(an idiot's bounty: the fingerlings)
(The Garlic Scape: not a snake, after all)
I blame the native Vermonter.
I asked her, "When can I transplant the seedlings from the warm house into the garden?"
And Agnes replied decisively, "Town Meeting Day."
I planted on Town Meeting Day.
It snowed the day after.
(not the morning I'd expected)
I asked the local garden expert, "When can I REALLY plant my seedlings in the garden?"
He replied, "May 5th."
Frost smothered my dainty sprouts on May 6th.
50 seedlings that had taken me weeks of nurturing, dead.
I was left with a box of seeds, individual paper packets torn open and the contents mingling wantonly, tomato bumping and grinding with the kales and buttercrunch.
In late May, I closed my eyes and chose at random. I ignored recommended planting guidelines. I deposited seeds willy nilly. I didn't care. I couldn't afford to, when chances were that I'd just find a way to kill again.
I checked the garden today. I can report that there is life in spite of me: shimmying snap pea tendrils; broad leaf kale stretching; Medusa tendrils of garlic scape fraternizing; cabbage gathering its cruciferous forces into a tight, leafy fists. All was positively and verdantly resplendent.
Except for the brown splotches on the tomatoes. It appeared they were suffering from blight. At least I thought they were tomatoes. I'm pretty sure I had a wide variety of tomato seeds at my fingertips when I began my adventures in mystery gardening.
I pulled at the infested plants, intent on saving the rest of the miracle garden from the brown splotched grotesquerie that was having it's way with the tender nightshade.
I yanked the plant free. I was taken by a fleeting notion that I'd entered a entomological nightmare. Globular creatures were clinging to the soil encrusted tendrils. What the hell had infested my little garden?
Back inside the house, in the box of mystery seeds, sat a family of plump seedling potatoes among the tiny embryonic plant granules. Two from the original ten missing, having been planted while I had my eyes closed.
How does someone forget planting a potato? There's a breathtaking mass differential between a potato seed and a tomato seed. The potato "seed" is an actual potato.
But that, I suppose, is the beauty of being a boneheaded mystery gardener, a woman completely broken by dirt. Anything that manages to survive is an unexpected bounty.