Saturday, 5 October 2013

Home Garden

We have a very small square of garden in front of our place - big enough for a few trees, a hydrangea, some scraggly underbrush, and a cement step that holds our herb garden. There are many other homes in the neighbourhood with kitchen gardens, but one in particular has caught my eye.

There is a small oddly shaped triangular room that almost seems tacked on to an apartment building on my way to the station. It has a tiny garden, broken up into three spaces barely large enough for a gardener to stand. All three are filled with styrofoam boxes - the kind used to keep food chilled. I first spotted the room's elderly occupant early in the spring, out in her garden, industriously moving the boxes around, digging in the contents, and sifting piles of... dirt?! 

Yes, dirt. The styrofoam boxes were full of compost - in various stages of decompose - and the woman must have spent days on end moving them around and preparing them for planting.

As the days warmed and lengthened with the arrival of summer the woman's garden flourished. The tomato plants grew tall and bushy and the eggplants wrapped themselves around the supports, and the nearby fence too!

The heat of summer, the unrelenting sun beat down on the plants, and slowly the leaves began to shrivel and turn brown. The tomatoes began to split and turn black, the eggplant to shrivel and shrink. And still the gardener did not touch the fruits of her labours.

As the nights got cooler and summer faded slowly into the beginnings of fall, the winds and rains of multiple typhoons beat down the plants and stripped them of their remaining leaves. Then one day the elderly gardener was back out in her garden, stripping the beds of their plants. Chopping up the plants and turning them into compost. 

Compost to feed next year's plants, not to stock her own kitchen, apparently!


  1. The crazy things we do...I wonder what people notice about me?!?!?!

    1. Well as long as you don't garden in your pjs you'll be a lot more normal than this lady!

  2. Please warn me in time next year so that I can go looting. Can't waste yet another crop of tomatoes! ^^

    1. I did consider looting myself, but it was all things I couldn't eat so I didn't bother. But this is the second year in a row that the tomatoes have rotted on the vine and I just don't get it!