I am a horrible liar. I stammer and I look away, I blush and my upper lip gets sweaty. But all Spring and all Summer I have been concealing the truth. I have been lying on social media (facebook) and I have been deliberately avoiding telling the whole story to all of you faithful blog readers. For that I only sort of apologize. I don’t apologize because it’s my garden and they’re my pumpkins. The choices I make regarding them living or dying is mine alone. As inanimate, wait… as uncommunicative plant life, they left me no choice.
My heart is heavy with deception though. Even though I told you no outright lies, I did not tell the whole truth. In fact, there is only one person in this whole entire world who knows the whole truth that I’m about to confess, and she has gone back to Arizona, my secret (she doesn’t even realize it’s a secret probably) safe with her, 1400 miles away.
You all know about my ongoing giant pumpkin project, and that this year I threw some Jack o’Lanterns into the mix. Why not? I LOVE Halloween, it’s my favorite, and coincidentally the only occasion where a person might want a pumpkin. I love my Jack O’Lanterns. You’ve met them before. Fred, Ethel, Lucy and a couple of rogue survivors, five in all. Not a bad crop for being a little crowded. Hell, they even encroached on Ricardo.
But on to my confession. You know Ricardo, he’s been posing with a volleyball all season, showing off his miraculous growth and his perfect roundness.
You even helped me celebrate when he beat Fiona in the “All Time” category, but what you don’t know about is his cousin Carlos.
Carlos has been growing alongside Ricardo most of the season. He was a tiny bugger when I first saw him, on the first shooting vine. Now please understand that Ricardo is on the main plant, he was always going to be the keeper, but Carlos, he looked so tiny and I worried he wouldn’t survive.
As a gardener and giant pumpkin grower, you are not supposed to have feelings for tiny baby squash, you are supposed to pinch them off when they are but a bud, so that all of the energy and nutrients can go to the “chosen one”. In the world of growing giant pumpkins, it is highly advisable to grow only one pumpkin per plant. Carlos popped up just three feet away from Ricardo.
At first I hoped secretly that Carlos (and his friend Javier on the same vine) would remain unfertilized, and return to pumpkin heaven, to await their chances next year. My prayers were half way answered, Javier did not survive. But Carlos, he is a tough strong man. I let him grow. There was always the hope that the slugs would take him.
I’m a sucker in the garden, I hate thinning the plants at the beginning, or at any stage really. So Carlos grew on, the runty brother of the great Ricardo.
I even staged my photos for Ricardo’s followers so that Carlos could not be seen. But now it’s too late. Ricardo and Carlos are cuddling. I dare say that Carlos has now surpassed Ricardo in size, at least in height.
So I deceived you all. It’s time Carlos had a welcoming party.
Thank you for coming Carlos, it would have been a different garden season emotionally without you.