extremely pleasing to the senses

When I look at this photograph of the garden taken two weeks ago, one word springs to mind.   Lush.

A lot has changed since then.  Several of the tomatoes are looking not just mature, but tired.  The lovely crookneck squash have been decimated by the mildew; only one plant remains and is trying to recover from its own infection.  After an almost three-week dry spell and then a huge rainstorm that lasted half a day and made puddles in the garden, we had some losses.  Four zucchini plants got taken out by the mildew, as well, but I wasn’t complaining as I was kind of sick of them by then.

In general, I’m not complaining.  Removing the zukes allowed us to prep the soil for fall radish planting.  As the plants become mature, I won’t mind making the decision to end their time in our beds — with only a twinge of regret and a word of thanks for such wonderful time shared in the garden together — because I’ve begun to internalize a more seasonal way of living, of eating.

The first tomato is a joy, a revelation on the tongue.  After that, they become a little more commonplace and your tongue is pleased, but not in raptures — well, except for when eating Cherokee Purple (I’m in love!) — and then you’re inundated with tomatoes at their peak.  You look up 80 different ways to eat tomatoes and get creative, yourself.  In the end, you settle on the old standbys.  There’s a reason those are classics.  They’re usually fairly easy to do, and several of the best involve raw tomatoes, which is good because a hot kitchen in August is just about your least favorite thing to contemplate.  And then you start looking toward the next thing, knowing that every tomato you eat is on the downslope.  You won’t be able to get tomatoes like these in December.  You’d better sun dry a few and savor every bite — all while you daydream of beets, radishes, spinach and mesclun and prepare the soil to hold the seeds that will make your dreams a reality.  The work and the rewards are so intertwined.

The victory garden is showing its age a bit more now, but it’s still extremely pleasing to the senses.

lush 1

adj.   lush·er, lush·est

    1. Having or characterized by luxuriant vegetation.
    2. Abundant; plentiful. See Synonyms at profuse.
    3. Extremely productive; thriving.
    4. Extremely pleasing to the senses: a lush scent; lush fruit; the lush sounds of an orchestra.
    5. Voluptuous or sensual.

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