Outside of other people’s gardens, I feel there is nothing like a good magazine or seed catalogue to inspire even the most inexperienced gardener. One of my first real inspirational reads and thumb through was a seed catalogue. Thumbing through the glossy pages with colourful pictures of the perfectly grown vegetable made me think anything was attainable. There were just 2 challenges I needed to overcome besides the obvious fact that the only green on me was not my thumbs but my inexperience in gardening!
First, I have no idea how or what it takes to grow anything from seeds. The idea was truly daunting. Sure I grew 2 children but really, I had nothing to do with it until they were born! My body just did what it was meant to do at that time and I just made sure to feed and water myself so Mini Me could grow. So the real challenge was how to take this little seed and make it grow to the point where it was ready to go into my garden? Instead, I did the next best thing. I put the seed catalogue down, grabbed my credit card and off to the garden store I went to purchase ready to transplant herbs and tomatoes!
The second challenge was I didn’t have a garden! Looking back now, this probably really should have been challenge #1. I had no idea where I wanted to put a garden nevermind having anything prepped. I don’t have have much of a garden outside of flowering shrubs and trees and definitely no garden beds for flowers or veggies due to the fact that I have hips that cause me great grief. Any position akin to cross legged on the floor or squatting has me basically hobbling around for days. So where to put my newly purchased plants?
Hmm, raised beds you say? Why yes! Except that they cost crazy amounts of cash for a small growing area and I wanted CROPS! To use the famous line “build it and they will come” that would be the fix right? Why not build one to the size and height I wanted. EXCEPT, my hubby isn’t the best handy man around and by far, he is not mechanically inclined. So I thought maybe I could give it a go and at the very least, we could do it together. So I started looking online at DIY projects and found one that literally fit a grown man! It was about 6 feet long and 3 feet deep, very much the coffin but hey, great for veggies! So I show my hubby and he point blank says he could do that. Really? Really!? My heart grew despite my skepticism and I bolstered all my positive energy towards his plans. For Mother’s Day 2014 I received not one but two raised garden beds of cedar lovingly made by my husband!
I hurried out and bought organic soil and organic fertilizer to go with my organic tomatoes and herbs and I planted them. I stood there staring at the newly planted tomatoes and had there been a glass between us I would have looked like the child at the bakery window! I lovingly watered my garden and staked what needed to be staked. Had long discussions with my 9 year old who nicknamed himself “the farmer” about the different tomatoes we are going to be eating and the basil & parsley that will grow. It was F.U.N.!
A few weeks went by and it was obvious that something was not right. The plants weren’t really growing and again, my black thumbs of death had risen from the depths of hell and was slowly killing them! I added more fertilizer and it didn’t do much. At the same time, I had just finished buying more soil for the 2nd planter. I had run out of the soil I had bought previously for planter #1 and went down the street to buy some more at the local hardware store. It wasn’t the same kind but it was organic. I also added a bag of worm casings to the soil. When the bed was ready I added a few more herbs (newly purchased) and some scallions. The plants in planter #2 were growing like stink! Within days of planting scallions, I had shoots! It was amazing. Planter #1 however was a real dud. I was a little depressed and would moan about my failure to the kind ears of my neighbours. It turns out that my neighbour used the same soil in her garden as I did in mine and was experiencing the same issues! Turns out it was just bad luck and bad soil and not my hands of death! Yay for me! Haha!
So I got a few measly little tomatoes from the plants in planter #1 but what did grow was my ambition to make things better this year and of course, bigger! That’s right! I have a list of veggies I want to grow, I have drawings and schematics for planting, hubby is building me a larger raised bed and I have seeds! I have determined that this is going to be the year and I can’t wait to show you my seedlings!