I never was into gardening growing up. We'd have a few houseplants around the house, and maybe some flowers in a flower bed outside. But nothing exensive at all.
In the last four years, I started container gardening on my deck. I live in a townhome, so I have no land to use otherwise. I've had some magnificent failures and some decent successes over the years. It's been a huge learning curve, but I love it.
I love digging into the soil, mixing it to make it the most beneficial for the plants-to-be. I love starting seeds and watching them push their first green shoots through the dirt. I feel like Mama Gardener, taking care of my 'babies'.
Flowers on my deck
This year a family friend told me about how a local church provides generous plots of land for use in their community garden. Plots are roughly 20'x10' and only $25 to use for the entire summer. They have a fabulous piped water system that makes watering the plots super easy. So we sprung for it and bought two plots. One is the "Children's Garden", planted mostly with choices my children made. Sassafrass (age 5) chose to plant some giant pumpkins, columbine flowers and a 'magic touch' plant (which closes its leaves when touched). LaLa (age 11) chose to plant baby pumpkins, carnation flowers and a swan gourd. Juancho planted pumpkins-on-a-stick, nest egg gourds and watermelons. I also planted my favorite flower in the "Children's Garden"...Giant Sunflowers!
Then the other plot is reserved for the produce we'll be growing for our family. There is sweet corn, green beans, peas, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and squash. We're planning on adding cabbage, spinach and zucchini soon. Maybe even some strawberries?
I LOVED planting these gardens. Mixing in the free Starbucks coffee grounds to give our soil some natural nutrients. Weeding wasn't my favorite, but was necessary (meanwhile my son has gotten his first 'job' weeding other garden plots at $10 a pop...and is currently planning his marketing strategy!). Transplanting seedlings, planning the rows, brainstorming with my hubby how to get the most out of our garden, etc...I love every step!
After spending 3 hours in the garden on Sunday, and another 2 there yesterday morning, I've realized that gardening is quite a workout! Container gardening usually got me to sweat, but I never felt sore after a gardening session. But now, with two 20'x10' garden plots to tend to, I'm waking up to sore hamstrings and arms...but that good kinda sore, ya know?
My container garden on my deck is full with flowers, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and herbs.
My herb garden pot...just planted this AM
(note: my computer camera reverses the words...silly.)
I hope the gardens are more prone to magnificent successes this year, and limited failures. I'll keep you updated!
Who else reading this are gardeners? What great tips do you have for this relative newbie?
Other gardening stuff I've been reading lately:
All about The Organic Sister's urban homesteading
Adventures in Family Gardening via Gardenaut