‘Just a minute, gramma isn’t finished with things here.’

Colored tomato cages have ruined my life!

During the three-day weekend, I made some time trying to get my garden in order. That’s always a chore, but this year more so.

Last summer, just about the time things were ready to eat in the garden I discovered there was no garden — our rescue potbelly pig had wiped it out.

And I do mean wiped it out. Not only did he eat every living thing we had planted in the various raised beds, he rooted up the soil and nosed through hardy-board sides.

I didn’t do a thing to repair the damaged beds last fall. I left the dirt where it was and the sides of beds caved in or rather out. That was a mistake for a number of reasons. This year after repairing beds, the soil was so scattered and packed down that I had to buy more bags of soil, compost and manure.

That’s all finished except for moving one bed to the garden location. For some reason Gyp the pig chose to leave it alone.

This year I no longer have the Gyp. He has a new home. But my grandson has a dog. And it turns out that Ted loves to dig and dig and dig. The new fluffy dirt was just right for his big paws.

It started with one bed that was ready for planting. That process continued through three separate carrot, bean and pea plantings in two other beds.

So we got wise. My husband put up a fence. Ted went under the fence. Tom added more stakes and Ted went over the fence. Now he’s added extensions to the top of the metal stakes and wire to make the fence taller. Now we should be fine unless someone leaves the garden gate open for Ted.

With fence additions going on I took the opportunity to put in a fourth planting of carrots, rediscovered the chard plants — five instead of the original six — and so on.

This year it was easy enough to decide what to plant where. Aromatic herbs went in with the cabbage and broccoli, basil went with the tomatoes, but it was the darned tomato cages that slowed me down. Just using three yellow ones in a row is boring. Thank goodness I only have yellow, red and blue to consider.

But I would find myself settled in my antique-look-a-like red metal chair stewing over colors. I love bright colors, especially in the garden. So, staring at three freshly planted pineapple tomatoes my brain went wild. Should I do yellow, red, yellow? Should I use yellow, red, blue? Or should I use blue, red, yellow?

I got to the point I was sweating over it. What was I going to do? I know, I finally decided. Jumping up I did yellow, silver, yellow. I stood back. I don’t like it, but I moved on. I planted beefsteak, black krim and a cherry tomato and sat down again.

I was practically paralyzed. Red, yellow, blue? But what about the miss-marked tomato? A potato leaf was misidentified as a black krim, how did I miss that when I was selecting them?
Yellow, blue, red or blue, red, blue? I had beans to plant behind the tomatoes. I wanted the long, yellow pole beans but ended up with purple pole beans because the yellow beans got spilled and I wasn’t sure that they were all yellow.

But what about the cages? I looked around the garden. Cages were still here and there. “Caden, can you get gramma the blue one?” He did. That went over the black krim, no wait, it went over a beefsteak. “Get gramma another one, please.” I put a red one in place. That left a yellow one to put in. I stood back and looked at the various cages in different raised beds. They’re crooked. Well, this is the third, fourth and fifth years for them and I’ve straightened the wire as much as my impatience will let me …

“It’s so beautiful,” Caden exclaimed as he danced and jumped about with a hand tool in one very dirty little hand. “I helped. I made it gigorgeous!”

I’m used to ginormous, but this was a new word from him.

“Now can we go on a picnic?”

“Just a minute, gramma isn’t finished with things here.”

“I wanna go look at wizards.” He means lizards. “Let’s go. Let’s go.”

But now, I have to stand and agonize over the tomato cage arrangements. I really, really don’t like that lone silver one, but what color should I put there instead? Think. Think. Think. Sit down. Think. “Let’s go. I wanna see the wizards!”

That got me moving. I’m just so glad I didn’t find green, orange and purple cages to add to the muddle of my hectic life! We would have never gone to seek lizards otherwise.