Sunday, July 1, 2012

In The Garden

I don't have a garden.  Not really.  What I have are a bunch of places all over my yard where I try to grow things. 

Each Spring, I become very ambitious and hopeful, but without a lot of reason for either.  Sometimes I buy things, sometimes people give me things, and I never throw them away.  I always try to grow them.

The problem is that I don't have anywhere to grow them. I never have settled on one place to grow things, not in this family, where we move things around and repurpose rooms more often than some people trade cars.  Same thing outside.  I have tried to grow tomatoes in at least 10 different places over the years, places that have have lost their appropriateness as trees have grown or flowers have been planted or decks have been taken down.

And, I'm not a compost guy.  I know, I know, that makes no sense at all.  It's just something that I haven't ever been able to keep up with.  Every compost pile I've started has been sucked back into the earth.  If I could find where those were, I'm sure I could a hell of a tomato, but they're shaded over now and I don't exactly remember where they are.

So, as I said at the start, each year, I scramble for a place to plant.

Right now, that includes a piece of dirt in the front yard that was covered in ivy that I pulled up and stuck in some tomato plants, a cucumber plant, and a squash plant.  It includues four large pots of varying largeness along the side of the house that hold two tomatillo plants, six basil plants, and a banana pepper plant.  It includes a thin strip of land above the back stone wall  with three struggling pepper plants and some weak onions.  It includes the mini-beds on both sides of the rotted railroad tie steps that lead into the lower yard, which hold two rosemary plants, a dead-and-gone basil plant, a mint plant, the last brown remains of a thyme plant, and the last few leaves of oregano.

Much of the dead is my own fault; I thought I could spray Round-Up with pinpoint accuracy, but apparently that was not the case, as both oregano and basil started to retreat into a shriveled brownness a day or so after my sharpshooting.  At first, I thought I had underwatered them and was befuddled as to why they wouldn't rebound from repeated dousings.  And then a thought hit me: "Oh."

But, to be fair to my herbicidic talents, some of those places also don't get much sun, and so things don't do as well as they should, regardless of whether I've tried to accidentally kill them or not.

Much of the time, I try to grow them where they aren't supposed to grow, simply because I have them (bought more than I should have) and don't have a legitimate place to put them.  So why not try to see if they'll grow illegitimately?

That's how I tend to think, anyway.  Which goes a long way toward explaining why I'm not much of a gardener.

But you know what?  Most of the things that you stick in the ground will give it their best shot at trying to grow into something.  Maybe they don't put out as many tomatoes or peppers or herb leaves as their carefully-tended brethen and sistren that sit all day in the nourishing sun, taking in the rich, fetid vapors of compost through their leaves.

And that, for better or for worse, continues to give me hope and will fuel further ambition, maybe even with more effort and resultant success.

No comments: