What passes for a garden around here

So, you may be thinking to yourself, "Self, I wonder if Claudia tried to grow anything this year?" (And if you truly did form that thought at some point, you may need to re-assess a few things in your personal life.) As you may recall, I have an inexplicable determination to grow tomatoes.  This is my third summer of trying. Last year, I learned that some tomato plants are "indeterminate," which means that they keep growing until they take over whole cities. Apparently, that was the kind I had last year and I was ill-prepared at best.  Because I have a smallish yard with three big dogs running around (and peeing) in it, my only real hope is to grow stuff in containers.  I am currently growing tomatoes, green beans, and possibly zucchini.  I say "possibly" because I got a late start with the zucchini and don't really know what I am doing. I feel like I am slightly more prepared with the tomatoes this year, though. I bought a bigger cage thingamajig.  I actually have a couple of plants going - one with cherry tomatoes (gift from a friend) and the other with the big slicing variety. So far, so good - both have lots of tomatoes hanging from them, although nothing is ripe yet. I go outside and poke and fondle the tomatoes at least once a day, just in case that might help to speed things up.

Oh, I should mention that the green bean plant technically belongs to my daughter. You would know it is hers from the way she ignores it completely and has never watered it once. She planted a seed at a children's festival back in the spring. I didn't think we'd actually end up with a plant in as much as she spilled most of the dirt out of the cup before we ever got it home. But, lo and behold! We've got a green bean plant. She doesn't care for green beans, however, so I've been snapping them off and eating all of them myself. At my house, I don't get a lot of competition for the vegetables.

So yeah, I've got a bunch of stuff growing on the deck. I recently did a bit of Googling on the topic of container gardening.  I found lots of articles that seemed helpful, except that they all talked of buying lots of products related to the garden and building trellises and whatnot. Call me old school (or maybe just stupid) but I have been relying on dirt + sunshine + water for my plants. After all, I could just buy tomatoes at the farmers' market so I don't want to make a major investment here.That's right, I'm stupid AND cheap.

I know I am probably setting myself up for failure when it comes to my gardening efforts. The main reason is that I'm entirely unwilling to do much homework or to take helpful advice from friends. I just plant stuff and hope for the best. It's no wonder that the haphazard approach hasn't done much for me.

Anyway, here are a few things I'm attempting to grow (or, at least, trying very hard not to kill).

Check it out - I grew these zinnias from seed!

The tomato I fondle twice a day.

One of my lovely lilies.

And last but not least, my assistant gardener, Gideon. He follows me around while I fondle the tomatoes.