Thursday, October 22, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

My dreams of being reliant on home grown food from our veggie patch are far from being realised. In my most picturesque imaginings, everything we eat has been grown organically several steps from our back door. Chickens gossip in the garden. Bees navigate from flowers to hive. And I have a quaint potting shed stacked just so with rustic looking pots and handmade gardening tools. I know I could make it a reality. I have the space, the knowledge and the physical ability to turn the earth, sow the seeds, pull the weeds, harvest the crops. What I lack though is time. (And I have a husband that would be just as happy living in an apartment.) One can do everything, just not at once. Right now my priorities are my family and my business. The time I can dedicate to the garden tends to happen in spurts. At such times I reduce each garden to just soil, making piles of spent veggie plants and towering weeds, before planting my next crop of seasonal sure fire winners. 

Right now my tomato plants are sprawling lazily, as they weren't tied up as often as they should have been - but they are bursting with fruit. Four blue berry bushes are coming along, with a sprinkling of green berries promising great things for the future. The mulberries are on the wane after buckets full of precious fruit this year. The herbs are going to seed, and so shall I let them. (Self sown herbs are such a handy and hardy plant.) My mandarin tree is in no hurry to reach its full dwarf height. There's not a chicken or a bee hive in sight. Just two black cats, one old and one youthful, who follow pools of sunlight and nap days away.

Perhaps when I've retired you will find me filling my days in the garden with earth covered gum boots and an old straw hat. Grandchildren will pick strawberries from beneath wild mint, collect falling passionfruit and hunt for snails with me after rain. My potting shed will be the envy of a country living magazine shoot and my pantry will be filled with home made jams and pickles. But for now I'm content to do a little here and a little there and harvest my tomatoes with a sense of satisfaction that only gardening can give.

So tell me, how does your garden grow? What are your pottering dreams made of?
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