As I stand in my garden and look around I realise I can’t possibly delay the evitable any longer. The tomato plants need to come out. It’s not that I like having these scruffy bedraggled poor excuse for plants in my garden, but it is what they signify that is causing hesitation. Tomatoes represent everything that is good about long hot sunny days: BBQs, salads, picnic sandwiches by the beach. Just the smell of a fresh tomato can invoke images of those never ending carefree days of a kiwi summer.
But I need to face the plain and simple truth – summer is over. By leaving an eyesore in the middle of the garden isn’t going to make the warmer weather linger any longer. I need to embrace all that is good about the cooler seasons. But when I think of cabbage the only images I can muster up are grey overcooked mush! There must be more to winter gardening than mush. Let’s see… Brussels sprouts? Turnips? Mud? Freezing cold? Yeah Nah. It doesn’t get much better. I much prefer summer gardening.
In the summer I can grow so many different things – exciting things, not like the boring humdrum winter crops. In the summer there is nothing better than going out into the garden to get dinner, or better still, dragging the BBQ out to the veggie garden and eating food with food miles of less than a metre!
It’s a complete cliché but the flavour of food at its freshest possible is incredible. You haven’t truly tasted asparagus unless you have boiled the water before harvesting the tender spears for the steamer. So sweet and oh so incredible. The sound of a freshly picked capsicum when sliced open is just like the sound of biting into a new season apple – CRUNCH! The smell of new garlic straight out of the ground is so amazingly aromatic and the flavour is phenomenal! The zucchini provides such an inexhaustible supply that you can no longer give them away so you have no alternative but to hide them in chocolate cakes with interesting results. But the ultimate summer pleasure is without a doubt the sun warmed, fully vine ripened tomato, eaten simply – in the garden, with the juice running down your arm. Ah nothing better!
But all this daydreaming of what has been, doesn’t help me now, I need to pull my gumboots on, get out into the garden and rip out the fading reminder of warmer days and then come inside and make a hearty veggie soup and dream and plan about how fantastic next summer will be.
Come again soon – a gardener’s work is never done.
Sarah the Gardener : o )