Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How does my garden grow?

I have a garden. It is a small garden – only measuring 22’x20’ (6.7m x 6.1m) – or about 440 square feet… When I think about it, my current garden is only a few square feet smaller than the apartment I had when I met my Husband.. I loved that apartment – it was probably my favourite of all the places I’ve lived… The only shortcoming was no garden!

But I digress… My little garden – it has fed us and it has starved us… Neither of which has anything to do with the garden itself but more to do with my lack of gardening skill. I remember when we bought the house – my husband was seriously worried… The new house had a vegetable garden, extensive (by our definition) flower gardens, plum, apple and crabapple trees. And I was not known for my ‘green thumb’. Our first year we hurried and put in a vegetable garden – we ate like kings! And the plum tree – oh my God, did we have plums. Tons of them… Enough to give several of my former co-workers a very upset stomach (from eating far too many ripe yellow plums)! And apples. So many apples our kitchen table has permanent damage (from a temper tantrum over pie crust) and if I’d had an axe that day, we would not longer have an apple tree.

This is one of the plants that mysteriously dissapeared a few years after we moved in... I think I dug it up one spring by mistake thinking it was a weed.

Our second year we had an issue with ants - they damaged the roots of several plants and then we used an all natural product on the hills but it seemed to have a weird effect on the soil and anything that grew in the affected area was stunted and shriveled. We did send our soil away for testing (I used to work for a major research facility that specialized in agriculture) but it was inconclusive and all the soil experts and agrarians assured us that nothing we applied would cause what we were seeing. Regardless, it affected our harvest the next two years. Which was ok – we dumped all our bins of compost on the garden and worked it into the soil. Then we got pregnant, had a baby and really weren’t ready to start gardening again until this year.

And it’s going well – save for the nearly 120 cubic litres of weeds TroubleMaker and I pulled out of the little vegetable patch three weeks ago… Needless to say, I’m a little embarrassed that our garden got so overran by weeds that it choked the cucumbers into extinction! We had a funny season here this year. Early in the spring, we were suffering draught conditions. Then it was cold – unseasonably cold and we couldn’t plant for fear of frost. By the time my Husband, his Mom and TroubleMaker seeded our garden it was the second week in June and we still had frost that nearly killed our four tomato plants! It then rained constantly and steadily for a month. It would just dry out enough to get into and it’d start raining again – hence the weeds that nearly took over.

But we’ve eaten from the garden. Two picks of peas (and another to come), green beans twice, a few carrots, new potatoes and enough dill to supply the most ambitious of picklers. I didn’t plant the dill; by the way, it’s a byproduct of living in an old part of town. Things just grow here, whether you plant them or not. Poppies - one of those things that just keep growing without any input from me...

Yes, that reminds me, we had a spinach salad too this year – but we didn’t plant it this year! Last year, we had spaghetti squash – it grew out of our compost.
Relatively speaking, we have amazing soil. The neighbourhood we’re in used to all be farm land so the dirt is supple and fertile. Things grow big and green and honestly, I don’t have to do too much to it. And this year, the credit really needs to go to my Husband and TroubleMaker – they made the garden the success it is!
We are thinking and planning of uprooting (haha) our little vegetable patch so we can build a new garage with apartment studio for Blackstone Images and for the most part, I was ok with that… until last night when I realized that it would be the end of my gardening. Sure, I’d already decided to dig up the few flowers I haven’t killed and put in vegetables, but my little patch of sunshine will be gone…

And I don’t know if I’m really ready for that.

1 comment:

  1. My dear. I love your humour! You cheered me up today - thank you!



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