Thursday, May 12, 2016
A Tale of a Tomato Vine
Not last winter, but the winter before, just after I had begun the garden, I started some cherry tomato seeds. The initial idea was to grow them in containers on the front patio. As they grew, I had further ambitions of turning the area under the dining room window into a kitchen garden.
This meant that a few plants got a trial run in a hastily begun tomato bed, while the rest languished in pots in the patio. (This was before I realized how difficult the front patio was for plants in the warmer months!)
They grew -- the ones in the ground grew fairly well -- and they flowered and set fruit. And the birds discovered it.
I think I ate about five cherry tomatoes last spring, and the rest went to feed young sparrows and finches. Vegetation is so sparse around here that I hardly had the heart to complain at the birds, but I did despair of growing vegetables without completely caging them in, which I don't really want to do.
The erstwhile kitchen garden was rethought as the new White and Silver Garden, and I have been plonking plants in it gradually over the last four months or so. Meantime, since the birds kindly left seeds around, tomatoes sprouted in the original bed, since made over to a growing Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac). I think it's actually only one or two tomato plants though I'm not sure.
Monday vase. The mighty tomato has headed into the adjacent North Border, where it has draped itself over shrub Hamelia patens, a small pelargonium, a new Osteospermum, and now the Agapanthus that was planted in open soil not so long ago. In the other direction it is headed toward the Jasminum sambac which is its official replacement.
For now, I am calling it useful shade (the plants beneath look fine), and I am eating tomatoes. Lots of them.