Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a range of other interests

in the constantly evolving

garden of life.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don't Care, and You Just Might Succeed


Breaking up is hard to do. I made it clear in a recent post that I was done with growing food. Trying to grow food, I should say.

Like so many break-ups in life, this one just wouldn't stay broken.

During a walkabout the other day, I noticed that a dwarf peach tree in a container had held onto a surprising number of peaches (some simply dropped off or got stolen by unknown varmints before ripening).


Though I'd expected nothing from this tree, I figured why not give peaches a chance. So I paid closer attention. True to form, a few days later, before they were fully ripe, this crop was ravaged by what I'm guessing were trashy squirrels. Wounded peaches littered the ground.

This'll teach me to say something nice about the bushy-tailed rats, as I did in this post from last April. I thought my squirrel-hating days were over, but as it happens, I just hadn't tried to grow something they really, really loved.

I took the few survivors indoors to finish ripening on a windowsill. These pickings were about par for all of my food crops. 


Yes, they were tasty, just as any home-grown food is, assuming you can keep it away from varmints long enough to get a taste of it.

In stealing the peaches, the squirrels broke a couple branches on the little tree. I pruned off the damaged parts and planted the tree, not concerned about whether it produces any fruit next year. I like it for the beautiful red blooms.


After all, I had quit food-growing. This raises a question. Is there some mystical rule that says not caring about making something work makes that something easier to accomplish? 

To that question, I submit Exhibit No. 2: That's a fig tree behind the peach in the ground. For the first time since I got it a couple of years ago, it produced a few figs, ripening one or two a week.

No matter. I'm still done. Planting this peach amounts to re-burying my food-growing career. Which just may mean I'll get serendipitous crops by the bushel. 

16 comments:

  1. I agree except for herbs..Im done like you the lonely pepper plant I left in the earth box produce success when I neglected it....I cant seem to grow those lousy knockout roses....

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    1. I'll never stop growing herbs. While I grow a few other roses, my go-to rose is the lowly beach rose, Rosa rugosa can't be beat for fragrance and durability. And hips. Interesting about neglect and success, as in your pepper. There's something happening here . . . .

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  2. Basil is the only edible I grow. Nothing bothers it except my neglect to harvest.

    I do have a dwarf ornamental peach tree on my patio- Prunus persica 'Bonfire'. The fruit is not edible to humans but it does attract the tree rats and possibly other urban creatures like Mr. Possum. For some reason this was bumper crop year.

    Unfortunately I learned that my dog also developed a taste for the little peaches and without going into detail, let's suffice it to say they did not agree with his digestive system-especially in the middle of the night. I wonder if they have the same effect on the squirrels?

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    1. If you only grow one edible, none's better than basil. Sue, I'm sure glad I wasn't eating 'Bonfire'. But I should buy one, in case it "works" for the squirrels.

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  3. You got what look to be incredible, beautiful, large fruits from that little potted tree. They look wonderful. Planted in the ground now it should reward you with even more abundance, even if you neglect the thing and don't care. Especially if you neglect it and don't care.

    Something has to be done about those squirrels, though -- as you note, all we are saying is give peaches a chance. ; )

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    1. I think I'm on to something with the not-caring, Laurrie. And I was surprised at the size of the fruit. As for the squirrels, Sue's comment above has me considering a 'Bonfire'.

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  4. Yep, neglect is the best medicine for many things. My friend tells me I kill things with kindness. Ha.. As to those squirrels, they go good with gravy. ;) It is fun seeing over all looks at your garden as through the window where the peaches are ripening. It is always nice to have those little bonuses for our efforts.

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    1. Lisa, I agree with your friend; many plants need us less than we need them, so while they're doing fine we "help" them with too much water or food or . . . . on and on.

      True, squirrel stew is a big dish in some places.

      Your eye doesn't miss anything, Lisa. Glad you like the overlook.

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  5. I've been ignoring my garden for weeks and it refuses to act like it's fall. I think sometimes it has a will of its own.

    Mmm, those peaches looks good. The drought this year is supposed to make the peaches sweeter.

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    1. Hey, I wouldn't rule out garden will.

      I wish I could say that good home-grown taste was worth the effort. Good to hear from you, Theta.

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  6. I'm glad you managed to save some of those delicious looking peaches for yourself and Lyn, Lee. Just curious, where was Bette while the peach thievery was going on? Oh, she must have been haunting one of the bird feeders. :-)
    All the best!

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    1. Good question on Bette. You know her well, Beth. Anything to avoid doing her job. Cheers.

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  7. Hey Lee,

    What a good looking crop of peaches. They are hard to grow and hardly worth all the trouble. Hope yours ripen and you get a dish full with cream.

    Now the fig tree is a different story. So happy you got 2 or 3 to enjoy. I could eat my weight in figs, standing under the tree.

    In the corner, is that mock orange that had to be moved to free up the hydrangea?

    You are right about caring less being the best way to go sometimes. Many years ago I smothered my orchids to death with my 'mothering' instinct. I was an orchid killer long before I became an orchid grower.

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    1. Hey, Barbara. That's the mock orange, all right. I uncovered the view of it by digging out the huge hydrangea.

      Well, you sure learned your orchid lesson well. And now you lecture on orchids. Do you warn your audiences about giving them too much love?

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  8. Hey Lee,

    Yes, the hydrangea was the one you had to dig out, I remember now.

    Oh, yes, I do. But mostly I warn about too much water.

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    1. That's the best advice anywhere; many is the plant that got drowned by a loving hand. Even seasoned gardeners are known to over-water – especially orchids (he confessed).

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