I used to love gardening. Planting a seed, then waiting patiently for the first green shoots to appear. I marvelled at where they had come from. I had planted one tiny seed and suddenly there was this beautiful plant in front of me, as if out of nowhere. The thing I disliked most was thinning out the seeds. I mean who was I to decide which ones should and which ones should not be allowed to mature?
For a while I experimented with potting up every single seed I had grown. I had really rooted for the weak and straggly ones in particular. I had lavished attention on them and willed them to thrive, yet they almost never did. Just occasionally however, I had managed to grow so many plants,that I had been able to give dozens away.
This is a land where many things seem to thrive on neglect. I had soon learned that while it was important to lavish attention on plants for a couple of weeks, after that too much attention could be counter-productive. Plants had to be encouraged to develop deep roots in order to overcome the harsh conditions which could occcur in Summer. Too much TLC and the roots are not forced to sink deep into the earth to seek resources and when the heat of Summer arrives, they do not survive.
Harsh treatment can force us to develop deep roots. Less hardy plants might flourish for a while, but a few weeks of drought and they are gone, whilst the little plant which has been forced to struggle can suddenly come into its own.
I have grown pumpkins from seed. However they have never reached this size!