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does your garden grow?

May 2, 2013

gardenI’m attempting to garden this year. I didn’t say that I planted or started a garden. I really should explain. I’m trying to grow things. Besides people.

You see, I, like many of you, have a black thumb. We had a fake, dusty Ficus in college. I’ve had few houseplants in my time. Those that did make it home suffered greatly. We had one on the mantle in our first home. It looked so nice up there, all green and earthy and stuff. In the four years we had it, it got watered four times. That might be an exaggeration. Maybe it was three.

Somehow it lived, until one day, when only one green leaf remained, the soil barren and hard, I threw it away. Now that I think about it, that’s so sad. I killed it. I literally starved it to death.

I literally love when I get to use literally in the correct way.

Now that I’m thinking about it, we do have a sweet little shamrock that’s been kickin’ for some time now. The Boy’s teacher brought it from Ireland. That’s probably why I take it seriously. I’ve talked to it before. Is that the first step in becoming a plant lady? I guess we’ve had it a year or more. I’m pretty sure it died a couple of times and came back to life. That’s my kind of plant.

Currently, we have three other live plants in our house. They’re all in the same room, and so far, they’ve been watered regularly. Dried out leaf removal has occurred a couple of times. How often are you supposed to water houseplants? I suppose I could Google it. For now, I’m doing ok.

The Girl and I were inspired a few weeks ago. On a whim, we went to Lowes and bought plants and fancy organic soil. We bought seeds, too, but I’m not getting ahead of myself. I told myself that if I can grow something, anything, that we can eat, I’ll consider our first effort a success. I cheated and started with live, already growing plants.

My mother in law is a Master Gardner. She planted window boxes for us, and she’s always giving us wonderful shrubs and flowers to add to our yard. We even have three loquat trees. They don’t bear fruit yet, but they’re not dead either. My brother in law knows more about plants than most nursery owners. He gave me some tips about starting a container garden. I hope I followed his directions appropriately.

We planted three kinds of tomatoes (beefsteak, roma, and classic heirloom), two cucumber seedling thingys, zucchini, strawberries, and herbs. I’ve had some herbs before, but they came in a plastic bag from my MIL’s garden. People have told me they’re hard to kill. So are Cast Iron plants, and ours didn’t make it. We shall see. I have mint, rosemary, basil, chives, lemon thyme, and two kinds of parsley. I’m fancy like that.

I used the herbs yesterday in my homemade vegetable stock. I impressed myself. It felt so pioneer-y.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect to have a bountiful crop each weekend. I’m not starting a farm stand or anything. The Man thinks we should have chickens. Save for the fact that our dog would eat them, I think we need to see if we can grow a tomato first. We can grow kids, but they’re not left in the yard all day needing water and sunlight only to be forgotten during a week at the beach. Wait. How long can kids survive…never mind.

Imagine our surprise when we noticed a bright red strawberry on the vine! The Girl shrieked. The Boy asked if we could eat it. Absolutely, kiddo. We’ll cut it in to four even slices and call it shortcake. It might even show up on Instagram. There are a few little green strawberries in there. Everything else has more than doubled in size. I’ll admit it: it’s pretty exciting. Our limited and small success makes me want to try more. For now, I’m crossing fingers and toes for one tomato.

When we were shopping for supplies, I noticed they had grape vines ready to plant. I was tempted to add them to our basket, but I feared a certain raisiny death. They were the white seedless variety. Surely those make wine, right? Look, I grew a strawberry. Anything’s possible.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2013 8:41 pm

    Hubby and I just put in a garden box in the back yard. It is so thrilling to watch something grow from a seed. Good luck with your harvesting 🙂

    • Jenny permalink*
      May 9, 2013 12:49 am

      We have currently harvested some herbs and a few strawberries. You’re right. Watching the plants grow is pretty damn satisfying in itself!

  2. Alice permalink
    May 4, 2013 12:14 am

    Jenny,
    I loved your article!! I am probably about like you when it comes to gardens! But, a few years ago, my kids wanted to plant some vegetables and we did…tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and green beans. The green beans were from seed and I swear you could almost watch them grow! Everyday the kids would be so excited to see how much the green beans had grown! Just a suggestion to let you know green beans MUST be really easy to grow, if I could grow them!

    • Jenny permalink*
      May 9, 2013 12:50 am

      Alice, I will have to try the green beans! I have heard that they are relatively easy to grow, and BONUS! everyone eats them. Thanks for always reading 🙂

  3. May 8, 2013 5:42 pm

    It takes three seasons to turn grapes into wine. It’s a whole lotta effort when the Target box o’ wine is so cheap…

    • Jenny permalink*
      May 9, 2013 12:52 am

      Oh, Rach, I don’t have the patience for a 3 year return. I’ll stick to buying wine. I hope to get a tomato or two this summer. We already have basil and strawberries, which, by the way, are both (and together!) delicious with tequila!

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