What I hate about Barbara and Jim’s garden, part 1

Last post I mentioned that I wanted to do my own take-off on Jim’s recent “What I hate” series from his blog.   First I said some nice things, but now that I’ve done that, its on to my list of complaints.   Before I begin though, let me bring up one thing I hate even more:  WordPress.  Specifically trying to get my pictures formatted and placed correctly.   After messing with the last post for way longer than I had either time or patience to do, I ended up just lining them up in the center.   And since I have no intention of going through that type of frustration again,  I will probably do the same thing with this one.

So here in no particular order, are the first few things I hate about the garden:

  •  This vine over the garage.   I have hated it from the day we moved in, and asked several times if we can’t just take it down or at least cut it way, way back.   Apparently it is some “Southern Specialty” and it does bloom, look pretty, and smell smell good for approximately 1.7 hours each year.  The rest of the time it just grows.  According to our realtor these vines are very popular, and we’re supposed to like it (I’ve never taken well to being told what I’m supposed to like).  A few neighbors have one.   Those who don’t are welcome to have mine.  It always looks like its about ready to attack, and I can’t walk underneath it without envisioning a snake slithering through the vine, hanging down from its tail and coiling around me.   Plus I’ve just never gotten why they only go 1/2 way across.  Its asymmetrical.  Trimming it helps for no more than a week, and every time Jim gets on the ladder with tools to after it, I envision my life caring for a brain injured husband.  Jim has never taken my dislike of this Garden-of-Eden monstrosity seriously until recently when he came in from putting a bag in our trash can, which sits directly underneath the vine and a lizard fell on his head.   Who knows what else lives in there.

    Overgrown rainforest vine. Full of spiders, snakes, lizards and jaguars.

    View out the window of my neighbor's vine-free garage. I'm so jealous.

  • The cherry tomato plants around our mailbox.  When we moved into the house, Barbara had cherry tomato plants rather than flowers around the mailbox.  It seemed like a cool, different idea, so we continued the tradition.  Last year we planted the little orange kind, this year we have the little red kind.   The problem is that none of us eat many cherry tomatoes.  At least not at the level produced by these plants.  It is the only vegetable plant we have that’s doing well, and its doing much too well.   I learned last year, as I brought bag after bag of cherry tomatoes into work, as I ran out to throw them in the mailman’s truck, and as I went around the neighborhood trying to give them away, that cherry tomatoes are not nearly as popular as their full-grown cousins.  We put them in every recipe and I find myself forcing myself to snack on them even though I don’t really like them very much. One or two, fine—-200 not so fine.  They are difficult to cook with.    Next year, flowers.

Overly prolific cherry tomato plants

A typical daily harvest with a ratio of 400 cherry tomatoes for every 1 regular or roma.

  • Our dead vegetables.   Yes, the SC heat has a lot to do with this, but its so discouraging to plant all those cool veggies and see them just wilting away, not producing a single vegetable. And this was a problem last year too. They get lots of water, but I have yet to produce a single zuchinni or squash in this state?  Who can’t grow zuchinni’s?! Usually they take over and grow to mammoth proportions.    But mine 80% dead with no blooms of any sort. I was so looking forward to cucumbers, pickles, squash, melons…..even the basic green onions and radishes died this years, and the herbs look awful. And to add insult to injury, other than tomatoes (big ones!),  the things that are growing are the things I don’t really like – mainly the peppers.

Just pitiful

Look at these wonderful specimens! Did we grow these in our garden? NO, we did not...these were given to me by someone who has so many they can't keep up. I offered to give her some cherry tomatoes and she said, "Um, no thanks...just take these."


To be continued..



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9 responses to “What I hate about Barbara and Jim’s garden, part 1

  1. Hope

    I’m just loving this. I was so disappointed when the first post ended. I have to say that I admire you people who live in SC. It’s just so darned hot. Do you think my relatives invite us down each summer hoping that we won’t actually come because of the heat? Hmm. I think, no, I know the garage vine would have to go. I cannot imagine a lizard dropping onto my head…ugh. Keep writing!

  2. Those tomatoes? Throw them all in a pot, cook them down. Then put in blender. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop them out, put in ziplock bag. Voila, you now have fresh tomatoes to use all winter for soup, chili, pasta sauce, etc.

  3. Kristan

    We are having the same problem in NC with our squash and zucchini. I was told that the lack of flowers/fruit had to do with high nighttime temps. My husband’s response “duh, we live in North Carolina and it is July. Of course it is hot at night!”

  4. On WordPress – yes, picture formatting is the pits on that – and I don’t like writing on their platform much either. Someone turned me onto Windows Live Writer and now I create all my blog posts on Live Writer – http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer?os=other Its free.
    Much easier to format everything! And then you press publish and it looks great on wordpress.

  5. CK

    I posted a recipe for you on my food blog: http://urbanindianrecipes.blogspot.com/ I’ve been buying cherry tomatoes all summer just to make this! Good luck!

  6. Pingback: What I hate about Barbara and Jim’s Garden, Part 2 | One New Thing

  7. Pingback: Hating the Garden: Reprise with Aria | Visionary Gleam

  8. Hi, I’m a fan of Jim’s blog and am delighted that he sent me to these posts. I think you should keep harping on the vine; if it doesn’t have any redeeming social value (other people think you should like it doesn’t count), get rid of it! I want to second Wendy’s suggestion to check out Window’s Live Writer (unless, of course, you are composing on a Mac). If you decide to take a look at Live Writer, you may be interested in a post I did a while back on how to handle images in Live Writer: http://jeansgarden.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/taming-images-with-windows-live-writer/.

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