Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mr. Waspy and the Adventures of the Urban Garden

I had dreams for my balcony urban oasis last Spring. It involved a space filled with edible greenery that would flourish and provide us with yummy treats all summer. It would also be the perfect space for my "guitar playing escapes" to occur, where I could strum, write songs and belt out to my little heart's content. I even caved and bought a little bistro table set for us to sit on (unfortunately the chairs were made with metal and PVC.... and smelled like "new car" and were made in China. I had several eco-guilt moments then thought- 'If I had to actually waited until the perfect second-hand table and chairs were found, it would be December and too cold to sit out there anyway'). (The crazy Lucifer plant taking over our balcony like a pretty parasite)

As it rained for the entire month of June (I kid you not), it's only been recently that we've actually attempted to sit out on the balcony.
Yesterday, as we moved the crazy monstrous Lucifer plant slightly to the left so we could actually sit without having plants molesting us I manuvoeured my guitar into position. I got through half of "La Corrida" by Francis Cabrel (Such an awesome song) when a wasp graced us with it's presence... did something to our bamboo trellis of our pea plants then left. "It was probably just collecting wood for it's nest in a tree out there" Andrew assured me (I have an irrational fear of anything that stings).
(Our garlic, kinda still alive- we checked the bulbs. Not too happy with the rain rain rain)

Start up the song again.... get to the second bridge, letting 'er rip.... AND the wasp is back. WITH wood. Hmm, so Waspy has decided to violate our trellis and has begun to build it's empire of stinging horror. After freezing until it left yet again, we rushed back into the apartment and slammed the door shut. "What are we going to do?? We can't let it build it's nest there! We should wreck it! With what??
With.... with... WAX! We'll cap it with wax".
Me blogging about SNIG earlier)

Our battle plan decided we watched until Waspy left yet again and opened the door... only to be confronted with ANOTHER, hovering guardian, challenging Andrew to even take ONE STEP over the threshold. Shut the door again. Slowly.

Ok. We can wait this out. We LIVE here. Thirty minutes go by and I see his Waspiness dart away again. The guardian must be on a stinging innocent people break so we managed to sneak out with
the BBQ lighter, ready to light a candle and prepare the wax. My plan was to document the Waspy in his construction of said stinging mansion, but I jumped so high when he started hovering again that Andrew whispered urgently- "Back up! You'll get stung!!!". I'm sorry readers, but photographic journalling just wasn't worth the risk.
(The burned evidence)

In any case, as soon as Waspy darted away I have to confess that I went a little bit bonkers. I just had this insight that wax was a little silly and I should just BURN the wasp-creation. So I did. While I wondered out loud if the bamboo would actually catch on fire... and Andrew assured me that it wouldn't... tiny flames erupted and it did. After blowing it out, we rushed back inside cackling like weird little children and waited expectantly at the window.

Mr. Waspy came back- tried to land on his abode, flew back, tried again, hovered angrily at the window facing us as if to say "I'll get you next time Gadget!!!" and flew away. AHA!

We totally won this one. I guess my little "zen garden" hasn't quite turned out the way I expected... However, I did pick TWO carrots, as I couldn`t wait any longer and they tasted SO YUMMY!

Blessings and Happy Sunday!

Article and pictures by EcoYogini at


  1. This is too funny. I would've freaked out. I've been getting lots of salad greens from my garden, which is awesome, except that they are always swarming with earwigs, my least favorite bug. I've finally come up with a system (put all clippings of spinach and lettuce in a big plastic box, fill with water, let earwigs swim out over the edge), but I still screech and run around like an idiot when I'm harvesting and washing the greens!

    But you know you must have a beautiful little urban garden if the wasps wanted to build their home there!! :)

  2. I also despise earwigs, a LOT. Snakes are really good for eating them though, and I would definitely take a snake over earwigs- bLEGH.
    you are definitely brave, and your harvest sounds like the perfect plan! Although I would also run around and shout during the process :)

  3. Oh trust me, there is much shouting and running around like a crazy woman!


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