tomato climacteric

Summer was all hurry: grow and divide ’til hip-height, head-height, bracts of blooms and then green marbles, swollen worlds swirl tight as Titan’s cloud-tops. Adam Smith was right: o joyous economy, this wondrous chlorophyll.

Then nothing. Days drag, a week, two: no news, sproutless, stasis. Siri™ says apply seaweed, potassium, pinch out laterals, water, don’t water, fulsome sunshine though not too much…(cope gardener, this is your lot). Then…no, a paler shade when looked at right. Fool! How hope still springs like Amazon next-day delivery. But tint persists and look, no wish-fulfilment orange this, it’s ablaze and neighbours too: pebbles dancing before the avalanche. 

Yet the plant is ending, brown leaves shroud like bats over Main Street, shuttered buildings, dumpster fires, redundancies and the ravages of the gig economy. Genes clang shut final as factory gates.

She’s become an introvert, all calls to voicemail, wears the same shirt, forgets to eat — the work, the work is all. 


Image: Solanum lycopersicum in my garden this morning (not to size).

And in the spirit of all that’s gone before, here’s Billy Bragg and Johnny Marr with Shirley (greetings to the new brunette). The film is A Taste of Honey from 1961.

10 thoughts on “tomato climacteric

      1. I don’t. Well, semi-wilds. Since lockdown we’re being overrun by wildlife. We had two sheep walking down our lane last week. The nearest field is about 1/2 km away.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Gardening is an adventure and art. And then there are tomato worms. I’ve seen plants more beautiful than they have a right to be start to languish. Worms grow as thick as the vines.

    It will be time to start the seeds growing inside here soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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