I Can Have A Garden After All!

Aah, sister my sister. My darling sister. Have I told you how much I love my sister? We have a relationship that has flourished over the years, starting with the time in our lives when she became a mother. We could finally stand on common ground. She is special to me. And my feelings for her have been amplified to the third degree by the fact that she is the reason why I can do some gardening this year! This prolonged state of transition I am in actually has me stuck between homes and cities and lifestyles. And there she is – coming through the clouds of despair like a vision for sad eyes with the promise of a rented garden plot just for the two of us. We’ll be able to plant, grow, thrive. (tears falling)

There happens to be a wonderful parks and rec program (not too far from her) that rents out garden plots. Check this out: 20ft x 22ft, 4 raised beds (on this particular plot), your own garden buddy (knowledgeable helper on hand), gated and secured garden in a FAB neighborhood, water hook ups for each plot, garden bulletin board at the entrance, a shed stocked with tools provided for all to use, and periodic community fundraisers that will allow the gardeners to sell their produce. And all of this for $55.00 a year.

So there you have it, I am about to make my first trip to my very own gardening space this weekend. My sister lives over an hour away so I’ll be visiting on weekends only. But it is still something, you know? We had our choice of 4 available plots and finally chose one. Here is the first picture of many to come:

As you can see, we have a lot of cleanup to do. But happily! It seems funny but I just can’t wait to put on a pair of gloves and boots and start shoveling stuff. What a blessing, and just when I need it too. I admit, I’ve been a little depressed that our house hasn’t sold yet. But that’s what you get when you try to sell in the wintertime I suppose. This plot makes up for it for sure. I will update this post as time goes by and then maybe start a series on the food we grow. I’ll keep you posted.

Feb 11th – Here is the plot after my sis, niece and I got to it…

The weather was a bit overcast but perfect actually – not too hot. When we first arrived, we had a bit of trouble opening the gate, but all was well since we were greeted by the neighbor’s chickens! They came right up to us and I was so excited to see them. (Makes me want some right now. I wonder if they were just trying to get into the garden to start eating?) Then we got to work. The previous owner was kind enough to clean up a few things. Trouble is, he took apart all the boxes which we would have reused. But that’s okay I suppose. It’ll give the hubby something to do since he really wants to help out. So he can come back with me someday to build new boxes. The day was long and hard, but I left there feeling really good. I needed that.

Feb 19th – Boxes? Done.

Well, leave it to the hubby. He just doesn’t do anything small. All I wanted (for the time being) is one box built for the first plantings my sis and I agreed on… and look what he does! So there you go, four beautiful garden boxes ready for soil. The sad part is that we planned on buying a small saw mill since we have lots of redwood on our property. It would have been free! But we are so busy with selling the house that it slipped our brains and now we’re kicking ourselves. We better get a lot of tomatoes to make up for it.

So there are three 16 x 4 ft. boxes and one 12 x 3 ft. box on the end. I think our plan is to put up a divider between plots at the end, and then we can plant green beans in the end box to climb on it. But I have to clear that with sis first.

Feb 21st – What to plant?

I decided to start seedlings of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Things like lettuce and radishes can be directly sown. And for some reason I can’t grow things like zucchini and pumpkin from seed, so I may have to go to a nursery for that. We’ll have to see what my sis can do since she’ll be starting a few things from seed as well. We’re doing all of this according to a plan published by Farmer Fred. We love Farmer Fred. The plan is all laid out according to when to start seeds, when to direct sow and when to put plants outside or in the ground. FAB. And so we’ll follow it carefully and get back to you soon.

March 5th – It’s coming along nicely.

It was very close to dusk when I took this pic, since on this day the hubby and I only came by to fill in the mulch around the boxes… we actually filled them on the 3rd. The soil is so wonderful too. A local nursery does a great job at mixing their “garden” mixes, and last year my mother filled her garden with this stuff. Well, her veggies practically exploded on her! So I have high hopes for ours this year.

I still have to go back at some point to clear out this side… we plan to grow in-ground – maybe zucchini and other squash? Right now we are pushing the amount of time we have left to the limit; we’re supposed to be out by dusk!

Just enough time for one last pic… we brought a few stumps from our property: One to sit on, one for our neighbor and this one for an idea we just had to copy. Cute!

March 22 – Our little darlings.

Uh, I think I went a bit overboard. That’s a lot to go into the space we have. (And that isn’t everything either!) But I’ll make it work. Now I just need to find a place to do some canning at harvest and I will be the happiest person on Earth. Ain’t life grand?

FYI: I’ll be splitting this post up into a series because I can just tell that there will be a whole lotta pictures on this subject. This is just the tip of the iceberg…

Next: Garden Plot Is Growing Strong