At the beginning of 2022, I had the overwhelming notion of cultivating something. Something I had never had much luck with before.
I chose tomatoes.
I had always wanted to do this, but previous efforts had always failed for one reason or another. This time, I was sure we would grow our own tomatoes.
I researched all the different types of tomatoes, confident I would make the right choice. Several packets of seeds arrived in the post, and I started to gather all the pots and soil I would need.
This was all happening when the year was young and hadn’t yet acquired that air of doom and gloom that would eventually descend and taint everything.
I felt like a proper gardener as I prepared the pots and planted the seeds. Every day I would inspect them, waiting eagerly to see the first pale new shoots appearing. I remember being so happy when the first seedlings broke through the soil.
Just one week later, I went outside to see my charges, to be met with the scene of a disaster. Something had attacked the pots, and the ground was littered with displaced soil and battered seedlings. I tried my best to replant them all, but inside, I was seething. Who or what had done this?
It seemed to take a long time for the seedlings to recover, and I secretly waited for them to curl up their toes and give up the fight. To be honest, that’s what I wanted to do, as my dream had been spoiled.
Slowly, they did recover and grew taller. Soon the pale yellow star-shaped flowers appeared, shortly followed by tiny tomatoes. Whether it was being so cruelly disturbed, the lack of sunshine, or the absence of luck, these tomatoes never grew very big. Disappointingly small, although definitely sweet.
I still wonder what had sabotaged my efforts and whether I will try again next year…