This year we have a garden. To most people this may not seem so unusual. We are a couple of a certain age. We live out in the country on a large property. Both of us grew up with gardens. So, it would seem obvious that we would have a garden.
For us, however, this is unusual. J and I did have small gardens in the first years that we were married and had a rather large one on the first farm that we rented. We tried gardening on the farm where we spent many years, but the busyness of the farm, and life with small children, put the garden at such a low priority that weeding was sometimes accomplished with the lawn mower. I was content to see the fields as my garden and got my “growing things” fix there.
We’ve lived on this property for seven years now. We’ve built decks, put in flower beds, planted hundreds of trees, cut a walking trail though the bush, but until this year we have not had a garden. The property itself does not lend itself to a garden. The only flat spot in the yard is on top of the septic bed and everywhere else the soil is very shallow, dry, and sloping. We had not had a garden for over twenty years and didn’t realize we were missing it.
I’m not sure why this year was different. It might have to do with Nettie’s gardening exploits in her backyard. It may have been a desire to try something new. I don’t know, but, one day, J said she was keen to grow a garden. Not just any kind of garden though, it needed to be low maintenance, and there needed to be no pressure to can, freeze, or preserve anything from it.
So we built a garden. It’s a raised bed, square foot kind of garden with automatic watering and well over a foot of a mixture of screened topsoil, purchased topsoil, compost and peat moss. Off to one side we planted English cucumbers in a landscape barrel. We’ve spent way more on the project than we will ever harvest, but isn’t that the case with lots of backyard gardens?
There has been a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction. I love pushing dry seeds and little onions into the ground and watching them grow. I enjoy figuring out what we might have for supper and then going out and pulling up potatoes, cutting salad greens, picking tomatoes and peppers to make that meal. Most of all, I think, I enjoy watching something come from almost nothing. It’s sort of like a miracle in my own back yard.