Simple Garden

summer garden | whipstitch

It has been a while since we’ve been able to put in a real garden.  Last summer, we lived in a rental house.  The summer before, we were “on the market,” and didn’t think it was wise to dig up part of the yard for a garden that a potential homeowner might not want.  And the kids were all so little–too little, really, to even take part in the digging and mess-making part of gardening.

herb container garden | whipstitchWe’re not renting now, and we’re not on the market.  This is our Forever House.  And still this year, we didn’t manage a real garden.  I had high hopes early in the spring that things would come together, and even planted some seeds.  But they needed more tending than I was able to give in those early months of the year, closing the store and all, and it all kind of fell apart.  Plus, we were doing some work on the patio–building a new one, specifically, along with putting in a new deck and driveway, all of which involved a lot of bulldozers and bobcats and sod.  So any garden I might have managed would probably have been trampled, anyway.

chilis and tomatoes | whipstitchWe’re making do with planters on the patio.  I love them–they bring a lot of warmth and fullness to our outside space–but I always get that twinge of failure mixed with regret when I read a gardening magazine or online source say, “If you can’t have a full garden bed, you can always garden in containers!”  It feels very much like a consolation prize.  Particularly when–full disclosure–these peppers and chilis came from the grocery store last week, looking more of less exactly like they look right here.  And the lavender?  A patio warming gift from friends.  None of my green thumbing at all.

ripening tomatoes in container | whipstitchSo this year, we’ll be watching someone else’s tomatoes turn red, and someone else’s roses bloom.  And I’m OK with that.  We still get to eat the tomatoes and smell the roses, and we still get to enjoy the life and sparkle they add when we sit outside, waiting for the fireflies.

lavender spike | whipstitchWe’ll need to re-pot this lavender, since they can get super large.  And the tomatoes and chilis are still in their grocery store pots, so we’ll have to transplant those soon, too, if we want them to live.  Luckily, it’s non-stop rain here this week, so none of them are in any danger of drought.

rosemary in container | whipstitchThe rosemary should get massive, hopefully, and take over the wall by the grill.  There, we can snip off bits to add to steaks, or grab whole sticks and strip them of their leaves to use as kebab skewers.  And every time you walk past, the scent wafts through the air, combining with the boxwoods by the stairs and just a hint of jasmine from the back fence.  It really is heavenly.

chili peppers | whipstitch

Maybe I won’t get a master gardener award this season.  And I’ll certainly refer to my “garden” in quotations and with self-deprecation.  But that won’t stop me from remembering that THIS was the year we started a garden at this, our Forever House.  Or from sketching out where the stone wall will go to contain the raised beds formed by woven reeds.  For next year, because every spring is a new gardening season.

What’s in your garden this year?

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  • Karen Chatters
    July 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    A tomato is a tomato – whether it came from a pot or the ground. Throw some salt on that baby and eat ‘er up!

    I just pulled out all of my basil for pesto and added too much parmesan. Did you know that was possible? Me neither.

    This year I did kale, TONS of tomatoes, cukes, peppers, basil, jalapeños, watermelon (fail), squash, cantaloupe (fail) and okra. We had too much rain early on though and a lot of my stuff drown and I had to replant it.

    Come on over and take what you want!