Death has not had a heavy hand in my garden yet this year. He has visited. He even had tea once or at least that is my assumption. The orange mint just won't grow. Death must be picking it. All the other mints are fine and prolific like a mint should be.
Mostly Death has enjoyed taunting me, but I keep eating my fill regardless. He taunts me most with my tomato crop. Tomatoes are not the easiest crop in the world to grow here. Fungal diseases are endemic here. The flea beetles bite holes in the foliage. A week ago a nor'easter came by and broke off a myriad of stems from my caged tomatoes.
The dreaded chipmunk has tasted the first green fruit. He was just seeing if it was ready yet. It isn't, but the little snail enjoyed his castoff. He will be back. He will bring friends. I'll control him with rat traps if he starts throwing tomato eating parties in the garden. If he is just annoying, I'll annoy him back and put up bird netting around the tomatoes.
But despite the reminders that my tomatoes are mortal, this year they seem determined to beat the odds. This is a photo just a week after so many branches came off the tomatoes. You can't even tell. They want to celebrate life while they have a chance.
My basil that is planted near the tomatoes is not nearly as happy. One plant succumbed to this unknown disease. The leaves all turned black. Death visited again. The other two basil plants are alive still, but I do occasionally pick off black leaves. It is a race now between Death and my harvest. Will the others grow fast enough?
There was much death in the cucumber patch this year. The slugs would eat the seedlings down. I'd replant. This went on for some time. I'm nothing if not persistent. The seedlings seem to be growing now. Not thriving. Just growing. Slowly. In the long run this could just be death by cold weather, but maybe it will warm up and they will thrive.
Some death in the garden is anticipated. It helps me out. The garlic foliage is slowly dying. It will be picked at the end of the week. I have it under cover right now since we don't seem to get one day without rain anymore. It should be drying as it dies. Right now it is just rotting. I'm picking it a bit early this year - the end of the week. It might give me a smaller harvest, but at least I have a chance of it keeping.
I've also had bouts of premature aging in the garden. While this isn't precisely Death, it does keep those plants from my plate. The Chinese cabbage above is in bloom. Ignore the weird colors. I thought my camera was dead. It wasn't producing any red colors, but it was just a silly gardener that got the camera stuck in a setting she didn't know existed. Whoops! Not dead yet!
My corn is tasseling. It is half the height that the seed packet said it would get to. It has no ears forming that I can see. Though they seem green and healthy, I'm thinking this is premature aging again. We just had no sun and no heat. At least the cool weather is bringing a good crop of peas. If this keeps up I'll be picking peas all season long.
If you wish to join Garden Bloggers Death Day, visit Kate over at Gardening Without Skills.