Who's in charge here?

If you asked that question in my garden, the answer would clearly be not me.

Some gardens are a nice blend of nature vs. nurture. In my yard, nature clearly has taken the lead.

Squirrels are intent on harvesting my green tomatoes before me, despite netting. Generous rains have brought wanton weeds, meandering mulch and wayward vines.

I spent some time the other night trying to unravel the latter, only to come home and find that the cucumber is once again firmly attached to the lilac tree several feet away, not the trellis so nicely provided for its support. (I spent how much time staining that folding trellis? Sigh.)

A clematis has overrun its trellis and branched out to latch onto a nearby hosta bloom, creating a very odd-looking hybrid. A proto spaghetti squash is dangling amid coneflowers, ignoring man-made offerings. Only the pole beans grasp the concept of the obelisk anchored in their midst.

Obviously I need to care more, and keep faithfully curbing nature to my will, or care less, and run with it. Since it's late August, caring less is likely to win the day. As long as I can still hack a path to harvest the bounty, nature can run riot.

Except for those attacks on my precious tomatoes. A hungry gardener has to stick to some principles, even after the first fervor of spring intentions has long since worn off. □

Martha Buns is one of the Star Tribune's Greengirls garden bloggers. Join the growing conversation at startribune.com/greengirls.