Spring is on the near horizon, and my thoughts turn once again to the garden and being out-of-doors. I have always loved a beautiful garden, but never seem to have the time or, frankly, the inclination to spend hours pulling weeds, fertilizing and watering.
As a child, I had assorted 'gardens' in the backyard, dutifully tended by my mother. I tended them fitfully at best, usually by watering, and then getting sidetracked playing in the water. (After all, isn't that what you'd expect from a Pisces?!)
My mother struggled some with trying to grow plants she liked, but did not have a great deal of success (in her 'young mother' years, anyway); she claimed a "brown thumb." All I had to do was say, "Oh, don't rip out that plant. I want it!" Mother would leave the plant in the ground, continue to tend it, but now that it was in my name, it would flourish. It vexed Mother, and amused me!
As a retired senior citizen, however, the tables turned for Mom. She had me design and lay out a beautiful bulb garden for her. By this time, I was long since married and out of the house, and Mother was a widow of long-standing. She cherished the hours spent tending her beloved bulbs, and indeed, they flourished, and her spring and summer garden was a delight to behold.
At the time, I was living in an area not at all well-suited for a garden of any kind, either weather-wise or soil-wise. I often joked that we could easily go into business selling ballast, as it was impossible to dig down more than an inch or two without hitting fist-sized rocks. Digging a fence post hole required rental of a jackhammer! I tried in vain to grow some vegetables for the family while living there. Alas--one year, I got a three-pronged carrot with a rock in the middle, and my tomatoes never ripened. I ended up seeking out an old family recipe for picallili--a type of relish made from green tomatoes. After that, I gave up, and let the gophers and the dog have run of the yard--always marveling that the gophers managed to dig their way through!
Fast-forward to the present day. Our finances are not in such great shape, thanks to the economy at large, and in seeking out ways to help, I have once again turned to the idea of a vegetable garden. Where we live now, however, is a suburban community, with a long-standing history as a farming area. Both the weather and the soil are near perfect. And we have our own well on the premises, so watering will not affect my water bill. Yay!
I have selected an area of the yard that is sheltered and shhhh!!! (say it in a whisper--not frequented by the gophers that seem to plague the rest of our acreage).
For my first crops, I have selected corn, eggplant ( both first attempts for me), radishes (old friends), and green onions. My first experience with onions was not so good--we'll see what happens this time.
So, today and tomorrow, I am clearing the area of the dead tree limbs lost in a winter storm. Next will be the chore of raking up all the resulting leaves, pulling weeds, and tilling the soil. Then, I'll be ready to plant. Check back here often to read up on the progress, and see photos, too. I will be using this blog as my 'garden journal,' in addition to my other 'stray thoughts' which appear here from time to time.
The photo above shows the planned garden area. Unfortunately, I dug to the project in before remembering to take my 'before' photo, so a large pile of branches up against the fence at the right side had already been cleared, although you can see some of the resulting leaves still there. The fence to the right is the West side; the fence facing the camera is South, and when we moved here, that was open to the street, with a goofy cyclone fence on the inside edge, about at the camera position in this photo.
The photo at right shows the valve for the sprinklers. See? We had always planned to plant something out here. We installed the sprinklers in 2008, and they only await crops to water.
Now, we shall see whether or not I can garden on my own, or if it will be once again 'by proxy' because hubby enjoys gardening. ... ... ... stay tuned.