Never in a million years would anyone ever have been able to tell me that I would one day want to be a gardener. No kidding. Dirt? Bugs? Sweat. I think not! I had no desire to eat a vegetable, much less grow one. What the hell is that all about?
So here I am a couple decades later, and I am going to publicly proclaim myself a gardener. Okay, a novice gardener. Okay, a gal who is trying very hard not to kill the vegetables in her backyard. No, no, a gardener. I’m sticking with that. For most of my life I’ve lived in apartments. Only a couple of houses and never any with the space to garden, not that I wanted to. But in the last couple of years, a few things have happened to make me take pause and reconsider the whole gardening thing.
- I met a lovely gal named Gale Borger who is an extremely talented gardener and the brilliant author of Death of a Garden Hoe.
- I connected with another gal on Twitter who has a site called Red, White, and Grew.
- And I paid $1.29 for a freaking cucumber that little to no flavor.
So, here I am. Pamela, at Red, White, and Grew (who has an awesome display of boards on Pinterest) had a lot to do with this as she reminded me about something I had long ago forgotten: Victory Gardens. You all know what they are, right? If not, hit Pamela’s site and pay attention. I’ve watched Pamela’s enthusiasm and willingness to answer a series of (what must be mind-numbing) questions from all manner of people, including me. She appears to be tireless. Truly.
Gale, who is also one of my favorite authors, has spent many an hour answering my questions as well. If you want to see what a true gardener can do, visit Gale’s site and look at some of her award-winning plants and flowers. She has a remarkable gift, and she loves to share it with others.
Then there was the whole cucumber incident. Now, it wasn’t just the high cost of that flavorless cuke, but my mouth-watering experience on the other end of the veggie spectrum. I was up in Pennsylvania at the launch party for Kieryn Nicolas’ debut YA spy novel, Rain. It was a grand party, and I was overwhelmed with the family garden gracing their yard. As I was leaving that day, Mara, Kieryn’s way super-awesome-cool mom, gave me some treats. One of them was a small bag of cucumbers. NEVER in my life had I had a cucumber that tasted so good. I mean , seriously people, my husband and I stood in the kitchen all but crying with the joy of this cucumber. I kid you not. It was SPECTACULAR. But I do go on.
Fast forward to a couple months ago when hubby and I gave up apartment life and bought a house in Orlando, FL. We had this lovely backyard and nothing in it. As of today, it has a patch of ground that I cleared, and tried to till, and turned, and babied so I could plant my tomatoes and bell peppers. A week later came one night of frost. Guess what? Yeah. Lucky for us Home Depot, gems that they are, took back all the dead peppers and one of the three mater plants. Two of them actually came back and produced a few more maters (9 cherries maters to date.) Then came another stupid frost. Really? In Florida? Come on.
So, as I type this post in, I am anxiously waiting for Sunday when we will go out and buy the materials to build a couple raised beds. I have several mater and bell peppers plants that I started from seed and are almost ready to be transplanted. I have a monster cilantro plant that thinks its some kind of giant tree (I can’t use as much cilantro as I keep cutting), and we have a grapefruit tree (with leaf miners), a lemon tree that might actually bear fruit, and a tangerine tree that is doing splendidly. Oh and three concord grape starters.
I am determined to become a successful and fruitful gardener, even if it kills me. I am trying to learn as much as I can, so if you garden and you have tips, ideas, and other stuff you would like to share, please let me know. Who knows, maybe I can become some famous publishing gardener.
I’d love to hear what you grow.