I attempt a small garden most years. And by “garden” I mean that I tuck fruit and vegetable plants in the flower beds. Or I grow them in pots on the porch.

At our last house I quickly learned not to grow anything a rabbit might like unless I just wanted to feed the rabbits. Now I’m learning which plants neither rabbits nor deer enjoy. Which is almighty limiting!

Still, this past spring I planted asparagus, onions, and fingerling potatoes. The onions, which I was surest of, didn’t do much at all. I suspect it’s the heavy clay soil I’m fighting. The six hills of potatoes have produced nicely. We’re not storing up for winter, but I got my money’s worth. The asparagus has grown like CRAZY. Of course, you’re not supposed to harvest until the third year but if they overwinter well, I might risk cutting one dinner’s worth next spring.

And then there are the tomatoes and squash.

But wait, you say, you didn’t mention planting tomatoes and squash. That’s because I didn’t. Last year I learned that our local deer have a taste for the cherry tomatoes and crookneck squash I planted. So imagine my delight when volunteer tomato and squash plants came up! I transplanted some of the tomatoes to a pot so I could hide them from the deer and just hoped for the best with the squash.

The deer definitely browsed the vines but even so I finally saw some fruit forming. And . . . hello. It wasn’t crookneck. I have butternut squash coming along nicely. What?!? It’s even in the SAME SPOT as last year’s crookneck. Also, some of the tomato plants, which I assumed were from last year’s red cherry plants, are . . . orange tomatoes.

All I can figure is that the deer who rob my garden also, ahem, deposit seeds from other people’s gardens.

Ain’t that a wonder??