Gardening – my dream, my nemesis

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I love walking through gardens. Especially if there’s a water feature. Even more so if they’re secluded and peaceful. A place to sit and enjoy the sun without being baked, eaten, or killed by sudden swelling of nasal passages.

Yeah, it’s a dream. I don’t know where I would find one of those considering how bad my allergies have gotten in the past few years. I would also love to have a vegetable garden. You know, the kind where you walk out and pick the sides for your dinner, cut them up and enjoy.

source - Now THAT'S a garden!
source – Now THAT’S a garden!

The problem with both of those ideas? Well, apartment dwelling is not conducive to gardening. Second, I tend to lose track of time. As in how many days it’s been since I went out and watered. When I pay attention, I can grow stuff like crazy. I’ve grown lettuce from seed (the 1 leaf I ate was good – got killed by torrential rain while I was on vacation ), carrots, tomatoes (until a neighbor stole them) and the odd flower or two.

When I was 12, my mother decided to plant a vegetable garden. I think she did it because we lived way out in the country and it was cheaper than buying veggies at the store. We had cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and a few other things I don’t remember. Every night we would go out and water the garden, the dogs running up and down the rows making mud puddles. Those were some of the best cucumbers I’ve ever eaten. And I have some fun memories of time with my mom. She had a slight skin condition that kept her out of the sun. Evenings watering the garden were some of the only times I remember her coming outside with me.

Growing up, we raised our own farm animals (also some of the best meat I’ve eaten), I showed a few in livestock shows, and a few were simply pets. If the hubby and I ever get property outside the city limits, I have two immediate items on the list – a dog and a pig. Though I’ve had pigs who were better watch dogs, so I may have to get two pigs. One to keep and one to eat 🙂  I’m hoping it will get me outside more, I’ll have access to healthier food, and it would get me back to feeling like I’m part of the earth and not just living on it. Make sense?

To look at me, you wouldn’t think I enjoy being outside, but I do. Even on days when I’m sick as a dog and barely able to move, I will still go outside and sit in the sunshine for at least five minutes or else I don’t feel human. There’s something about a little bit of sun and fresh air to recharge the spirit. I have a spot outside our front door full of flower pots. When we moved in, a dying hedge lived there. The lawn guys pulled it out once they saw there was no saving it and I took over the  little 2′ x 4′ spot. Surprisingly, they’ve never asked me to move my plants so they could put in a new hedge. I’m looking forward to next month when I can start reorganizing, re-potting, and maybe buy a few flowers that I won’t kill immediately this time.

With a full time job and trying to start a writing career when not working, that little spot is perfect. Just enough to feel like its ours while affording me minimal maintenance time for upkeep. I have a cactus or two out there and I just added a little juniper tree because I miss the Southern California desert.

I would like to do more, but am afraid my veggies will again be pilfered. Any suggestions from city dwellers who’ve managed a small garden? I’m all ears!

Melanie

For those who celebrate, have a happy Mardi Gras! We already had our King Cake 🙂

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