I must admit that I am not a committed, year round gardener but rather a part time gardener who WISHES to enjoy a well tended garden all year long. The problem is, I don’t like the weeding and the tilling and the hauling dirt but only the leisure watering and, of course, the harvesting!!
I know I have it in me, it’s just WAYYYY down deep and to be honest, it’s just SO much work!! I’ve been a wanna be gardener for as long as I can remember. My mother and grandmother were talented growers of beautiful things.
In my first college apartment I had a tomato plant on my tiny cement patio. In our newlywed rental I grew rosemary in pots on the little screened in porch. In our first real house in a North Texas subdivision, we built a narrow raised bed down the length of our driveway behind the house and started growing a few vegetables. Two more times we moved and each time, as our space increased, my gardens got bigger. Now I have all the space I can handle. We’ve built a large fenced garden that is (mostly) safe from rabbits and deer.
Every Spring the garden bug bites and I get SO excited!! As soon as the garden center sets out the vegetable transplants and the bright, colorful annuals and the delicious looking seed displays, I grab them up and begin planting like mad!!! I buy any and everything, paying no mind to the fact that not everything is suitable to our hard, dry, compact caliche soil. By early summer I am harvesting from those few plants hardy enough to adapt to our harsh conditions. By late July WE ARE DONE!! The garden and I are BOTH done!! Scorched, tired and lifeless. It’s then that I close the garden gate and wave the white flag.
Yet soon Fall arrives and the coolness beckons me back to the garden. With renewed hope, I may plant a few Fall transplants, spinach, cabbage or maybe cauliflower. Sometimes the cabbage hangs on. This year the cauliflower bolted in a Fall heatwave, and I have been able to harvest just enough spinach to keep the chickens happy.
So here we are again, closing in on early Spring and I feel the excitement creeping back, but alas, the garden has been sorely neglected. Dead plants remain, weeds have taken over and any sign of life is GONE! Yet I remain eager and hopeful for the newness that Spring brings.
I will enlist my husband’s help with the promise of juicy homegrown tomatoes and crisp green beans. He and the boys will help me to get it all cleaned up and ready for Spring!!! But here’s the rub…..you know what Spring also brings???? BASEBALL!!! WOOHOO!!!! With two boys to follow in high school baseball, we will log well over 1000 highway miles this season. So, the garden will most likely get, at least partially, neglected again! PLAY BALL!!!!!!