It’s the first week of August, and my tomato plants are pretty much toast.
The three sad, green, ping-pong balls masquerading as tomatoes attached to the four plants in my raised beds have holes. Yes. You read that correctly. Four different plants. Three ping-pong balls. One of the plants has tipped over despite my best attempts to keep it upright. The other three plants are getting yellow. They’ve had more than enough rain, but the sunshine is spotty where the box is.
My zinnias, on the other hand, are glorious. They thrive on neglect. You just plant them and forget about them. If I could eat zinnias, I’d be canning them right now. Alas, zinnias are only good for enjoying as bright pops of color against the garage or in a vase on the dining room table. Zinnias make me happier than tomatoes do, anyway. Every spring, I tell myself that I need to buy more zinnia plants and then I get cheap and don’t. Now, when I pass by homes and a particular garden store with rows of the things just begging to be picked, I get an overwhelming urge to stop and pick All The Zinnias.
So far, I have restrained myself. I do not want my life partner to have to explain to our adult children that their mother was arrested for picking zinnias she didn’t plant herself. They might take off work and rush to the jail where they would whisper in hushed, worried, tones outside of my cell. I would hear “Mom’s losing it” more than I’m comfortable with, no doubt.
And so, to avoid this, I keep driving.
To the farmer’s market for a couple of tomatoes for dinner.
Okay, and maybe all the zinnias, too.