I am a garden virgin. This spring I decided to pop my cherry (tomato) and grow a garden. Opening day of this season's farmers market I picked up 5-6 tomato plants of different sizes and varieties. Then my darling Rey came home in the following weeks with an apple tree, a peach tree, a fig tree (fig leaves are MASSIVE!), a very nice healthy grape vine with a tiny green bunch of grapes. I called them grapettes. Then I found a henna plant, and thought A: WTF is a beautiful henna plant doing at my local Lowes? and B. I need this now.
Here is a shot of most of the "garden" when we first set it up.
I have never been able to keep so much as a cactus alive, and living in the desert, that is pretty ridiculous. So my plan of action was to line the different greenery against the walkway to the house. It has nice filtered sunlight and I had to walk by them everyday, several times a day. It worked! I watered the lucky little suckers! The tomato plants were massive, reaching out and slapping me as I came in and out with groceries/children/trash/animals/life. We secured them to posts and sticks, I brought out some green thread (don't judge me, flying my the seat of my pants here) and kind of lassoed them away from the walkway. Clearly (after reading this) I need to find a different spot on the porch for them, I am now aware of their existence enough to not want them to die. Thanks blogging, you are super helpful.
Ok- enough about the tomatoes. Let's talk grapes. I totally loved the grape plant. See here, right behind Jack doing a little fishing.
The grapettes turned into two grown-up grape bunches and they were purple and ripe and beautiful. We just let them hang a few
more days to see if they would get a little bigger.
Then DUM DUM DUMMMMMMM...
The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar. Actually THREE caterpillars. Big, fat, juicy, full, satisfied caterpillars. They ate EVERY LEAF. Every beautiful leaf, gone! I know this is small potatoes to any seasoned gardener, but I was devastated. Violated. Picked clean by an adorable beloved children's character. They didn't bother with the grapes (thanks, assholes) so we sat with Jack in our lap and ate every one, staring at our ransacked grapevine. They were amazingly good, sweet and juicy.
So, I am in the process of figuring out what if anything I can do to save it, how to deter the caterpillars without killing them (they are so damn cute, argh!) and figuring out how to better optimized my first little garden. Any suggestions?
Till next time...