You Grew! True confessions of a happy lousy gardener


This is the first post from RCR Committee member Kim Todd.  Kim's company, Quick Brown Fox Communications  is developing, a website dedicated to sustainable 'habits for your habitat' for residents of the Northeast Avalon.  This fall the site will be launched and  feature 3-minute green living videos created with a Conservation Corps Green Team.   Kim is a lousy gardener, earnest recycler and actively involved with the Habitat for Humanity Newfoundland and Labrador ReStore and the Junior Forest Wardens. I've heard that the land upon which my house was built was once farmland.  It’s hard to imagine now but I believe it.  It’s inspiring.

So today in my back garden there is a 20 square foot plot of farm.  It started smaller about ten years ago, and has been creeping out the edges every spring.  This year in the bed and in pots I’ve set tomatoes, nasturtium, cress, and a few varieties of squash.  A strawberry pyramid is part of the bed.

All around these is more on the grow – a herb garden, raspberry bushes, a gooseberry bush, and flower beds and great, big trees.  (One less now due to Igor who miraculously or mercifully felled it in such a way that the fence, the shed, and the tomatoes survived.  Even the beets, though they took a beating, survived.)  All of it supported next week and forever by three mighty compost bins.

I love how it looks and how it feels and how it smells and how it sounds.  The Visual, however, tells a different version of the same tale.  My visiting English sister commented, ‘I couldn’t work it out first, but your garden is very good actually”.

I think she meant it but do accept that I am what many would call a lousy gardener.

I am not strict.  I don’t mind long grass or dandelion or rough patches or anything else that falls under the category of weed.  I don’t know the names of many of the flowers in the beds either – some were in place when we came to the house but most came across the field from a orderly-gardening friend.

I am not disciplined.  My carrots aren’t in yet.  Not looking good, I know.  The peas aren’t either and I’m not 100% sure of the type of squash I planted.  The compost, which had been cultivated for ever was not done right enough thus is still not in optimal form and has attracted a great number of birds who hop around the plot.  They look great and seem happy.  (and also remind me to be happy that I’ve not got the carrots in yet!)

Watering (should it ever not rain) would not occur to me.  I did buy some blue plant food grains from a very excellent gardener but you have to mix it with something and spray it.   I did do that once a few years back, but generally it is beyond my scope.

Some may scoff at my garden habits.  I’m ok with that.   It does me and my family good to see to do and to eat.  I love what grows.  I feel for the plants that push up and out and give whatever they have to grow.  I am grateful to the ones who do great and the ones who get by.  And those who don’t.

I love to see it growing.  When the time comes to pick what has grown, we will.  And take pictures of the harvest and enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Because I think, when it comes to gardening, we reap much more than we sow.