So I thought I would start a garden…
As most of you know, this was my big year: I was going to start a GARDEN! I come from a long line of green thumbs, and especially on my mom’s side. My grandma had a garden the size of Texas (kid-view of course) growing up, and my mom followed suit and planted one when we were kids as well.
I basically knew what to do. Thanks to a little help from Triscuit’s gardening site (which is fabulous by the way), I was for sure good to go. I even had a woman from church who is a Master Gardener come over and give me advice for the trek. I was excited, confident and excited to grow my own food!
The Beginnings of The Garden
It started off so well. To take it slow and ease myself into my new hobby, I decided I’d do a very small garden – a 4×4 bed. I bought a kit from the hardware store that even made assembly easy (no messing with the lumber yards of nails for me!) I knew I wanted to do green beans and zucchini – my favorites – and then decided to do a small pepper and tomato plant. I had marigolds to keep the rabbits out, and even cleaned out my hairbrush over the garden to make sure the bunnies and other animals for sure stayed out!
The Garden Grew
After a few weeks, and a few good rains, my garden began to grow. I was so excited as I saw success with my little plants emerging from the soil. I was particularly fond of “Bean” as I called him – my green bean plant that rose up from germination to make my gardening experience a success. “Zuc” soon began to steal the show as his leaves grew large and magnificent. And “Pep” and “Tom” held their own as they began to produce fruit before the other two. It was a harmonious symphony. At one point, I even had a salad thanks to Pep and Tom – with two of the veggies coming from my own hard work!
Then One Day…
I feel like Shakespeare as I continue my story, because as he showed in his great writings – some amazing and beautiful stories end in tragedy. As the summer continued to grow hotter and hotter, I continued to water and watch over my little garden. A question I had been often asked as I shared my plans for gardening was that of my two dogs. Known for occasional mischief, and especially in (or getting out of) our backyard, others were concerned about the trouble they might cause to a delicate garden. I wasn’t worried about them, and the first two months had proven me right – the dogs hardly went near the garden. I assumed they knew how important it was to me, so they helped watch over it and keep the rabbits out.
Well, let’s just say I learned my lesson. One day I felt bad for the dogs because I was locking them up in their kennel so much. Mike had been gone for nearly 10 days, and I knew they were dreading the cage once again. I decided to “reward” them for good behavior and let them stay in the backyard for the day. It hadn’t crossed my mind that they might happen to take an interest in the garden that day, or that this would happen….
So, my first summer of gardening ended more abruptly than I thought it would. While I typically steer away from writing the tragedies, I realized that they are sometimes unavoidable. My garden had a sad, sudden ending. But I did learn several great lessons, even from year 1 and I was able to eat at least ONE salad from it.
Here are few of the nuggets I learned:
– Don’t feel bad for dogs. They’re animals. Lock them up, go with your better judgment. They’re just dogs.
– Gardening can easily be paralleled to a spiritual life in the sense that if I don’t watch over my faith, tend to it and keep out pride, unforgiveness, doubt, blame, etc – it will eventually erode away or have the tendency to be dug up.
– A garden is also like a body. It must be properly cared for, hydrated, and watched over. “Dogs” can also creep into the body and wreak havoc if it’s not well attended to.
– Don’t give up. Food is food, and try again next year. There’s always the farmer’s market.
…… until next year!