test but only technically), and I thought I’d get a couple of gardening tasks done since it was sunny and warm but not terribly muggy. (I miss springs. I used to live in a place that had springs. Admittedly that place also had tons of pollen and I hated spring because I sneezed my way through it, but you can’t have everything.)

To maximize the time, I asked Eric to do a couple of non-plant-involving things with me. “Why am I the one doing this?” Eric said as he sprinkled Sluggo around the strawberry bed.

“Fine,” I snapped. “Go back inside to your computer then.”

“No no,” he said, realizing he had pissed off a pregnant woman. “I just wondered if there was a specific reason, because there aren’t any harmful chemicals in this or anything.”

“No. I just wanted a little help because I have other things I want to do.”

“That’s fine, that’s just fine.” He finished his task, and completed the other one I’d asked him to do (hammer down the nails in the stakes that used to be the pea trellis), and then started picking up sticks, probably because he feared for his life if he abandoned me now.

Meanwhile, I planted peppers. They’re tiny things that may or may not make it, but if they do, I’ll have three Buran peppers, two Poblano peppers, and two jalapeno peppers. No Fresco chilis or Beaver Dams, which disappointed me. I don’t do well starting peppers or eggplants, probably because I don’t coddle them enough. I also planted cilantro and nigella and celery and Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil.

I wanted to start putting up bean supports and tomato stakes, but then it was time to eat before we left, so I obeyed Eric’s rather tentative suggestion that we go in for dinner. I’d stopped being annoyed shortly after I snapped at him, and he knows my temper is normally that quick to equalize, but I have to admit I don’t mind having this sort of power while I’m pregnant. Generally the garden and yard are my responsibility along, but perhaps I’ll ask him for more help on the next sunny day, since apparently he’ll be afraid to say no.

I’m so hungry. And so tired. And so nauseated by the smell of brassicas. You probably know what this means: I’m pregnant–eleven weeks along and waiting for the second-trimester energy of which I hear so many good things.

And so I haven’t been posting much, or thinking much about gardening. Get this: the pictures in seed catalogs make me nauseated. Is this my body’s way of making sure I don’t spend so much money on gardening that I can’t afford diapers and baby wipes?

Flowers and even fruit are only the beginning. In the seed lies the life and the future.

Marion Zimmer Bradley

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