Saturday was a work day at my community garden plot – and so I was weeding at 8 am, instead of buying corn and flowers in Fort Atkinson. I pounced on the white asters from the only flower seller who showed up at the West Side Market by 7 am. All the other flowers here came from the garden. The cosmos and hyacinth beans I grew; the rudbeckia plants I weeded in the pollinator garden, and therefor earned a few of their lush, unruly stems.
The plots are full of towering tomatoes and thick rows of beans and everywhere the huge leaves of Curcubits (squashes) covering the ground by inches every day. One gardener cleared out her cauliflowers to make room for the rampaging pumpkin vines taking over her plot. Another was determined to organize the shed. A thankless task, but you know how that feels, don’t you? Sometimes you just want to organize things, and nothing else will do.
My cosmos are – well – massive shrubs. Hidden by the net of fern-like foliage, the main stems of a few plants criss cross each other on the ground, heavy with their own success and as thick around as small branches. Others have stretched and strived between these giants, and made their long-necked way toward the sun. I guess I should have thinned the seedlings out a little more (laughs and rolls eyes sarcastically).
But you know, any success in the garden still comes as a total surprise. I didn’t really think I’d have even one flower, never mind a mini-forest encroaching across the path and into the tomatoes next door. “Screw you and your low expectations,” say the Cosmos in their pink fairy-tale voices. “We came to grow. Get out of our way.”