I still need to clean up my garden for the winter. It's been a bit of a wacky gardening year and I have been very busy since my kiddos started school, so I just keep putting off my garden cleaning. It got to the point where looking at my grungy garden was reminding me of all of my failures this past garden season. Sure, I had a nice harvest, but it was nothing like *I* had planned. I wanted a full three seasons overflowing with vegetables. I wanted to walk into church and loving donate all of the extra perfect vegetables that my family couldn't eat because we had such a great harvest. I wanted to stock my freezer with 30 containers of homemade marinara. I still had a wonderful harvest. I still have a freezer full of fresh veggies to help feed my family over the long winter. But it just wasn't ENOUGH for me. I wanted more!! I wanted no powdery mildew to kill my pumpkins and peas. I wanted no standing water in my garden make my tomatoes burst on the vine. And I wanted no unexpected frost to kill my tomato plants after they had FINALLY just started to recover and bring me more luscious fresh late season tomatoes. I felt defeated instead of victorious. So I let my precious garden sit and fester.
My cauliflower plants had a rough spring, too. I managed to eek out three heads of cauliflower before the weather got too hot. There were three more plants left in the garden before the hot weather hit, and I just couldn't bring myself to pull them. So they sat in my garden all summer long. I had hope for them. When the weather cools, I thought, they will finally wake up from dormancy and grow again. Then the cabbage worms came in early September. I was too busy at school to be able to hand pick my cabbage worms as I always do, so they feasted on my poor last cauliflower plants. There went my last hope of more fresh cauliflower!! But I still didn't pull my sad leafless plants.
This weekend I had a few spare moments while we were closing our pool for the winter. So I strolled out to my garden to get a peek at everything that still needs to be done. I found lettuce that needs to be pulled because we had 70 and 80 degree days during most of September and October that made it too hot for it to grow. Dead tomato plants that need to be pulled hung sadly from their stakes. My broccoli went to seed. And I found ONE beautiful, perfect head of cauliflower on a tall scraggly plant with barely any leaves. WOW!!! I could not believe my eyes. I had to call my hubby over and show him. I had given this plant nothing except my sympathy and it repaid me with one of the most beautiful heads of cauliflower that I have grown all year. And please understand, dear reader, that this was truly one UGLY plant! It defies all commonly understood laws of gardening that this plant produced a head. As I was standing there in my garden with the cool autumn sun shining on my face, I was reminded that it is GOD who is in control. Not me. Only GOD. He can perform miracles with things that we dismiss because they don't meet *our* standards and expectations. God made my garden give me plenty but I was upset because it didn't go my way. Then when I gave up and walked away in frustration, he took over and gave me a little reminder of who I should let be truly in control and who I should thank even when things don't go the way that I planned.
My blog header says "Just planting some seeds and waiting to see what pops up next". I try to live by that motto. Enjoy what I have, take life as it comes, trust God. But I fail, alot. Isn't it wonderful when God sends you unexpected little blessings to remind you how important it is to wait and see what pops up?