The garden is slowly coming along and showing signs of life and success. Somehow BF, Roommate, and I have successfully grown things. I have, with help, broken the black thumb curse that has hung around me like some dark, anti-Gaia fog.
The strawberries are obese with juice and the flavor is so rich it could buy a yacht (or more strawberries?). The Early Girl tomatoes are beginning to grow with vigor and rush. Paper lanterns adorn my tomatillo plants like some sort of Chinese New Year in green, celebrating the arrival of Spring. The sugar peas, though planted late, were abundant and plenty making for many tasty snacks and stir-fries. Now that they're done we've turned the vines into salads.
Oh, yes, my golden raspberries are coming along as well as a first year berry plant can (three whole berries!). Yet, they are nothing compared to my blackberries and mint (chocolate and spearmint) who are quickly taking over their sectioned corner of the garden. I did plant them in the ground and expected as much. Why, you may ask, would I plant so many invasive plants? One word: rental. I only plan to be here a few years and then it's not my problem. (My god, I'm a green thumb apartment terrorist. And an ass. But, the way I see it, someone will be lucky to move into my apartment and find plenty of berries and mint for berry mojitos.)
The many basil plants, chili peppers, parsleys, and other herbs are prolific. The dwarf citrus are fine and dandy (though something is up with that yuzu and its curly leaves). Yes, success abounds here. I am garden man, hear me plant my corn!
However, part of bringing about life is bringing about death. In fact, the bounty of gardening seems to stem from death. Do you know how many aphids - red, black, and green - I have squished with my hands? My fingertips are stained red every morning with the blood of my enemies. The insectoid invading forces are backed up with colonies of ants who seem to be smart enough to avoid my poison traps and, I swear, I heard one of them say something homophobic.
Yes, I did buy a bunch of ladybugs. Yes, I released them out at night. And yes, after five days they all flew away leaving behind all the aphids. I bought their freedom from the gardening store and they ran. I wanted indentured servitude, damn it. I am not the underground railroad for entrapped ladybugs.
The snails and slugs are a whole other thing. I tried every organic method I could think of. I set out copper traps, eggshells, even little trays of beer which peeved me off because it felt like I was buying the damn slimeballs a drink. At one point I was even going out at night with a flashlight, picking them up, placing them on a flat rock and crushing them with a hand trowel in a sacrificial manner offering their tiny icky bodies to the gods of gardening.
Life and death here in this humble apartment garden. It's a balance. Green thumb with a heavy hand.