Returning to the Home Garden

by David Wright

The garden took a beating during our two-week absence making our arrival much like a return to a hurricane-devastated coastland. The corn, which for reasons still not understood, had grown some eight feet in height making it a standing target for the deluge of rain that managed to fall at a three inch per hour blast only a week earlier. Half was laid out on the ground, or headed for the ground only to be tangled among other stalks all looking ready to be woven into a huge Amish Basket. Enough time had passed that some of the still-living stalks had decided to make a run for the sun anyway and now were L shaped and still giving reproductive life a run for its money.

The potatoes had been victimized by the infamous potato bugs to the point where almost all we had were lines of naked stems. Some appeared moderately resistant to the invaders, but oddly had taken to being sympathetic to the ravaged and laid prostrate on the ground possibly trying to hide form the larva. They were a sad sight. One plant was dug to determine if there was even a glimmer of hope if the remaining shit-for-worth insects were removed and drowned in gasoline. There was one large red potato. War was declared on the bugs and hope sprang anew, just maybe.

The oat hay used for mulch proved to be festooned with seeds and the entire garden, while free of all the other invasive scoundrels, was covered like a giant Chia object—but with oat grass. Just work was needed to rip the opportunist from the alleyways—all the while cursing the farmer for harvesting the oats after it had set seeds.

To the south of the house, the grape vines had taken wing and the tendrils of new growth reached out like the legs of the hydra. But, hidden in the thick foliage were welcomed clusters of real grapes yet to be found by any of the normal predators, no aphids, no tent worms, no leaf miners. All was well and if the luck of time and the wheel of good fortune should prevail, there will be a bountiful harvest—-maybe enough to generate a few substantial evening buzzes.

It was then I noticed, there behind the withering rhubarb, the one, normally struggling Blue Berry bush was righteously covered with fat fruit. I had seen them earlier, not great bunches but the most ever, and now after a two-week daily rain and blustery wind they had become mature and succulent. It was a welcome home.