So I got married! You probably all know that and are bored to tears with pictures of what we made and what it looked like and all of that. So as my first blog post back after our blessed event, I thought I would avoid the obvious and instead write about the terrifyingly HUGE cucumber that I found in our yard when we got back from our honeymoon.
When I first discovered this cucumber, I was so shocked that I gasped a little bit. The experience was not unlike walking in on a stranger in the bathroom. At first I dropped the group of leaves covering the cucumber and walked away...I do believe that I actually felt embarrassed. And then, of course, I immediately rushed back and plucked the thing from its vine. I woke Robb up from a nap and said "there's something very important I have to show you," and from the dim light where Robb was sleeping you could see him make out the cucumber's silhouette and mutter something along the lines of "sweet Jesus." Measuring in at 18" and weighing just over three pounds, I knew a photo series had to happen. I first photographed it with this quarter, but realizing you could barely see the quarter in the photo, I instead held it next to a bottle of wine.
Then to really get my point across, I put the cucumber next to Darth Vader.
And a passport...
And an Ipod...
And finally I put some goggles on him, though that really had nothing to do with demonstrating the cucumber's size.
That's right, the fruits of the garden have begun! And the first of the crop is absolutely scrumptious. The cucumbers, despite their bloated size, are surprisingly crisp and tasty and not watery at all. The cherry tomatoes come in varying degrees of sweetness and color, and the first of the heirlooms are pink and pretty. (I took a photo of one of the big rainbows cut open, but it just looked like a dripping slimy heart...I spared you all my gross amateur photography. Be glad!)
While we were away on our honeymoon, cousin/Best Man Tara and her lovely love Steve came over and took care of our garden. And my, what a job they did! The state of the garden when we returned was that of absolute wild lushness. That mass in the back of the photo above is where the tomato plants fell over from the sheer weight of the tomatoes. They are now strewn across the lawn, begging to be staked. And if you look very hard on the right, you can see a bit of where the concrete walkway used to be.
This is what we are calling the ivy monster. Here's a note to people who are just learning how to garden: if you see ivy-shaped leaves growing in your flower patch, you may be tempted to say "oh, pretty!" and let them grow. Know that if you do that, you will wind up with an ivy monster not unlike ours. Only these very persistent Moroccan rudbeckia flowers were able to find an opening to the sun, thereby winning the war against the ivy. What happened to all of the other flowers? Well, we may never know. Next to the rudbeckia is the broccoli that never produced broccoli. It looks happy, though!
As a point of contrast, I felt compelled to show a photo from my coworker Natalie's garden. (In a cucumber-related tangent, I must point out that she just got married to Bob McClure of McClure's pickles...which in my opinion is like marrying into pickle royalty. Who cares about Grace Kelly marrying the Prince of Monaco? My friend is married to the guy who makes the best pickles in Brooklyn!) And with that point of interest behind us, I can't help but admire the order and sanity of Natalie and Bob's backyard container garden. They've grown all vine plants on trellises so that the plant can grow up one side and come down the other. Brilliant, right? Next year (as I say every year), I'm going to have a very smart and neat garden just like this one. Thanks for the inspiration, Natalie!