It came from outer space. Or perhaps the sewer. It has all the neighbors talking.
So to answer your questions: yes, that is a giant squash plant growing by the side of the road next to my house and no, I did not plant it there. I'm not stupid.
My best guess is that Squashra was an accidental gift from a neighbor. The demon seed fluttered across the street, then landed in the ivy bed, where it settled in for what should have been a long, long rest. We're talking pure clay, partial shade, and a concrete roadway, not to mention competition for light and nutrients. I can barely get my daffodils to bloom there.
Oh the irony. For years, in an effort to protect the crops from deer and rabbits, I grew vegetables in containers on my elevated deck. Mostly I limited myself to tomatoes and peppers, but occasionally I branched out to Brussels sprouts or fennel. The results were decidedly unimpressive. One year we got a bumper crop of habenero peppers - so many that we ended up having to freeze most of them, since a little haberno goes a long way. The sweet peppers, Brussels sprouts, and fennel were flops. Sungold cherry tomatoes were the one and only things I could grow.
My foray into vegetable gardening came to an ignominious end last summer, when I finally conceded defeat at the hands of the squirrels. A 15 foot high deck is practically ground level for those brazen little beasts, and when the Sungolds were ripe they showed up in droves. I got sick of chasing them off the deck, sick of propping up broken plants, and sick of cleaning off half-eaten tomatoes from the railing. No mas.
But now Squashra has arrived and, without any assistance from me, in the worst possible location, is going gangbusters. I am studiously ignoring it. I refuse to get emotionally invested in whether it lives or dies, produces any fruit, or succumbs to rabbits or squash borers. I prefer to think of it as comic relief, a reminder - as if I needed one - that Man plans and God laughs.
The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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