When your urban garden resembles a horror movie, or nobody wants to get bonked in the head with a cucumber when taking out the trash

When your urban garden resembles a horror movie, or nobody wants to get bonked in the head with a cucumber when taking out the trash

My backyard is a movie. It used to be a Disney movie, what with all the birds chirping and the squirrels and bunnies and the baby possum under the porch. All the wildlife showing up presumably because of the nice garden. It became Little Shop of Horrors when the grapevine my son planted started taking over the back deck. At first, I didn’t mind the whole urban garden gone wild thing. It was fun to brag we grew grapes in the middle of the city. But when the grapevine picked up a patio chair and moved it, well that’s when I drew the line. I don’t like my decorating skills challenged by a plant.

Now, the “movie” has changed again. The grapes are starting to ripen and any time anyone opens the back door it’s a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I love listening to them from inside the house, but it’s when the sky fills with them that I worry the neighbors are going to complain.

Last year, I was happy the next door neighbors didn’t complain when the grapevine, which had reached across from our deck to the fence, started climbing up the cable TV line outside their house, threatening to choke off their subscription to Comedy Central. We cut the vine off where it had crossed over to the fence, because even though I personally think plants shouldn’t have a political opinion, nobody, and I mean nobody (plants are nobodies, too) should mess with anyone else’s access to Jon Stewart.

Today, there is a new development. You see the grapevine has crossed over the stairway on our deck: a grapevine crossing we consider mostly harmless, as far as grapevine crossings go.grapevine crossing However, we hadn’t counted on the cucumbers wanting a piece of the action. Do you see the flowers in the photo? At first I was confused, because grapes don’t have yellow flowers, which was when I realized it was a squash blossom, of sorts. Even though squash blossoms are really hot right now at many too-cool-for-you restaurants, I knew they would eventually turn into cucumbers and, do you see where I’m going with this? I mean, nobody wants to get hit in the head with a cucumber when taking out the trash. Especially when you look at the size of the cucumbers we’ve been harvesting. (My husband planted the cucumbers. As an avid gardener and fisherman, he would want me to point out that the cucumber pictured here is not nearly as big as the one that got away.)

I know I should be thrilled with all the abundance outside my back door, even though this year is shaping up like last year—the birds eating all the grapes before we can get them to ripen enough for us to be able to eat them. It all might even be worth the occasional cucumber to the head. But if any of the wildlife start talking, or worse singing, I’m outta here.

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