Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the would-be gardener

my garden in July 2011
I want to be a gardener.

I've sort of fallen in love with the aesthetics of it.  The sunlight, the nourished roots digging deep into that soil.  The water droplets clinging to green leaves.  I love the idea of growing something worth having - all beginning with a mere seed.

I'm not very good at it, though.

This year marks our second attempt at a garden at this home.  Last year was terribly hit and miss, and this year I vowed to do better.  I planned with great care and enthusiasm.  I painstakingly decided what should go in full sun, part sun, etc.  I bought organic seeds and starts.

But I planted too soon.

During a sunny week in the beginning of May I let my enthusiasm get the best of me.  And then, it got cold and rainy.  It was too cold, too wet.  I turned out to be a fair-weather gardener.  Almost none of my seeds came up.  My starts are surviving at the moment, but oh...the cucumbers and the basil I'd so hoped to be harvesting by now have not grown at all.

We had snap peas for a while.  I have some lettuce up at last, though it's been a bit nibbled.  Happily, the blueberry bushes (which I don't really count as being in the garden, they're so effortless) are still producing beautifully.  And my darling tomato plants are about to take off, much to my delight.  I don't really think there's such a thing as too many tomatoes.  And if I should find myself with such a thing, I shall make many, many batches of Roasted Summer Tomatoes.  There's nothing like the taste of summertime "in the bleak midwinter."

But that's all.  That's it.

No oodles of pickling cucumbers.  No cucumbers at all, in fact.  And certainly no basil.  Sadness.

I'm sure there are still things I can plant, even at the beginning of August - but I'm unsure of myself and my region.  I don't trust the weather; I don't trust my meager knowledge of gardening.  As I told my oldest son just yesterday, I'm still figuring this stuff out.

But I'm determined to get there.  One day I shall have a flourishing garden.  I shall have an abundance of produce which I can offer to my neighbors.  I shall have this, that, and the other thing.  I desperately want to figure this out: to learn how to use the earth - sun - water - feed my family.

our snap peas, May 2012
So I will keep trying.  Perhaps failing, but hopefully getting a little better, wiser, more experienced each time around.  Because honestly, I do.  I can't help it -

I want to be a gardener.


Jill Foley said...

Mindy - my basil has been amazing and I would love to share some - I have way more than I could ever use.

Also, do you want any zucchini? : )

Mindy said...

Jill, I would LOVE some basil from you! Thank you so much! We're not big zucchini eaters, though, so I'll pass on that.

Mel said...

It can be SO hard to garden here! We didn't plant until June and while most of it is thriving, not much is really ready yet. We just never know what our weather will hold :) Get some basil and pot it. Keep it on the porch and bring it in when it starts to get cold. That's what I do! :)