Gardening as an Adult: Part 2

Mike and I were on our second year of being together. We were considering buying a house. I was secretly living with him, and not-so-secretly changing and showering at the gym before work. We were going out to happy hour on Thursday nights, and working day jobs, and were exceptionally fit–much healthier than we are now, unfortunately.

We were still living in the suburbs but I decided I was going to try my hand at gardening again. This time, we’d do his yard.

So sometime in May (probably late May) we borrowed my dad’s tiller and tilled up part of the backyard at Mike’s house. We bought some t-posts and wire fencing, and a pile of tomato cages. We bought all started plants this time, except for the cucumbers that never did grow.

We were ready.

Tomatoes, jalapenos, sweet peppers, rosemary.

I feel like I tried to plant onion and potatoes, but I can’t be sure.

We watered. We halfheartedly weeded. We drove around looking for houses.

Sometime in July, the peppers started producing quite happily. I feel like the tomatoes must have been producing by then too, but all I really remember is a big metal bowl full of bell peppers and another full of jalapenos.

I never had the patience to wait so almost all of them were green.

What was a girl to do? Why, make mounds of stuffed peppers, of course!

And oh they were good. Peppers stuffed with meat, and cheese, and bread crumbs. Peppers stuffed with more peppers. They were a hit.

The plants had just started to kick in gear, and although you had to wade in to get the goods, it was worth it.

And then we moved.

At the heart of the season, when the peppers really started going, we moved.

We moved 50 miles away to an overgrown place with no peppers and tomatoes producing. And our lovely garden was left behind with Mike’s siblings, a nineteen-year-old boy and a twenty-year-old girl.

They never picked them, and we never went back, except for the one time when Mike visited and said it was so overgrown it wasn’t even worth walking into and risk getting bit by a snake.

Oh well.

Lessons learned: Weed your garden. Make a commitment and stick with it. Peppers stuffed with peppers taste just lovely.

Gardening as An Adult: Part 1

The first time I planted a garden was at my parents’ house. I had graduated college and was living at home and, like all good kids, I claimed a part of the yard for myself.

You see, my dad had always gardened when I was a kid. This was back before the deer in the area were little more than “wild pets.” My mom was healthy, my dad was healthy, the garden was exceptionally healthy. Irises, gladioli, azaleas (split from my grandmother’s hybrids), daffodils. A giant holly bush I suspect my dad just never wanted to get rid of. Plus, the hanging baskets all around the carport. But that doesn’t count the raspberry bushes, cherry trees, apple trees, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, beans and cucumbers. Growing up, we had a lot of fresh produce in the summer–but this was back when I said I hated flowers and couldn’t grow anything.

So when I came back home I realized I wanted a garden of my own.

I cleared out the old area where the tomatoes used to be (the only spot that could be fenced away from deer) and cleared out the beds where the cucumbers and beans could trellis. I bought my plants and I bought my seeds: tomatoes, peppers, chives, corn, beans and cucumbers.

I was ready.

At the beginning, it was going great. I weeded, albeit not too well. I made sure they were watered. I watched the cucumbers and beans, just waiting.

And then I turned back into a twenty-two year old girl who spent her time running around town with her friends and 0 time sleeping at her parents’ house.

The next thing I knew, my carefully constructed garden was overrun with weeds. Two-foot tall weeds. The corn looked sad (I only planted 2 rows) and I honestly can’t remember if I ever got a tomato off there. By the time I went to clean up the weeds and pick some of the fruit, it was too late. There was a den of baby bunnies living in the back, and by then my dad said, “Leave them be.”

So I did.

I got maybe two bowls of beans and a handful of cucumbers that year, plus glimpses of adorable baby bunnies.

Lesson learned: Weed your garden.