This post by Jennifer Flaten
My grandparents had a large garden, they grew all the basics like tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and spinach, we even grew broccoli. I remember hot summer days spent helping my grandmother drag the hose up the hill to the garden.
Not one to waste the bounty of the garden, Grandma made her own pickles from the cucumbers. Grandma cured the pickles in a giant earthenware crock on the back porch and I remember the smell of vinegar permeating our kitchen.
I couldn’t wait to have my own place so I could have a garden, and make my own pickles…maybe….that seemed like a lot work and that whole hot process canning thing seemed a little scary.
Maybe I would just have flowers, lots and lots of flowers.
Of course, my first place was apartment on the third floor, not conducive to growing vegetables. Still, I spent the winter pouring over seed catalogs and dreaming about the day I had my own house with a big yard where I could put in a garden.
That spring undeterred by my tiny balcony, I decided to fill my balcony with flowers. The minute the garden center opened for the season, I bought two flats of flowers.
It looked amazing! Then I realized I had no water source out on the deck. I spent the summer filling an old gallon milk jug with water and carrying it across the apartment and out to the balcony twice a day because the balcony received direct afternoon sun.
When I finally bought my first house I was so excited, I was no longer confined by the container. I could do ANYTHING I wanted with my yard. I could have oodles of perennials, tons of veggies and gardens wherever I wanted.
Now I am a tad impatient, if I have to wait to long at the grocery store I start to tap my foot. If I’m swept away by a story I am reading, I will stay up all hours to finish it. I shouldn’t like gardening because let’s face it the plants arrive when they want to arrive no amount of foot tapping will make them come any quicker, but I do.
Since I garden on a budget, I buy teeny little perennials, imagining the big glorious plants they will be in a year or two. I spend my summer walking around my yard whispering encouraging words to my tiny plants. In spring, as soon as the snow melts I am out there checking on my plants. I don’t think it is possible to be a pessimist and a gardener.
This year an extremely harsh winter caused me to lose a couple of plants. I was momentarily sad, and then got happy again in anticipation of a trip to the garden center to buy replacements.