Garden : Take Three


Isn’t this a running blog? WTF is with the picture of a big patch of suburban dirt?

Hold on to your hats, I do more than just run! I also raise some kids, grocery shop and clean my house. I KNOW. Its high glamour, being me. Try to refrain from seething with envy. I don’t run every day so I figure every blog post can’t be all running. Plus if every blog post was all running you’d probably start to expect me to be a better runner. I thrive on low expectations. And diet coke. And cake.

In summer of 2009, we moved across town and across the border into a whole new state. It was only a five-mile move but “into a whole new state” sounds a lot braver and frankly, the state is South Carolina so, coming from California originally, I’m going to stand by this being a brave move. Our old house had eleventy billion trees on the lot and practically no sun. Our new house is in a new development so there are pretty much no trees and its all sun. Its hotter without the shade but I’m so grateful to not be raking leaves for 6 weeks straight every fall that I just can’t stop smiling. So while I was dancing a jig over the lack of leaves, my friend Jennifer was eyeballing the big, empty, flat, full sun yard. Jennifer is smarter and more ambitious than I am so it only took her about 4 minutes to talk me into starting a garden. I make a handy minion.

In early spring 2010, after briefly considering starting with a conservatively sized plot, in went a 12’x24′ garden bed. We weeded and tilled and filled it with compost and hope. Sweet, glorious hope. J, again the smart and ambitious one, pored over websites and seed catalogs and plotted out every inch and selected every plant. I, being less of the smart one and damn near devoid of ambition in this department, did as I was told. I make a handy manual laborer.

In summer 2010, our plants grew big and lush and gorgeous. They did not grow actual vegetables though. Just greenery. So very, very green were those deceptive and fickle plants. This confounded me and probably pushed Jennifer to the brink of murder a few times. I’d have been the victim though so I am glad she refrained.

In early spring 2011 we attended a garden course at a local nursery. We learned a lot, including that perhaps we had been overwatering our very green, fruitless garden of 2010. Again, in went the carefully plotted and selected plants. This time we were much more judicious in our watering. The gorgeous green plants came again! Oh they were lovely. And the weeds, oh they were plentiful as well. And we even got some vegetables. For about a week. And then the tomatoes came down with end rot and the squash was stricken with squash bugs. Jennifer began drinking. I wandered off to cry. My husband mocked the entire endeavor. The dog began to eat the jacked up tomatoes.

In early spring 2012, wanting to prove myself worthy of Jennifer’s garden energy this year, the husband and I rented a tiller and worked the heck out of the winter-deadened garden. Above you see a third summer of high hopes amid the maddening red clay. I have no idea why I am so hopeful again but I am. Just like I know I will someday run 50 miles, I know I will some day grow at least one halfway decent tomato.

Stay tuned!


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