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Hang On Little Tomato

I often get songs stuck in my head. You, too???

One day, while working in my garden, the song was Pink Martini’s “Hang On Little Tomato.” (If you don’t know it, please look it up! It will make you smile.) So, I decided to make a little video about pruning tomatoes.

Wait, isn’t this a blog about old houses? Well, yes, mostly… As I often say, caring for old houses is a way of life. And life needs food. And food, like shelter, can either deprave or exalt us. Here’s what I wrote in a blog post a couple of years ago:

Pruning is a perfect metaphor for… everything. Prioritizing, making decisions, choosing which battles against chaos to fight and when to let nature take its course, all to the purpose of yielding a better result. It turns out that, with a little time and foresight, one can nurture tomatoes to generate just the right amount of fruit and happily coexist with other edibles. One only has to understand which parts of the vine are the essential “leaders” and which parts are extraneous “suckers”.

I’ve drawn the parallel between gardening and house rehabilitation before. It strikes me again, as I talk with prospective house buyers/renovators about strategies for making the most of any particular property. Sure, one could tear down walls and start over. Or, with a few deft strokes, bring order to the chaos of past neglect and fresh focus to the essential character of a place. Sometimes it’s a tough call – one person’s “leaders” are another person’s “suckers”. Far from a purist, I would fight to the death for preserving the vestigial quirks of an old house.

Please enjoy my continued musings on the care and craft of tending your plot, whether it be bricks, sticks, stones, stalks or vines.