Okay, so the funny thing is that Mercury, the planet of communication, is supposed to be going direct today.
In English now, this is supposed to mean that things are not supposed to be uphill and difficult and generally misunderstood and puzzling, etc. after Mercury decides to catch up and stop dallying in such a way that, from Earth, it looks like it's moving backward although we know that planets don't really move backward, but what the hey.
I will tell you one thing though: it's getting cool, and this is thrilling.
Now for a categorically different speed –please do blame it on Mercury, or perhaps on the cooling down of this part of the world, and not on me: I would like to assess my garden successes this year.
green beans. If you are an amateur gardener in want of space, but would like to grow a simple and highly productive treat, grow Kentucky wonder pole beans. All they need is some crappyish soil (they actually DO NOT produce when you fertilize a bit much!) and a place to wind around. Mine started to produce very late in the season, and I still got quite the decent crop. String beans= thrill.
cherry tomatoes. Any variety of tiny tomatoes will produce insane amounts of fruit, given enough sun (about 8-10 hrs), water, and amendments. This year it was so very wet I had to add lime (in the truly bizarro form of TUMS) to my tomatoes' soil.
basil. This herb is so insane, people named it so because they thought snakes would breed out of it. Maybe not snakes, but it seems to double in height and produce millions of tiny seedlings overnight. Plant some basil with your tomatoes and you will not regret it. Hell, plant some basil by itself and even if you hate pesto sauce (which you will end up making more than once if you grow basil) you can just crush the leaves and enjoy an intense olfactory experience.
strawberries. My first year, only two plants. However, strawberries are incredibly easy to grow, especially in tiny container gardens where you don't have to worry about all the pests that attack them. Strawberries are lovely plants and they love to spread like crazy, too. It's love.
blueberries. I have a rabbiteye bush and it yields the most juicy little blue gold. There are no words to tell you a) how much I love seeing those little pale things that are left over after the flower falls off turn jet black, and b) how much I hate the birds who've started to assume that my garden is their smörgåsbord. Jerks.
lettuce varieties. The cut-and-come-again varieties grow so well and so quickly that you can come incredibly late to the game (we're talking mid-August) and you can still get a small yield. And, amazingly, you can cut AND COME AGAIN! Genius.
anything in the mint family. Is. A BEAST. Mints, catmints, lemon balm, lavenders, etc. are maniacs. If you can't grow mint you may as well realize that life gave you a black thumb. Many years ago I read an essay with the author's fantasizing as to what a personification of an herb would be like. She imagined basil (appropriately enough, I suppose) as a suave Italian man, effervescent and sexy and rash, zipping around in his dandy little Vespa. She also imagined mint being a little old lady sweeping her front porch, being all cute and mumsy. What she neglected to mention is that this old lady has six tattoos, chain-smokes, and can beat half of the biker bar at arm wrestling. Mint=tenacious.
four o'clocks. No longer just for illustrating Punnett squares, these beauties grow like crazy and smell awesome. Love. (POISONOUS SEEDS! BEWARE!)
Plants need to be INSANE in order to survive the harsh conditions of my rooftop garden.
Pineapple sage? Totally cute, but so very fragile– also not totally hardy in zone 7a, which is too bad because bees and butterflies love the stuff.
Gardenias? Too insane. They catch every disease imaginable and hate to be transplanted. Too bad, because they have an INSANE fragrance. I'm thinking you're going to hate the word "insane" by the time I'm done.
Peas? Fussy, haters of too cold a clime and haters of too warm a weather. If you get them in the ground around here on St. Paddy's day, you may or may not get a yield, depending on how hot or strong spring comes on– capricious. Capricious is a good word to describe little girls and butterfly flight patterns; it is NOT a good word to describe plants upon which you've heaped hopes.
I'm sure the gardening folks among you disagree on some of these choices. But hey! It's a free country– if you have secrets for growing the fussier plants, please do share!
Meanwhile, I sleep.