THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF GARDENS
With most of the holidays behind us until Halloween, summer drones on like a lazy bee. There’s not much to do in the garden but weed and feed and water and keep a lookout for my neighbor who, each year, likes to share his bumper crop of zucchinis. Last season I retaliated by sending him home with a sack full of apples from my trees. Unless his wife is a prodigious pie baker, I may have managed to discourage him from making me another gift of zucchinis this year. But if he comes, I am ready for him as I’m especially rich in the fruit this August.
I cannot say I care for zucchini and certainly, I’ve run out of recipes on how to cook them. I’ve even tried zucchini fritters and pancakes which aren’t too bad. But if I’m going to toil in my garden, which is mostly shade, I’d reserve any sunny spots for fruits like tomatoes or blueberries. My neighbor seems to have some penchant for zucchini, though. Maybe it’s because they’re easy to grow and abundant producers.
Several years ago, I read a quote from a magazine that I liked so well, I wrote it down. “Gardens are a form of autobiography,” the author said (Sydney Eddison, “Horticulture Magazine,” Aug/Sept. 1993). I’m not sure why, but I think the observation is true. If it is, I wonder what zucchinis say about my neighbor and what apples say about me.