The Wide Angle: Well, the garden is a failure — thanks 2020

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 15, 2020

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I know things are hard in America and the world right now, but I have a very real problem, so listen up.

My garden stinks this year.

In my final report of the gardening tragedy that many of you have found so interesting (I’m not sure how I should take the laughter), I come to you with the news that most everything failed this year.

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Except beans. The beans have held up to their end of the bargain, so thanks beans.

Everything else has failed abysmally. Yes, that’s where we are now. Using big words like abysmal. Well, biggish words anyway.

The tomatoes were highly disappointing and I have a whopping total of maybe 10 pints of canned tomatoes to get me through the rest of the apocalypse.

Two cucumbers — TWO (dirty word) cucumbers, not counting the okay bounty of pickle cucumbers.

And the peppers. Don’t even get me started on those miserable plants that have done absolutely nothing for three years. They have a lot of explaining to do, but they won’t get the chance because I won’t ever plant them again.

Beets and carrots were there and didn’t lose the game for me, but they certainly didn’t win it.

All and all, I have no idea what happened. I haven’t done anything different from what I usually do. I even put in more compost than usual, but a lot of these plants just refused to grow.

I don’t know if they were jealous of me spending so much of my time with the mead operation rather than them, or if I’m just terrible at gardening.

Really, it’s probably 50-50 at this point and maybe it’s just time I rotate crops as I’ve heard that’s a good idea, but I’m not sure that’s the cause of my gardening woes either.

I even managed to keep the rabbits out and the squirrels didn’t really dig as much as they usually do, which is awfully nice of them.

Many a night and day I stood and pondered the predicament I found myself in this summer, trying to find the reasons for this sad, sad gardening existence.

Pondering, it turns out, didn’t help that much. I did some research, or asked the gardening expert in our family — mom, though she was having some difficulties as well, so maybe it’s just the year.

To be blunt this year just stinks, but my garden was supposed to be a chance to get away from the year. Lose myself in something other than COVID-19. But as things have gone, I couldn’t even lose myself in cucumber vines that didn’t even stray from their allotted spot.

Luckily, the berries have saved the day. My raspberries, which we’ve talked briefly about, are really coming in and appear to be doing their part to help me salvage things.

Berries are everywhere and the bees are starting to hang out like high school kids on a small-town Main Street.

Even the lost strawberries, which I pulled last year because they were doing their best imitation of 2020 in 2019, suddenly bloomed and spread from seemingly nothing to produce a whole bunch of unexpected berries.

So what’s the moral you might be asking? The moral is this: raspberries and strawberries are team players. The garden isn’t.

Anyway, this episode of “Eric wastes column inches” has come to an end. I’m going home to tend to the weeds in the backyard. At least they are growing.