If you know me well, this won't be a surprise.
I'm pretty good at writing about gardening.
I'm lousy at actually... gardening.
Want to know how lousy? I'll lay it on the line for you. Remember, faithful readers, how eloquently I wrote about the varietals of garlic I planted last year? They were beautiful bulbs, satiny and firm, beckoning me with the promise of life.
Key word in that sentence: bulbs. A bulb is something that grows in the ground.
So where did I ever get the idea that new bulbs of garlic would sprout from the... um... top of the plant? I think it dates back to a conversation dp and I had in the spring, in which we both commented that Gosh, garlic you buy at the store sure looks all shiny and new and not like something that came from the ground (seriously)and at the time the tops of our garlic stalks were sprouting things that looked vaguely bulb-y.
The fact that they never developed into bulbs didn't tip me off. Or the fact that other people cut off their scapes. On the contrary, I became more sure that I was correct--but just a bad garlic grower--when the flowering heads developed fruit that looks and tastes exactly like tiny little garlic cloves. I still have several of these rattling around the garlic basket, pretending to compete with the big boys.
It wasn't until last week, when I said, "Look at what's growing in the garlic patch! It looks like cottoned on just in time to prepare the bed for winter. We'll have a lot of garlic next year.
The upside? It's a good thing we're unschoolers. 'Cause without experiential, interested-based learning, my poor child would have gone through life unaware that garlic grows in the ground. (Not really, because he's way smarter than both of us and probably would have corrected my assumptions if I'd asked him--but you know what I mean.)