Monday, October 21, 2013

Ever Seen a Gift Horse?

You know the old saying "never look a gift horse in the mouth".  Especially if that gift comes directly from mother nature herself.  It never ceases to amaze me what mother nature will thrive back into her own works.  If you read my post A Very Tiny Ficus I got two very welcome surprises from one big gamble. And even one more good reson to always use compost.

When I pot any new plant I mix in a generous helping of nutrition right from my compost.  I did the same when I planted the tiny ficus twig.  Out in the sun the tree began to flourish and take root nicely, but that wasn't all that was growing in my pot.  I began to notice a plant sprouting beside my new tree.  I immediately recognized the leaves of a vining plant, possibly a squash.  Not one to take anything for granted I immediately took my chances and move the plant from it's pot to the garden

At first I was very sceptical.  I knew I had something, but I wasn't sure it would survive the shock of a move.  I placed it underneath a tomato cage hoping to protect it.  I watched it struggle with the environment, but was determined not to give up.  I was more than curious to discover exactly what the surprise gift I had been given was.  After a few weeks it seemed to adept to the new surroundings quite well.  Even thought it was almost overshadowed by the extremely zealous sweet potatoes.  Nothing will hold those ambitious plants back. I had to lay the tomato cage on its side. The vines quickly outgrew the support. Before long little blossoms began to appear. I knew they were too small to be a squash of any sort.

My husband and I kept a daily vigil on the blossoms hoping something would peek beneath the pretty little yellow buds.  More and more appeared every day, but the harvest seemed slow at coming.  I was beginning to wonder if there would be any at all.  Low and behold along come the anticipated October rains.  There they were, no bigger than a forefinger!  Tiny little green shoots, narrow and full of fuzz.  Oh joy, oh joy!  How I do enjoy a cucumber!  The compost I had thrown in with my ficus tree was completed by a stray cucumber seed, that is now (strongly) multiplying in my garden.  I'm not sure how many will survive before the weather becomes to cold to sustain the produce.  It doesn't matter anyway.  Whatever the prize I will cherish it,  cause I never look a gift horse in the mouth!