Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why I Became Interested in Gardening

Someone asked me why I became interested in gardening. The simple answer is "why not"? Honestly, at some level I've always been interested in gardening. So here are some of my earliest memories.

My Mom had flower gardens and vaguely I remember her putting in a vegetable garden one year when I was very young. It must not have worked because the only edible thing I can really remember her growing was rhubarb. I loved the looks and smells of the rich earth mixed with the heavenly smell of flowers. I would sit for hours reading in the lilac tree. Willow trees were awesome once I learned how to swing out over the river but Mom quickly put a stop to that. I was surrounded by nature, animals and loved every minute of it. But this one front bed was different. The only thing I liked about it was the glass chunks. I can remember gazing into the glass chunks that decorated my Mom's small flower garden, imagining there were meramaids swimming in them. She always planted geraniums in that bed. I hated the smell of geraniums! They were worse when she brought them in for the winter resting spot on my bedroom window sill. I still hate the smell of geraniums but I have since learned to appreciate them. While Mom didn't really vegetable garden I learned a lot of canning skills from here, so maybe my childhood experiences set the path I was to follow. Fast forwarding a bit, is when I think vegetable gardening first became a real interest.

We lived in an apartment building just after marrying. A nice, elderly neighbour lady would lived on one side of the entrance to the apartment building had a cherry tree. It is from her I learned how to make cherry pies. It is also from this couple that I first really marvelled at having a vegetable garden. It was gorgeous! Neat little rows of vegetables ran the length of their garden. That year I tried growing tomatoes in a container. I wasn't suscessful but that didn't stop me from trying.

Over the next few years were were busy raising kids. I'd put flowers in yet it wasn't until our second house that I planted grapes and strawberries. The following year we planted a small patch of tomatoes and peppers. So it was for the rest of the time we lived there. We sold that house and moved to a smaller house with a huge front yard but almost non-existent backyard but by now my interest in vegetable gardening had really been sparked. I was limited to two small 2'x8' strips behind the garage for growing vegetables. I quickly learned that growing vegetables vertically gave a higher yield. The internet provided a wealth of information on small space gardening so I kept trying different things. Even though some were met with failure, the successes encouraged me to try again. Then we moved here.

Now I have as much room as I want for gardening. Yet I still love the raised beds and square foot gardening method. Both remove a lot of the work of gardening. This will be our fourth vegetable gardening season here. My methods have changed slightly and I continue to use container gardening for those spots we don't want permanent raised beds. Each year I try three or four new vegetables but some staple vegetables always remain.

I still love the smell of newly turned soil. Vegetables growing give me an undescribable pleasure. I've found that by using the square foot method, flowers can be incorporated into the vegetable gardens. My favourite glass chunk from childhood still graces my garden and the mermaids still swim when I gaze into the aqua glass.


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