Gardening Highs and Lows

Apparently my food gardening thumb is anything but green.  I have tried over the years to grow vegetables in a garden.  I mean, I grew up in the freakin’ Garden State.  I love fresh vegetables.  In our first house here in Atlanta, Sheepdog built me a beautiful raised garden bed that was twelve feet by twelve feet and I did acidity tests on the weird red clay dirt and I read all the way through Walter Reeves’ Guide to Gardening in Georgia and I tried to grow lettuce and carrots and cucumbers and zucchini and green beans and tomatoes.  I made pretty rows with labels and I talked to the seedlings and I watered them and I loved them.  Nothing but the beans survived.  But I had ginormous green beans out the wazoo, even after giving bags upon bags to neighbors.  So I froze them and we had beans every night for about a year.  Now I hate green beans.

A couple of years ago I tried to grow a deck garden with planters at the house we live in now but I wasn’t so successful.  Apparently this house is an anomaly that always faces the high-noon, hot sun on all four sides for more than six hours a day.   I think it rotates or something, on all three axises.  Whatever the cause, I can’t grow a food garden because everything gets fried in this hideous Hotlanta summer heat, and shade does not even matter because even on cloudy days you step outside even at eight in the morning and you can watch as living things just spontaneously combust around you.  We must live less than a mile from the sun.

The thing on the left needs a little more of the thing on the right

It actually is more efficient to grow and cook your peppers at the same time

Nevertheless, as is the case in most areas of my life, I follow the rules of insanity (doing the same things over and over again, while expecting a different outcome each time).  Except that I always tweak the plan so that this time I will get it right.  And this year I will beat the heat and find a spot that will allow them to thrive!  So today I will head out to a local garden center and pick up some plants and seedlings and I will plant them and talk to them and water them and love them.  I will enjoy working the soil with my hands and adding just the right amount of nutrients and tenderly repotting the tiny little plants one at a time and lovingly making each one a label that indicates my hopes for what they will be when they grow up.

And one day very soon I will step outside and see that my beautiful and lovingly cared for little deck garden has been completely fried like a drive-thru order at Popeye’s.  And I’ll have to once again go to the grocery store to get my lettuce and cucumbers and peppers and tomatoes.  And I’ll vow to try again next year, finally with just the right changes that will result in bountiful produce from our backyard.  And when you find a bag of ginormous green beans on your doorstep, you will know that I have finally succeeded.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…