Fruit of the Vine

Lilac PumpkinHERD ABOUT IT? by ana grarian

I’ve been out of town for a few days.

When I arrived home, this is what greeted me.

Why yes, that is a giant pumpkin growing out of a lilac bush.

When I left it was a fist sized start in the upper reaches of the bush,

far above my head.

It grew.

I planted six ‘warty pumpkin’ vines this spring. The vines exploded across my garden, up the fence at one end, and through my lilac bush at the other. The fruit has not been that plentiful, but the vines have been. I have three others that were apparently transplanted by squirrels in various gardens around the house. This one has done the best. I have one draped over a step ladder by the front door and two others growing along the drive way.  I picked this one before the neighborhood teens could use it as a football. One of the other vines has a similarly sized, but still dark green fruit and there are two other pumpkins growing in the bowels of the bush. Hopefully they will last until Halloween.

I must also get busy today and harvest my tomatoes. That is to be expected this time of year. I was lucky enough to get some good slicing tomatoes and so will make some tomato sauce. The cherry tomatoes will be snacks all week. My pepper plants are pushing out new little fruits. The cucumbers struggled all summer. The greens are doing very well, and my Swiss chard glow with their jewel colored stems. Now if only my Brussels sprouts will sprout and my broccoli head out. I am hoping for a least a small batch of potatoes. The onions are coming – I think.

Each year I learn a little more. This year was a pleasure because with so much rain their wasn’t a lot of watering to do. Next year I will try my tomatoes in the front garden to see if they ripen better there.  My berry bush produced a berry in its first year – what will next year bring? I swear I will complete the tubs for the potatoes next year.  I will make stakes for the dahlias. I have old ladders for the pumpkin vines and will spare the lilac the stress. Live a little, learn a little, grow a little.