I've never been much of a gardener. I plant it. I water it. I kill it. End of story.
That's why, when Deborah arrived at our book club meeting bearing a tray of teeny weeny tomato plants in biodegradable pots, I didn't hold out much hope for mine. I knew the poor thing's fate.
But to my surprise, my plant not only survived, but thrived. It started growing exponentially, first in inches and then in feet. I started getting into this whole gardening business, creating a tomato paradise for my girl (yes, I've determined my tomato plant is a "she"). I moved her to my upstairs balcony that gets full sun and scorching heat. I repotted her in specialized vegetable soil and fertilized her, taking care to water her daily and talk to her often.
"You go, Tammy!" I encouraged my blooming beauty.
And go she did. Tammy rewarded me with tomatoes, first just a few and then a lot, big, fat,bursting juicy ones. When I compared notes with my book club peeps, I learned that my plant was producing more than any others; at last count, I had 45 while Deborah had 19.
Go, Tammy, go!
Except now there's trouble in paradise. A scrub jay has discovered my plant and is hanging around, eyeing my ripening beauties with an interest I find disturbing. John, a gardener friend, told me that the winged intruder won't go after green tomatoes, but the minute he sees red, my tomato is dead.
Oh, hell no. Game on, baby. It's me against the scrub jay.
For starters, John told me to dangle tin can lids from the metal support tower since the flickering shine will frighten the bird. And it appears to be working because for the past few days I've seen my nemesis hopping on a nearby fence, staring at Tammy while squawking with obvious displeasure. Seems I've spoiled his dinner plans.
But only for now. Something tells me I haven't heard the last of this scrub jay yet.