The Happiest Place on Earth

It’s not Disneyland.  I’ve never been there, but it sounds loud, crowded, and full of cartoon animals.  I don’t like any of those things, unless it’s the crazy chef from “The Little Mermaid.”  The happiest place on earth is my local garden centre.  You see, I have discovered in recent years that I love to garden.

As a kid I was always more of the “Ignore it and see what sprouts” school of growing things.  My Mom would patiently assign me a corner of the garden every year, and don’t get me wrong, I loved the idea of gardening, but just couldn’t seem to find the tenacity to stick with it.  In retrospect I think part of the problem was that I always filled my plot with flowers, which look nice, but don’t really give much back.  Of course, at the time growing vegetables wouldn’t have been as rewarding as it would just have gone in with all the grub my Mom was growing.  Now, it’s a whole other ballgame.  I put in the effort and I get a payout of cheap, delicious food.

...dirty freeloaders.

When I finally moved into a townhouse with a small backyard I decided right away that the barren edge of the lawn would become a garden.  I didn’t do much more than dig out the weeds and add some potting soil to it before I threw in my seeds.  I had a bumper crop of tomatoes that fall, but little else.  My peas died off after one picking and I got two hard, seedy zucchinis.  The soil was dense and rock-filled, and my carrots mostly broke off in the ground.  Still, I was hooked.  The veggies I did harvest were mind-blowingly delicious.  The first bite of carrot immediately convinced me to grow as much food as possible.  It’s easy to forget that veggies are actually very tasty, especially when we mostly buy grocery store versions.

The next year I did a little research and took a little more care in my planting.  My husband killed my peas and spearmint,  but the rest of the veggies came up nicely, and we ate tomatoes and zucchini, topped with fresh herbs, for quite some time.

This year, our apartment is on the second floor of our building and I am gearing up for a container farm.  The deck is sheltered nicely, and if I work around the bikes I think I can get a good selection going.  So a few weeks ago now I was off to a nearby greenhouse to stock up on plants. It’s a magical place, full of green things and damp smells.  And I mean that in the “damp foresty” and not the “damp gym socks” way.

Now, several weeks later, I have success on all but the lettuce front.  Apparently those seeds were duds.  Otherwise though, things are coming along nicely!

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In order of appearance:  An Oxalis my grandmother gave me (and I was worried I’d killed), Oregano sprouts, a Pea plant, Zucchinis, and a Strawberry blossom.


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