She replied, "You find time to do the things you love."
Her response hit me profoundly. A week later, I was admiring Heather and Matt's lush landscaping. Knowing that Matt had just gone back to school, I asked Heather, "How the heck does Matt make the time to still take care of the yard?"
Heather's response: "He loves doing it! You make time for the things you love."
Deja vu? I decided then that was a message from God to me.
I've loved gardening since we lived in a small duplex apartment off a canal in Florida. My mom bought seeds, and we grew flowers (and attracted a roaming cat, but that's another story). I remember four-o-clocks was one variety.
I planted my first very own vegetable garden when I lived in Tennessee. I tore out a piece of lawn from the side of the house we were renting and planted tomatoes, broccoli, and some other vegetable I've forgotten about. Proud, I called Dorothy the Landlady over to look at it. She was a-gasped when she saw that we had torn out her beautiful grass. She then pointed out a large tree that would soon fill in with the season and shade the plot. I named the garden "El Jardin de Esperanza" (The Garden of Hope, as in "here's hoping it grows"). And grow it did!
Because of the lack of sun from the aforementioned tree, I laid sheets of foil around the plants to reflect as much light as possible. The tomatoes searching for light, grew 10-12 feet tall.
"I ain't never seen that in all my life!" exclaimed Dorothy. I had to stake the tomatoes by stapling twine to the side of the house and wrapping the ends around the stalks. We had tons of tomatoes!
In Utah, I married David. At our first apartment, we got a 6x12 plot to garden in during our last two years there.
We planted tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, gladiolus, cantaloupe, marigolds, nasturtium, sunflowers, and whatever else we could fit. I remember having more than enough 'maters to share with many, many neighbors. Dave loved walking past that garden in the mornings and plucking a handful of cherry tomatoes on his way to work.
When we moved to our present home, I wanted to keep up the green-thumbing skills. I got sidetracked by trying to keep alive the plants the home builder threw into our landscaping. Holy clay-dough! (The ground here is... inefficient... at sustaining life.) Busy being on call to administer shrub-CPR, plans for an edible garden went out the window.
Another hurdle to leap was that David wasn't really thrilled about creating more work in the yard, so he had little motivation to venture into gardening again despite my talking, my begging, and my bartering. Well, maybe he wouldn't give in to me, but I knew David is a spiritual man.
After 5 years, throw in an "impromptu" Family Home Evening about President Spencer W. Kimball counseling families to grow food gardens, and (bippity boppity boo) Hubby's on board! We started a garden!
Inspired by recently discovered meat, we chose to try out the square foot gardening method. If all goes well, we will add one or two more boxes next year.
With bell peppers at $2 each, I knew as soon as I got a garden again I'd want to grow some of my own. Our baby garden has two varieties of tomatoes and three varieties of bell peppers. Since we started late in the season, we missed out on some veggies (lettuce, broccoli). Since David didn't want to dig more lawn up, that eliminated large plants (zucchini, squash, watermelon). We also missed out on some pepper varieties because they were already sold out in the three stores I shopped.
We will get better each year as we become more familiar with this method and our area. For now, we have two available square feet. I thought about garlic and onion, but I understand they grow like tulips (planted in the fall and harvested in late spring). Maybe marigolds to keep bugs from attacking the tomatoes?
What ideas have you got? What's in your garden?
These are photos of flowers currently blooming in the front jungle.