Saturday, April 21, 2007


These beauties sprouted from a tomato stalk that sprung, unplanted and untended by the hand of man, from a pot that holds a hydrangea we keep on our driveway. They look to be Big Boys or some other mainstream variety; the seedling most likely took root from the sinkwater we collect in a plastic basin and periodically dump in our pots and on our various gardens (ain’t we virtuous).

It’s the second tomato plant to recently take up residence in the hydrangea pot. Back in the late fall a smaller but more robust stalk began setting some variety of cherries and popped out 40 or 50 to pick right from the vine and eat (we believe our next-door neighbor helped himself to a few, but that’s OK) before getting singed back by a winter freeze. But the plant is going and blowing again with a new round of fruit.

We usually get three or four of these unbidden tomato plants growing somewhere in our yard each year, as well as several cucumber crawlers and way too many of those crazed Mexican cilantro bushes (one of which we made the mistake of planting and allowing to go to seed a couple of years back). They’re called volunteers, a nicely evocative term we first heard used by our parents and grandparents---always, or so we’d like to remember, with a touch of reverence for the surprises nature can spring.

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