Friday, July 29, 2016

Something strange is going on in my garden this year

I did what I normally do. 

In the spring I dug some holes. Sprinkled seeds. Watered. Got excited by my first lettuces and peas. Staked the tomato plants and sweated it out in the sweltering heat yanking weeds. Planted seedlings and thinned the stuff growing too close together. Fought off slugs.

All normal, ordinary gardening stuff. 

But something Out There is... different. 

In the mornings when I am alone in the garden, picking worms off the cabbage plants or poking around in the carrots or smushing the bugs on the kale. I brush my fingers over the purply leaves, wave a hand across the row of swiss chard, poke my nose in a squash blossom

and have the weirdest sensation

that I am not alone.

The plants keep growing, above my knees, above my waist, above my shoulders, over my head.  The paths between the rows narrow. 

The garden is a maze of plants, borage blossoms tapping my arms, tomato leaves nudging my bare legs. 

I weave between the plants sprucing and straightening, gathering the vegetables they offer. I stake up the massive bean plant, shivering as the tentacles wrap around my wrist--

--but this is silly. I know.

It's only the garden. And I am only the gardener. 

(massive green bean plant)

The other day I was running errands, and my son, who never goes into the garden, texted me that he and his friends were making lasagna and they wanted to use fresh herbs in the sauce and would it be okay if he used some of my basil?

Sure, I said. 

I got home a little while later and he was sitting inside the house.

Did you get the basil? I asked him.

No, he said, sounding a little embarrassed. 

He couldn't figure out which plants were the basil plants and he googled basil on his computer and pulled up images and went outside into the garden, walking around the plants while holding his laptop in front of him for comparison purposes, but gave up because he couldn't find a match, and anyway-- and here he lowered his voice and laughed a little nervously, 

the garden sort of gave him the creeps. 

Like the plants, he said, were watching him.


  1. Actually the part that caught my eye was that your son and his friends are making lasagne.

    But I agree, gardens are creepy. Half wild, half tamed.

  2. My green beans are unusually jungly this year, too. Maybe it's all the humidity.

    And the tomatoes always go wild. It's so hard to believe, when planting those tiny seedlings, that they will soon become gigantic vines trailing everywhere.

    1. Here's another weird thing about that green bean plant-- NO green beans. It just keeps growing taller and more wild and still nothing growing ON IT!!