A Tomato Grows in Moab

Tags: ,

An old tow truck is nick-named the "Tow-mater."
I couldn't help but take a photo of this old towing truck in Moab, nicknamed the "Tow-mater." I wonder if it's ever towed tomatoes?

A tomato is planted in front of our vacation cottage.
Here's the Bonnie tomato (a tag proved it), freshly planted in front of our tiny cottage in Moab, Utah.

My new husband, Derek, and I were married at the end of April. Between wedding planning and a busy season at work, I was later than normal getting summer crops in the ground. All the time I was completing final wedding tasks, half my mind was thinking, “I should be in the garden!”

So when planning a honeymoon, it seemed a little odd to be flying to the southern Utah desert right in the height of gardening season in Alabama, when everything is lush and green. But the call of great hiking and a change of scenery took us to Moab. The place I found to stay, the “Three Dogs and a Moose” cottages, lured me in with online pictures of a lovely garden, complete with hammock. It looked like the perfect escape after days of hard hiking in nearby national parks.

As expected, the garden served as our green oasis in a dry, rocky landscape characterized by red and brown. Native plants mix with perennial herbs in a great example of how lovely drought-tolerant gardens can be. As I do now with any garden, I inspected the herbs to see if they might be Bonnie plants. Without tags, there was no way to be sure, but the rosemary, thyme, lemon balm, chives, and mint nestled among the rocks looked great, so I thought they might be Bonnie.

Mix herbs with native plants in a drought-tolerant cottage garden.
Mint, lemon, balm, chives, and thyme all mingled with drought-tolerant plants in our desert oasis.

On our last day there, Denice, one of the proprietors, was tending the garden. I was delighted to see that she’d planted a few basil plants and a tomato right in front of our little cottage, and not just any tomato, but a Bonnie tomato! A Better Boy, in fact. It was cool to think that these tomatoes and basil likely came from our Bonnie Plants growing station in Grantsville, Utah, one of the farthest from our Alabama home base.

Seeing a Bonnie tomato newly planted in front of our tiny cottage was a great wedding present and the perfect end to a great week, but it was also a sign that it was time for me to get home to Alabama to start planting my own garden! I’ll be thinking this summer, as my own tomatoes ripen, about that little tomato plant growing halfway across the country. I know it has a good home.