Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gardening on the deck

My obsession with gardening began at a very early age.  My earliest memory is of sitting next to the garden (I was like maybe 1 or 2), while my mother weeded. I remember reaching out and picking a green bean, and then eating it, dirt and all. When I'd play in the yard as a small child, I would 'plant' flowers in the sand box.  As I got older, I helped my father with his garden.  We'd grow vegetables in the small plot at the back of the yard, and tomatoes between the fence and the driveway.  Later, I started transplanting pretty plants (translate that to weeds) to the space behind the garage.  I don't know how, but I really got stuff to grow back there!  In fact, the creeping ivy that I started there creeped out from behind the garage, and began to take over the entire lawn!

As I got older, and after multiple readings of The Secret Garden, I got to have my own garden plot.  I don't remember just what I grew, just how much I enjoyed doing so.  In the years that followed, I had several gardens.  I read this book about Square Foot Gardening, and proceeded to double dig down 2 feet, and added to the soil (after unearthing bricks and old tonka trucks).  I had a great garden that year, even though the birds did eat part of our corn.  Then we moved. I tried it again. We moved again. 

I never gave up. I've done vegetable gardens in rented houses, home owned places, and now here at my apartment.  I have a beautiful deck, and in containers I am growing herbs, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and my daughter is growing strawberries.

What is it about gardens?  Is it the scent & feel of the dirt in your hands?  Or is it watching those seeds slowly pop out of the earth, and shoot upwards...eventually giving way to big vegetable laden plants?  Or is the joy of eating produce you grew yourself?  I don't honestly know.  What I do know is that I come from a long line of farmers.  My mother says I am just like my father.  The first thing I do when I get home is to walk out onto my deck, and check on my garden.  My father does the same thing...checks on his plants as soon as he gets home.  Being compared to my father, that is high praise. 

I can't wait until I can see how my striped heirloom tomatoes, and red carrots turn out!

No comments: