The Day of the Triffids

So, we recently moved from the Back Bay to Watertown. While this was personally a big upgrade for us, we were regrettably forced to leave our little back alley garden behind. We’d planned on being there until September, but a place opened up in mid-July, and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to move. We’d stop by and keep up with the maintenance, we said. The lesson, as always: nature will win.

We needed to stop by the old place to grab a few things yesterday, and while we were there, we checked on and watered the plants. We discovered an unruly mob scene; after about a month and a half in the ground, they’ve gone from tiny little baby plants to these massive, tangled behemoths. We had already missed a few big offshoots which had escaped their cages. Now, the plants were over twice as tall as their holding pens, and the tendrils from one plant were wrapping around and grabbing onto branches from neighboring plants.

We obviously completely underestimated the growth potential of the humble sungold cherry tomato. While our eggplant (bottom left) is pretty contained (and currently sporting a baby eggplant about the size of a tennis ball), the tomato plants are about seven feet tall right now and are still sprouting large new rows of flowers, even on the uppermost branches. They have rapidly outpaced their potted counterpart, which we were able to take with us to Watertown, and is only about 4 feet tall, with far fewer tomatoes. The San Marzano plant, regrettably, doesn’t have any tomatoes on it, and only has a few blossoms.

Next year, we’ll do better. For now, we’re dropping by when we can to water these things and see what becomes of a tomato garden run amok. Luckily, each time we do, we should have a few little presents waiting for us amongst the twirly brambles of these gorgeous summer citizens.

A few shaded sungolds taking it easy on a warm July evening.

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