I’m once again drawn into the false hope that maybe, just maybe, a plant will grow and produce bountiful proportions of vegetables.

July 9, 2012 | | Blogs | Community | Leisure | Red Squirrel Musings

I just realized I’ve had it wrong all these years about gardening. Let me preface that statement: I am the world’s worst gardener. I have no affinity for gardening. I love your garden. I love other people’s garden. I can’t grow one, don’t understand them, and quite frankly I’m ready to pave over EVERYTHING green!

This week I realised what I have been doing wrong all these years; that is, spending an inordinate amount of money and time trying to learn about and understand plants and trees. I own the equivalent of the Encyclopaedia Britannia in how-to plant books – how to green your garden, grow your own veggies – you get the picture. What I should have been reading was weed identification books. Because I do seem able to grow weeds. They are aggressive, over-zealous creatures of the night! I always thought raccoons owned that right. Uh-uh.  Weeds do!  They are impervious to any onslaught of vermin, pestilence or cold days in July.

What has caused this current rant is the newest addition of gardens to the farmstead. My hubby (who loves gladiolas) made me a 20′ x 5′ garden patch at the barn. I had this vision of gladiolas in multiple hues greeting our guests as the drove up the driveway.  Oh yes, I could see it all unfold over the coming weeks. I also planted some tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cucumber, mini pumpkins and marigolds. Within 24 hours I owned only the tomato plants. I bought and planted more, thinking they’ve come, they’ve chewed, they’ll move on to the neighbour’s more prolific garden of magnanimous proportions. Nope. They like the moo poo in my soil. The barn swallows in their new condo system under the eaves trough of the barn continually poop on the garden, which I think invites the other vermin to take a walk around the greenbelt area. More plants gone. I’m ready to give up when I see faint signs of life appearing where old plants had been, and I’m once again drawn into the false hope that maybe, just maybe, a plant will grow and produce bountiful proportions of vegetables. Oh, how easily I am fooled! Now the weeds are so big, I CAN tell the difference between desirable plant and weed. Fooled again! I pull edible plants, leaving the weeds. Having composted what I thought were the noxious plants, I recently discovered I have peppers and pumpkins growing in leaps and bounds in the compost heap. Funnily enough, there are no weeds growing in it. And the gladiolas, they are large spikes sprouting about 15” high at the back of the garden. My neighbour’s, by contrast, are at least two feet higher and own multiple branches.  Big sigh.

So, my notes for next year:  seed compost heap only, buy full-grown gladiolas, shop farmers’ market, buy potted plants, look for full-time gardener.

About the Author More by Christine Thomas

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