Wednesday, 30 May 2012


How does your garden grow? Wonderfully, thank you for asking.

So here's the deal. Just months ago (specifically before February of this year) my family and I were living in a rented house. The house was not well kept, the rooms felt closed off and far away and everything in the house was failing. We replaced the fridge, we replaced the stove, the washer and dryer were next on our list - as soon as we could afford it. The thing is though, I loved it. I loved every minute of it, even though we had to run cloth diapers to the laundry mat on the bus to get them washed. The landlady/ownder was a real piece of work and not in that really cool way.

I loved this house because we had a nice yard and the freedom to do with it as we pleased. Then the stress of it all caught up to us. I could not get to the kids fast enough when they were upstairs playing in their bedrooms and a fight broke out. I could not understand our landlady and she was breaking a lot of renters rules. The bills started to become difficult to pay, and the yard became our dogs burial ground for forgotten toys. My father (thank you, Dad) reminded me that while the yard is wonderful, we are paying an extra $400 monthly to have that yard in comparison to the cost of apartment dwelling. Okay, point taken.

So we gave our notice, and I was anxious. Mostly though I felt disappointed. What of that vegetable garden we wanted so badly? Maybe it was worth it, after all. Not to mention, we're getting the run around trying to find a new place to live, and our two months to leave were almost up!

At last we found a place to rent! Now, if you know my hubby you will understand that he is an outgoing, eccentric guy who does not consider his words before they spew out of his mouth. Also, he is an opportunist who feels even the largest, least attainable dreams can be a reality. And I love that about him, I really do. So there we are, signing the papers when he says to our brand new shiny landlady "Oh, by the way we're putting a vegetable garden in the backyard." Just like that, very matter of fact and not a hint of a question in his mind. I sat there frozen in place. We are moving into an apartment, you can't dig up a tiny patch of grass to put in a garden at an apartment building!! What is he thinking??!!! "Thats no problem, do whatever you want!" I heard her say. We're doomed.. wait.. what did she just say? "Really?" I ask her in my tenative, cautious, usually quiet voice. "Really, yeah, I don't care what you do."

So there you have it, we have a vegetable garden. I'm not sure on the dimensions, but for my very first ever garden it will suit it's purpose. At first I spent some time researching how to grow stuff on the computer. I mean, what if our soil is wrong? How much sun does that area get? Then I started to kind of freak out. A green thumb is not what is on my hand. More like dirty, icky brown. I was once given a Christmas cactus and told that they will live forever and are oh so easy to care for. It was dead within a couple of months.

BUT WAIT. Is it up to me to grow things? Not really. Don't worry if your soil is too hard, too sandy, has too much clay. Soil is for growing things, that is what it does. You have to trust that our earth and Mamma Nature will care for the seedlings. You may need to provide a little water here and there. But you know what? Our garden is flourishing! We have radishes like I have never seen before and will have to go and thin them out soon. And those little roots will not go to waste, because I will wash them  up and toss them into a salad tonight.

We have planted the following:
Scarlet Runner Beans
Hot Peppers (3 kinds)
Basil (2 kinds)

We are running quickly out of room, and hubby still would like to plant some potatoes! Yes, a garden must be nurtured. But if your dirt can grow grass, I bet it will grow plenty of other things too. We also have chives growing on our balcony, and more strawberries. My berry plants failed but that was of my own doing, I let them sit too long in their less than optimal containers. Also on our balcony is dill, basil, rosemary, cilantro.. There is now zero excuse for somebody to say that they can not have a garden. Who is to say that a large pot infront of a window or by the door step, or on a balcony, could not be a garden?

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