I love gardens. Really I love the idea of gardens, The doing of gardens – not so much.
When I was a kid, we had a large backyard, but in no way could it be called a garden. First of all there were eleven of us kids, and we were not the most organized group of children. My Mom was too busy with the latest baby to garden and my Dad, well, he would possibly dig a garden (or get our Uncle Alex to do the excavating, more likely) but I don’t think Dad would remember where he had planted things let alone remember to water or fertilize the poor little plants. It could almost be classified as a case of herbicide, the little chance those plants would have. There would be no neat little fence or rows with little labels on cute little cards. To grow in our yard the plants had to be tough. They had to be hardy. They had to be crazy!
When I got my first house (in Africa), our servant planted two dead sticks in the parched, dry ground. I thought he had a few carrots short of a row until the rains came. After the first rain of the season, the sticks sprouted little green leaves and they took root and flourished. I couldn’t believe it. We had banana trees, morning glories, and other exotic plants in our tiny garden. I didn’t have to do a thing.
Back in Canada, in Montreal, I planted six daffodil bulbs in our back garden. The next spring, up they came in all their yellow glory. I couldn’t believe it. I did it myself and I was so proud. Maybe too proud, because a couple of days later our neighbour’s son picked them all and gave them to his mother!
I did have a couple of semi-successful gardens, in Winnipeg and Chicago, although in Chicago the slugs got into the cauliflower and I just didn’t harvest them. Let the greedy little slugs die from overeating cauliflower. I wasn’t going near them.
Now I am faced with a new dilemma. I have a place for a garden. It is a strip of dirt (soil is too good a word for this spot) beside the garage, measuring about 1.5′ x 15′ running along the walkway from the driveway. Right now it is just sort of mud, with a small crop of cigarette butts and broken plastic bottle, with a little mound of something which is probably the doodoo of an unfriendly neighbourhood dog. Well, actually the butts, plastic, and doodoo have all been cleaned up and are awaiting The Planting.
I think I’ll plant some glads, some alyssum, and some hostas. But today I saw a “flower runner” which is like a carpet of flowers already planted, which you just have to water and before you can arrange a dozen roses, you will have either an English country garden or a meadowland wildflower display. Do ya think?
Well, what ever I do it should be better than my friend’s garden which is currently infested with grubs. She says the grass peels back like a toupee when the wind gets under it, because the grubs have eaten all the roots. And the skunks have descended on them in search of the grubs.
Kinda makes my strip of dirt seem like not such a big problem after all.
Thanks for reading and have a great time gardening. Or not!