Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Fruit and Visitors

Lookie! My reward for weeding the garden tonight was to find the first tomato! I forgot to include something in the photo for scale, but this treat is about 2.5 inches in diameter. Yummy! I am very glad that no one got to this one before I did.

Some visitors are welcome. Family from far away or just good friends make for pleasant visitors. Some visitors are less welcome and some are downright annoying.

Gardeners know all about annoying visitors. My sister and mother have had to put up fences around their gardens to protect the tender goodies from herds of deer. My mother also has to occasionally guard against loose cattle from my brother's farm next door. Unfortunately, the fencing does nothing to deter the gophers and 13-striped ground squirrels who think that it is great fun to eat the produce from below.

As an urban gardener, my visitors are usually more mundane. The neighborhood cats seem to think that a nicely tilled garden is a specially-prepared litter box. One year we had a cat who fell in love with the lemon grass. He didn't like it so much when it was laced with Tabasco. Our pet tortoises think that the garden is a personal salad bowl. Given that tortoises don't really climb, we are always amazed at how resourceful they are in finding ways to get into the raised bed. A few well-placed paving tiles have stopped that intrusion.

This morning we found that we were sharing our apple tree. I have known for some time that the neighborhood opossums like apples, but today's visitors were much more exotic. Being late for a scintillating course on earned value management was the price I was happy to pay to get some photos of the two green parrots who decided that the apples were delicious.

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