Healthy, growing plants, covered with fruit and the promise of more to come.
Generally, that's what gardeners work hard for. I know I do. So it's doing what I don't want to do at a visceral level to tear 'em out. But these lovely Ohio Pickling Cucumbers, from seed at least ten years old, were very productive. Very.
I grew them because Eldest Child had told me that she loved pickles. And I thought, "Why am I paying $2.50 a jar when I have a garden?" Thus, the cucumber patch. At first I thought that I wasn't going to get enough cucumbers. Experiment gone awry! I foresaw myself sneaking into the grocery store, hiding jars of pickles in raincoats to get them into the house undetected.
So imagine my surprise when they started bearing. And bearing, and bearing. . . I made jars and jars of pickles. Hooray! Friends said they tasted good, and I saw, in the soft focus future cinema of my brain, my child hugging me and saying, "You're the best mom in the world! I love them! Give me more pickles!"
Except that's not what she said. She actually said, "I think you overestimated my pickle wants. A temporary pickle eating stage doesn't necessarily mean it will endure for months and months."
Well. I made some more batches, just because I'd stripped dill seeds from the heads outside. And I kept piling up cukes for future pickles. But when a crop becomes a serious burden, and you're pretty sure that you've got enough to last at least into next year plus give away to the nice friends who bring you bags of rabbit poop, and there's 3 gallons still in the kitchen to pickle, it's time.
Out they came, and are now the top layer of the working compost heap. I put some rabbit poop and mixed up the soil -- it's ready for the next thing. The cucumbers left more behind, though:
I'll be making pickles after blackberry jam this evening.
It also struck me that the garden overview pictures don't really do justice to how huge the sunflowers are. I'm 5'6", and granted the sunflowers are 10-12" above the ground in the box, but lookie:
Harvest Monday - April 24, 2107
1 hour ago