Little Garden of Horrors

Sue is back, and it’s a good thing she goes on her daily walks – as her garden provides more stress than it should!


Pak Choy (AKA Audrey)

Early this year, I decided to tame the strawberry plants that had wandered out of their raised bed and filled the pathway. I dug out the bed, filled it with compost, added fertilizer, and replanted it with the biggest plants. The bed looked nice and neat, and I was very pleased with myself.

Later, when I weeded the bed, I left a few mystery sprouts “to see what they were.” In the blink of an eye (well, maybe a few weeks), the mystery sprouts were already growing much taller than the strawberry plants. When I finally had time to attend to the bed again, the mystery plants had grown into monsters, towering above the strawberries.

I named the biggest one Audrey 2 and slowly backed away, being careful not to make any sudden movements. I knew I needed to do some research and come back with the right arsenal. (If you’re a sci-fi fan like me, you know this is the correct strategy for dealing with a potential space alien invasion.)

Consulting last year’s seed packets, I found that Audrey and her seven sisters are not from outer space and are actually pak choi (AKA bok choy). It’s one of those veggies that are in a lot of Asian dishes — nondescript, but tasty. When I tried growing it before, it was scrawny and flowered right away, and so it went right into the compost pile. Ah-ha! The compost!

Audrey will go into the dinner pot tonight before she gets any bigger. Her sisters will soon follow. I guess the life lesson of the story is don’t be too quick to discard things that are unexpected and don’t fit the plan. Sometimes waiting to see what grows can provide you with tasty results.