The logo on the side says, “Expert Gardener.” We will see! Maybe this bed will get more “tending” as I don’t have to get on my hands and knees, or bend over very much.
My gardening experience started young. I’m not sure how old I was. I couldn’t have been more than three or four as I remember riding my tricycle fast to show off for my older sister’s friends; and crashing and crying, more embarrassed than hurt. We lived on the Main street of a small New York town. It may have been distorted by the eyes of a child but it seemed like our neighborhood had huge back yards. Our immediate neighbor to the west owned our ball field. Every night in good weather, I hurried out after dinner to join the other kids. Our back yard was our garden. I remember helping, especially weeding and picking. As the harvest came in, there were days where my mother was canning.
The first garden in married life came in MA where we had our first home on a hillside. The garage was built into the hill and provided a nice flat space for a garden on the roof. That was where I planted vegetables. Lower level spots of the side yard had been planted by previous owners in flowers and we continued that tradition. I don’t recall the vegetable garden being very prolific, but do remember it providing the burial ground for deceased gerbils; to enrich the soil, I guess.
When we moved to MD where I worked for Hood College, our house was on the campus. Two blocks down the street was an old farm the college owned. They converted the barn into a student residence and the land next to the old farmhouse into a community garden. We had a plot. It was not the most productive. I blamed it on all the others who were using pesticides and some secret ingredients to discourage the rabbits and raccoons; who all seemed to gravitate to our garden; digging and pawing and chewing whatever grew. Not to mention our feast for bugs and insects.
Lately, it all takes place again in the back yard. Flowers bloom from spring into the fall. Vegetables occupy a gradually growing space near the compost pile. There is enough room for some cucumbers growing on a trellis and a dozen tomato plants. There’s nothing more refreshing in the summer than a vine-ripe tomato sandwich, picked from a plant in the back yard.