06 June 2013

My hazel thumb

Growing up, my parents grew daffodils. Exclusively, daffodils. Thousands of daffodils. They grew so many, the neighbors have started going in their yard, digging up the bulbs and stealing them. I am not kidding you. Who does that?

My grandmother grew peonies. We apparently bought them for her as Mother's Day gifts over the years, and they line the walkway to her house. She was fiercely protective of them. No one got a cutting from them. I asked my mom if I could have a cutting off one for my house. She gave me a dirty look and said no. But they were a gift from me!

When I got disposable income, I bought tulips for the house. And lavendar. Apparently tulips are not easy to grow, but there are lots out in front of my gramma's house. Not in the organized manner I thought to put them in. One year I had this wild idea to do the colors of the Maryland flag, in rows. Gramma planted them while I was at work, mixing in the yellow and white and red and deep purple/black with fuschia ones. Oh, yeah, looks good. I sought solice in my tulip bulbs after she died--the night after I came home from the funeral, I planted some. It was cold and probably confusing to see me outside in the twilight, digging holes and sticking bulbs down, but my family let me alone. I think I radiated the need to make something beautiful after seeing my family destroyed in an instant. They're still there, they still grow, they've been thinned by the squirrels, but are still there.

At our house, I planted more tulips (I am ashamed to say I didn't plant any this fall), and some gladiola bulbs from Walmart, and more lavendar, along with crocuses. I also tried planting things in pots. I am not a pot gardener, apparently--is that a good or bad thing, I get so confused--because my potted plants have not done so well. The gladiola are OK, the tulips are fine, the crocus grows, the lavendar died. I told Left-brain we have poor soil. Since the house was a rental house before he bought it, no one really took care of the yard and nurtured the soil, and all it grows well is rocks. If we are stuck here, (one of these days, I'll post an explanation about that) that will become a project.

But the one thing I want to grow is food. Our yard is not set up to have a veggie garden. The back yard is shaded and is the domain of Beazer. And rocky. Plus, we have a rabbit warren in the bushes along side the fence and I didn't want to do anything that would encourage them to come into the "Backyard of no Return" (it pains me to admit my dog does and has been know to kill small animals, but, I mean, he's a dog, and a terrier, it is his mission in life). And our front yard is the bunny superhighway. I attempted to plant tomatoes in the ground, and what the bunny didn't eat, just up and died. What I planted in the topsy turvy, got sheared off at bunny-level. At the end of the season, Left brain asked me what I wanted to do with the Topsy Turvy.  I told him to chuck the dirt in the swamp and toss the Topsy Turvy, what a waste. 

But I crave a garden. When we look at houses, I look for room for a garden. It's not about a great kitchen for me, it's about the garden!  Left-brain looks at me funny, knowing I am not one to be out there with a shovel, digging up dirt, but he listens and pays attention. All I want in a house is a front porch (or a back one), enough bedrooms for a sewing room, and room for a garden. 

So I planted this year. And I realized that our stoop is perfect tomato climate. Sunny for most of the day, and, although our bunnies are brave, they are not coming up on the stoop. And so I have 15 tomato plants, a pepper plant, and an herb garden in pots up there. Initially, I felt like a goober for planting stuff out front--for some reason, I picked up the notion the front yard is for pretty, the back is for everything else--but they're growing and, seriously, who cares? they've survived longer than the ones in prior years. I may get some salsa by the end of summer.  Or at least enough 'maters to serve with sliced mozzarella.

Good luck to us all with our planting.


stitcheranon said...

While I was having cancer treatment what kept me going was the fact that it would be over by the spring and I could plant things again. I am not a 'pretty' gardener: I live in a very rural area and pretty just doesnt go. I like organised wild. I grow our own food. You can grow all veggies in pots: potatoes in refuse sacks, and well..anywhere really. I loved reading this post. It reminded me why I have been out moving shrubs and lifting rocks instead of stitching. I have my 'secret' garden which oozes me: and it will bring comfort to my family when I am gone, I hope. A lovely, lovely post xx

Miss LindaLee said...

I'm with you girlfriend. Give me room for a garden for sure. We have fought with the soil down here in NC for years and this year we bought a load of good soil to fill three new raised beds. It seems that, that has made a world of difference. Everything we planted is doing wonderful. We're fortunate also as we get lots of sun in the yard. I do hope that what you have in pots now will do real well for you. By the way, I put my wonderful herbs right in my front yard in a raised bed. So you put whatever you want out there!

Meari said...

Good luck with your container gardening. I did that for several years before moving to The Homestead. Sometimes, I had to water my pots twice a day.

My soil at The Homestead is full of clay and after 5 years of working and adding stuff to my garden area, it's finally not so much clay. I started composting last year and hope to have enough to til into the soil this fall.

You may want to consider raised beds in your backyard if your soil is bad.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls