My husband asked about the crops tonight and seemed distressed by my response.

“That’s it? Two tomatoes and two peppers?”

“One’s a ghost pepper.”

“You know for sure it’s a ghost pepper?”

I thought about it. I seem to recall seeing the little plant name tag saying ghost pepper but I’ve lost track. This year, more than ever, the plants, oh wait, the crops, have devolved in the most nightmarish way possible. Still the distinction between it being a ghost pepper and not being a ghost pepper is pretty important. My poor husband could get pretty inflamed.

My garden is so outrageous I can’t even get back there to take a picture. If humiliation could grow roots and leaves, it would be growing in my “Victory Garden” in the way back of my yard. Back beyond the day lilies, next to the garage with its gorgeous, wild ivy, in the wooden box built by earnest volunteers surrounded by chicken wire bought from Home Depot, infiltrated by varmints and unspeakable creatures of the night. Things that crawl. I don’t want to go back there without a special coat and a chainsaw although I’m not sure the cord would reach that far.

This year, like all others, was going to be different. This would be the year of gardening glory, crops harvested every night, my own farm to table. My wonderful daughter who can grow orchids from air sent me a set of garden pods, little seed containers that only needed to be put in the ground and watered.  I did those things but soon the seed pods got away from me, growing in mad, nameless ways, twisting around each other and losing their name tags. Chaos ensued and I turned my back on it. It couldn’t be helped so it was wiser to ignore. If you don’t look at a mess, it doesn’t exist. If you look at it, you own it. Life lessons from Jan, no charge.

But the growing season wasn’t all failure. There are more tomatoes and a lovely bush of Hungarian peppers (yeah, I don’t know either but they were a beautiful purple in the picture and turned out to be just as beautiful in person). There is a pot of oregano and one of rosemary that are beautiful and lush.

And there is the basil. And there is really nothing I love more than fresh basil. So the growing season? It had its ups and downs. Its victories and defeats. Its fear and loathing. But it was not for naught because of this. Basil.

How green is that? Perfectly green.

IMG_5874