I came back from my trip earlier this week; when I walked outside, I almost shrieked. The tomato bushes that were two feet wide by three feet tall with a few blossoms on them when I left were sprawling four foot-by-four-foot tomato trees laden with fruit. The previously-anemic basil plants next to my back door were bursting with leaves and flowers. The chard and the butternut squash grew several inches. The watermelon is taking over its half of the front yard. Our oldest artichoke plant has several buds on it. The lettuce plants, little more than a few scraggly leaves when I got on the plane, each have several dozen leaves on them – and most are bigger than a man’s hand.
Every pepper plant, all but one tomato plant, and several cucumbers have set fruit. The squash have all flowered (although it doesn’t look like any fruit took on the squash plants or the watermelons, which means they probably flowered when it was just too cold), as have both eggplants. The okra look a little sad, but the sunflowers a few feet away went from tiny little shoots to proper seedlings. And the beans, the tallest of which was about a foot when we left, are now climbing up the fence and even the gutter, higher than my head.
As my neighbor who watered for us commented, it’s as if the elves came one night. Or we’re living at a vortex. Something awesome happened, though, because suddenly the garden is just full of life. We’ve harvested the first golden tomatoes from our Sungold plant, juicy tangy sweet things unlike any tomato you can buy, even at a Farmer’s Market. And tomorrow night we’re planning a pesto from all the basil flowers I picked.
Now I’m off to buy a pumpkin seedling (because sadly our seeds never sprouted). I’ll try to share photos soon!