Today in the Garden – Surprising Rewards

Every time I visit the garden, I am rewarded, even when I dread what I might find.

I’ve been neglecting my garden. There, I’ve said it, and can heave a sigh of relief. The end of summer was terribly disappointing, as my tomato crop failed due to an aggressive wilt. Then we had a month of deluging rains. I confess I fall into a despondent state, don’t even want to look at my failure as a farmer. And it’s easy to avoid since it’s at the community garden, not at home.

Well, imagine my surprise when I came home with a heavy bag of food from yesterday’s visit! And not only that; this striking creature, the Argiope or common garden spider, who I had noticed in August, is still on duty, only she’s grown enormously. I’ve scaled the photo to about the accurate size — I’ve never seen one so big!

You may know that I have life-long arachnophobia, and I have worked diligently to educate myself about these useful and amazing creatures. I’m proud that in recent years I see them and feel admiration more than terror. I can really enjoy this wild thing who’s home is in my garden. She’s spun her web from a jalapeno plant to the stalk of a deceased tomato, and there she will stay until her work is done.

I recently learned that the signature zig-zag in her web is made by the much smaller male. I wondered… it’s an interesting and artful addition to the weaver’s art.

So last night I feasted on a salad rich with red leaf lettuce, arugula, yellow beans, radishes, the last red tomato and scallions. The stir fry was purple potatoes with sweet and hot peppers, onions and mushrooms. Only the mushrooms came from the store.

After harvesting, I cleared the old bean vines from half of one bed in preparation for garlic planting next month. All in all, a very satisfying visit.

5 thoughts on “Today in the Garden – Surprising Rewards”

  1. Wow, Patrise!…what a wonderful world this would be, if we all could transform our fears into a thing of beauty, even for a moment…just as you did. It’s a lifelong project, but I am plugging along with my own…
    Thanks for sharing the moments in your garden (our produce is finished yielding, too), and capturing life in photo, as you do so well!
    Clare

  2. What a lovely spider!! And you’re still getting food from your garden! My mom is STILL harvesting tomatoes (in Kentucky) and we’re in the middle of October. The stir fry sounded delicious! Now when do you plant garlic? I heard it was in Feb. (But we’re also in south GA.) When do you plant yours?

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