On the Patio

On the Patio

Apr 17

Our patio is small, and overwhelmingly tinged green and grey by the concrete and stucco, but it is more enjoyable this Spring than ever before. The perimeter of potted plants creates a sort of urban jungle. I can nearly hear the green things drinking water and stretching their appendages toward the sun.

The roses make a beeline toward the screen canopy, growing with unexpected speed in the temperate weather.

The bean vine, heavy with swollen green pods, sends adventurous runners up the stakes we’ve provided and down along the ground.

The Swiss chard stands at attention in the bright midday light with leaves crinkled like the brows of Vatican guards squinting in the sun.

The red Russian kale, so lifeless when we acquired it, seemingly tries to make up for its near-death experience by sprouting as many leaves as possible.

The carrots, still small and tender beneath the soil, timidly push up thin stalks of leaves like periscopes seeking an unknown enemy.

The squash spreads its leaves over the edge of its container like the open arms of so many friends, leaning slightly as the weight of their own flowers brings them ever closer to the ground.

Even the tomatoes, slightly wilted from the heat, clutch tightly to dozens of green fruit, desperately amassing the nutrients necessary to blush them with that familiar red color.

And my pineapple mint, the latest addition to our patio garden, waves tenuous tendrils in the breeze, exploring its new home like a recently adopted pet.

As I sit in my chair, quickly losing myself in the poetic beauty of the nature we’ve nurtured, a passenger jet roars overhead, momentarily obscuring the sun; an air conditioner kicks on next door; a car alarm sounds its shrill warning; and, somewhere in the distance, a freight truck rumbles along the highway.

We live at odds with our surroundings, and I’m only reminded of how much I want a place to call my own, a place with a little more separation from the bustle of life.


  1. Thanks for the comment and support, Marci. We’ll be at the meeting on Wednesday for sure, and we’re bringing a little something to contribute to the raffle: Worm Tea! Looking forward to seeing you there.

  2. Marci DeJager

    Nicely written article, John. I really enjoy your posts. Hope to see you and Laura at the Organic Growers meeting on Wednesday evening. I’m interested in the brine pickling lecture and demo and the opportunity to expand my home economics skills. The meetings have been informative and inspiring in so many ways. Also, enjoyed your video on Sundew Gardens. Keep up the good work, ya’ll!

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