Aug 25, 2011

Posted by in My Life's Quirks | 7 Comments

My Life’s Quirks – My Garden is the Saddest. Garden. Ever.

For a couple of years now, I’ve had visions of something magical blooming in my backyard.  I saw a beautiful vegetable garden growing in the flower bed that is in the middle of my yard.  It would be lush.  It would be fruitful.  And it would provide us with all the vegetables we would want to consume for the entire month of August!  This year, I decided to turn my vision into my reality.  I went to Canadian Tire and bought seeds, soil, tools, gloves and even those snazzy knee pads that gardeners wear.  They were purple.  I was ready!  I planted my little seeds in late spring in pots and watered them daily.  For the longest time, nothing was growing…but then something did.  But only about 60% of my pots produced something I could transplant into my future perfect vegetable garden.  I checked the calender and found the perfect weekend to place my little plants into my flower bed, and looked forward to doing it.

At this time, I feel the need to tell you that I have never had a garden before.  I’ve really never owned plants either.  Just thought I should throw that out there.  Now I shall continue with the story of my plentiful vegetable garden.

The day before I was to place my precious little plants in their new home, I went and pulled all the weeds out of my flower bed (and boy were there a ton!) and raked the soil that was already there.  The bed looked wonderful…then it rained.  A lot.

I knew I couldn’t play in my garden while the daycare kids were here, so it had to be a weekend project.  Let me tell you, every weekend-day that I was available to plant in late May and most of June, it rained.  Lots.  Finally, a month later than I had thought, I planted my vegetables, and waited…

July and early August has been bone dry in my part of Ontario this year.  And I live in a village where you are monitored for water use and aren’t allowed to water your grass or plants for more than one hour, twice a week. (You can do a watering can or two, but not the sprinkler)  I watered my plants but not too much since I figure the farmers don’t do that so why would I need to.  In fact, my ‘back neighbor’ is a farmer’s field and that stuff grows really well every year!  But after about 4 weeks, my little garden looked like this:

What you are looking at are carrots, leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans and a pumpkin plant.  What?  You can’t tell that that is all that is there simply by looking at it?  *sigh*  I know.  Sad, isn’t it?…  The one good thing about there being no rain is that there were barely any weeds.  You see, you always have to look at the bright side of things. *forces a smile*

Eventually the weeds got sort of bad, so I donned my new swanky wide rimmed hat (that only made me look slightly like a loser) and my snazzy knee pads and weeded the garden.  It looked better, but my vegetables were nowhere near as plentiful as I hoped by this stage.  I also watered my garden that day.  And the next.  And the next.  And boy, guess what?!  Things started to grow!  So…watering everyday is apparently sort of important when it comes to having a fruitful vegetable garden.  Hmm…go figure.  *heads desk*

Finally, the vegetable plants grew quite well.  Then we got 4 downpours in 2 weeks and this happened to my garden:

Holy Moly!  Where are my vegetables?!  Freakin’ $%#@! weeds…  But the thing that sort of shocked me the most was this:

That pumpkin seed that my daughter insisted we plant is crazy HUGE and is taking over everything!  It’s choking half my beans for bloody sake!  So pumpkins grow really really big.  Hmm…go figure.

Finally, this week, I went to my garden and looked at it.  When I came back to my kitchen, I had all this:

Isn’t that amazing?!  That is the box that the mother of a couple of my daycare kids brought me because she took pity on my vegetable garden.  That is what her garden gave her.  This is what mine gave me:

It’s okay.  You can laugh.  Goodness knows I did…after I cried.  I also got a good amount of lettuce but it was so bitter, we pitched it in the field next door.  The tomatoes look promising, but because we planted them so late, they are about the size of dimes at this moment and still green.  My cucumbers?  I have no idea where they are.  And the 4 carrots that survived?  Smaller than my baby toe.  Let me tell ya though, that pumpkin better be freakin’ amazing!

There is one thing that baffles me though.  In my yard, right by my house, a mystery plant grown every year.  Every fall, I yank it out by the roots (because its seeds are picky and I don’t want them near the kids).  And every spring, it comes back.  In the exact same spot.  It starts like this…

…and it finishes like this:

I mean, what the hell?!  That thing is bigger than my son!  And I never water it and I never tend to it!  How the hell does it grow so well, but my garden looked so sad for the majority of this summer?  Seriously, what.  the.  heck?

So that is the story of my vegetable garden this year.  I did learn a lot and I know what to try next year.  I know that I should use better soil.  I know that I need to plant more carrots if I want to have any at all.  I know now that the lettuce needs to be picked earlier in the season.  And I know now that pumpkins should be placed all alone in the back of the yard where they can grow wild and not choke other plants.  This experience, although not quite what I hoped it would be, was successful in what it taught me.  Maybe next year though, instead of freakin’ life lessons, I’ll actually get some vegetables out of it.

My garden is the saddest.  garden.  ever.  Just another one of my life’s quirks.

  1. I love your story! My husband tries every year but doesn’t really succeed either. One year he got beans growing pretty well in our back yard and while we were at work, the landlord’s lawn guy came into our yard and “took care of those weeds in the corner” – hubs was devastated!!!

  2. I don’t even try anymore…if it has roots, I kill it. I have had cut flowers last longer in my house than flowers bought in pots at the same time….true story! So, I understand. BTW, I *think* that other thing is a Morning Glory…I think. smiles…

  3. Sympathies, Julie! Starting out as a “green” green-thumb can be very trying…hang in there, though, because it will (eventually) be worth it. I promise! 🙂

  4. I cannot say anything because I’m sure if I had a garden it will be worse than yours.
    I have just one plant in my house, it was a gift from the dealer when we bought my car, I guess or when DH bought his bike, I’m not sure, the only sure thing about it is that it’s still alive (after almost 2 years). I guess it’s an alien plant because it can live without water for almost 2 weeks. And is still growing, vertically (a lot), in the same little flower pot that it came in.

  5. OK totally laughing out loud here. I totally cant grow a thing. In fact plastic plants manage to somehow die on me. I had to laugh that the moms took pity on you. That cracks me up. Doesn’t it just figure that the one thing you dont want to grow, is crazy!

    Still giggling…MichelleKCanada

  6. Oh my, Julie I laughed so hard it brought tears to my eyes. Now don’t get me wrong, I laughed because this would TOTALLY happen to me! I loved the box of veggies and then your peas…I was thinking, “Wow, she has tons of veggies, what the heck is she talking about?!” Then I read it and I busted out laughing even before you said, “It’s okay, you can laugh.” Haha. Keep it up Julie…you’ll get the hang of it, I have faith!!!

  7. Patti – OMG! He didn’t?! I would be devastated too…

    Christi – I think that may be my new saying too. “If it has roots…” I like it. Hey! We could make a club…with t-shirts! 😉

    Linda – That’s what I hear. Daycare mommy said it took her 5 years before she got a good batch. I never knew it could take so long! LOL

    Bookaholic Cat – Alien plant?! LMAO!!!

    Michelle – That box of produce was awesome! I roasted some and made a huge batch of spaghetti sauce and potato salad… Just yum! Can’t wait until I can do that with MY stuff. 🙂

    Deanna – I’m glad you laughed. I am too. Not at the time…but now I think it’s quite funny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *