5.11.2011

in which i undertake something completely new: my first garden

I have started my first garden, perhaps more accurately called a gardenette.

There's a very small strip of dirt between the house and the patio. There was once a huge plum tree there, but it died. It's also the former site of this --

cody dirt 001

-- but sadly, no more.

That left one small rose bush planted by a previous tenant. So we bought this --


-- some soil, fertilizer, and a telescoping garden tool to protect my knees. We picked up a little of this --


-- to protect against these --


(If you look closely, you can see Tala is sprinkled with mud.)

And now we have this --



-- some annuals on one side, and two tomato plants on the other. A tiny garden, and enough for me.

When I was growing up, my father did a lot of gardening, and my siblings and I were always pressed into involuntary labour. I loved my indoor plants in our old apartments, and I always imagined that if I had some outdoor space, I would garden. But when I finally got a backyard, the reality turned out to be different. I'm too busy, I have bad knees, and I don't want to rearrange my life to make gardening a priority.

But a little gardening... that seems like a good thing. All the local-eating advice emphasizes gardening, even the tiniest bit (which this is!). So here's another opportunity to reject my old all-or-nothing thinking - you know, the little voice that tells either we dig up half the yard and dedicate huge amounts of time to a massive garden, or I cannot garden at all. And maybe even some homegrown tomatoes in the bargain.

Of course, Tala is interested in gardens. Our neighbours have a beautiful vegetable garden and she likes to hang around --


-- hoping for a little of this.







26 comments:

allan said...

protect against these

Tala: "Dig? I don't even know the meaning of that word."

She will wear herself out chasing and leaping after the jet setting on the hose, but she also loves the mist setting -- she squints her eyes and gets drenched!

laura k said...

I purposely included some pics of Tala basking in the mist.

Amy said...

Good luck with your garden! I never had any luck with gardening in our old house---too much shade, dog playing and kid playing---everything got trampled. I have a "gardenette" myself on the Cape---a little bigger than yours, but not much---a bed in the front of the house and now one on the side. It's a mix of perennials and annuals, no vegetables. I find it very rewarding and just the right amount: takes me about 30 minutes at most a day to water and weed and feed. Usually much less. The start-up is time consuming, but after that, it's mostly reward for just a little work.

I probably should try growing something edible, but there is so much good local produce on the Cape that I don't have much incentive to try. I am lucky most of my flowers survive til August!

Amy said...

PS The dogs look great, muddy and wet or not!

allan said...

"Cody Gardens"

laura k said...

"Cody Gardens"

Aww, that is so sweet. Let's make a sign!

laura k said...

Amy, that is very encouraging, thank you!

This spot is very sunny from early morning until early afternoon. I'm hoping that's enough for the tomatoes. People say at least 6 hours of full sun a day, and this is about 8 hours, more as the summer goes on.

I've also decided I won't be crushed if it doesn't work out. We can always buy another rose bush, the one that's there is very happy, and I love roses (my birth flower).

deang said...

Very nice. I hope it works out for you. The problem I always have with small spaces is that I always try to cram too much in, the result of too many "impulse purchases" (out-of-control seed gathering). You look like you've kept it to a reasonable amount.

laura k said...

Thanks deang. I went with the advice of the nice (and cute) woman at the nursery. I feel too ignorant to make any decisions on my own yet!

Do you grow a lot of vegetables?

allan said...

the nice (and cute) woman at the nursery

and her name was laura.

laura k said...

...and suddenly Laura became an avid gardener...

Amy said...

I tried posting earlier, but was having Blogger issues. Will try again....

I laughed when I read your last comment, understanding that addictive/compulsive tendency and relating to it.

Try not to get too invested in the plants...the damn things tend to die before you want them to! Every year I battle these nasty bugs that eat some of my flowers, too much rain, not enough sun, etc. It can be so frustrating and yet so rewarding when they thrive.

laura k said...

Heh, I was only joking about the cute young woman at the nursery. :)

I had a lot of indoor plants for many many years, so I'm familiar with the disappointments and frustrations of growing things. Time, space and knee strength being very limited, I doubt this will become an obsession for me. But we'll see!

Amy said...

OK, I missed the point of your last post! I thought it was a reference to your garden, not the Laura at the garden store... :)

impudent strumpet said...

What kind of flowers are those? I like how they're all big and bright!

laura k said...

They're daisies! So simple, but so nice. I love the bright colours, too.

laura k said...

I wonder if/when Blogger will restore the lost comments on this thread.

impudent strumpet said...

Oh cool! I never knew that daisies came in colours, I always thought they were just those white flowers with yellow centres.

27thstreet said...

It's still just a wee bit early to plant the tomatoes. With a little luck, they'll be OK, but we still have some cold nights ahead. Normally, the May long weekend is considered tomato planting time in our area. Yours are near the house and that might offer some protection.

laura k said...

Huh. The woman in the nursery told me this is the perfect time - they have a huge run on tomato plants around Mother's Day. Well, we'll see.

johngoldfine said...

A couple of 'Walls o' Water' will help those tomatoes out on chilly nights and bring them right along!

http://growerssolution.com/page/GS/CTGY/GardenAid?t=wallowater_ppc&gclid=CPSDtoW356gCFY865QodyT88Fg

laura k said...

Thanks, John. Sorry to say, if I planted the tomatoes too early and they die, then I won't have tomatoes in this little garden this year. I'll probably just plant more annuals.

This is either a low-maintenance thing, or it's not at all.

johngoldfine said...

They probably won't die unless there is an actual frost, but they may get a little gloomy and sullen, stunted and retarded.... Let's just say that their season may be well along and they will still be playing under .500, but better days will come.

laura k said...

Gotcha. :) Also, they may be fine.

dogsled_stacie said...

Congrats on Diego! He's adorable. I love the hose-love Tala shows!!!

laura k said...

Thanks Stacie!!