Embracing Country Life — Adventures in Gardening

Since moving to the country, it struck me that it would be a great idea to plant a proper garden.

We could grow vegetables — a natural garden on our own soil, without chemicals or pesticides, or any of that other icky stuff.

I imagined tidy raised beds, plants marshalled row upon row, with cute little metal stakes to delineate the tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, carrots, and whatever other things people usually grow in vegetable gardens. Neat, orderly, perfect.

Our house in the city had beautiful gardens. Well tended flower beds, trees with “good bones”, a bumper crop of roses, and a raspberry bush that threatened each year to consume the entire back garden wall, and produced buckets of bright, sweet red berries. Of course, my input into Beautiful Flower Gardenthose gardens consisted of, “Um…I don’t know. Put in something pretty that matches the other plants.” and “Oh, that? That’s the blue one. I haven’t got a clue what kind of plant it is.”

Except for the raspberry plant. That was mine. One afternoon, Rupert and I were doing the spring planting. Well, Rupert was doing the spring planting. I was wandering around the garden, trowel in hand, modelling my fetching new sun hat. In my wanderings, I had the good fortune to trip and spill an entire box of bone meal in the garden, right in the spot where the path met the garden wall. I stuck a small raspberry plant in the dirt to hide the mess, brushed off my hands and walked away, discovering with delight later in the season that raspberry plants do indeed like LOTS of bone meal in their soil.

To make a long story short, I haven’t the foggiest idea about how to plant a garden. But still, I’m a Country Girl now, so I had better get on with learning country ways. A vegetable garden it is.

This couldn’t be too difficult. People plant vegetable gardens every day. Piece of cake.

Off I went to the local Co-op to buy seeds, pots, soil, tomato frames, and all the other bric-a-brac I needed to get started.

As an aside, while standing in the queue waiting to buy my treasure trove of gardening supplies, I overheard the dungarees-and-Wellington-boots clad gentleman ahead of me inquiring about “hay seed”. Tee hee. As another aside, my next stop after the Co-op was to buy a matching set of polka-dot plant pot holders, a cute pair of gardening gloves and another fetching sun hat. You can take the girl out of the city…


Anyway, I got my supplies home, spread them out, and plunged ahead.

  • Laid out the pots.
  • Filled them with potting soil.
  • Spent about an hour rearranging the polka-dot plant pot covers, deciding which should go where for maximum aesthetic appeal…

Back to business.

  • Collected up the packets of seeds.
  • Started reading the instructions on the seed packets…

…and had the first inkling that I was WAY out of my depth.

I think I’d better think this out again.




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