In addition to all the hot weather we’ve been having this summer, we’ve had our share of crazy wild thunderstorms. One of these hit my mother’s house on Long Island and she lost several large trees. Some of these trees bordered my mother’s very large garden and for the first time in years the garden receives sunlight nearly all day long. Suddenly her plants are so much more lush and fecund as ever before, despite the fact that Mom just had a hip operation last week and has not been able to plant, weed, water and such much all summer.

Meanwhile, I’m in the garden every day, composting, fertilizing (organically, of course), planting, weeding, tying up tomato plants and otherwise caring for my veggie plants and still they are nowhere near as productive as they should be. The problem is, no matter what I do I can’t make up for the fact that most of the garden is in shade until 11 am each day. And the only way to change that would be to cut down a mature and beautiful linden tree, which I’m not inclined to do.

So my plants remains thus; organic, well-tended and well-watered, but lacking in the one necessity I just can’t give them. And still they grow, the tomatoes tall and spindly, the squash vines stretched far along the ground, the beans trailing over the fences–all reaching, stretching toward the light. I suppose there is a parenting metaphor in there somewhere. I just hope I don’t ever need to use it.

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