I’m growing vegetables and it makes me happy
I am the world’s worst gardener. I love the idea of growing things, especially edible things, but I never seem to be able to make much of a success of it. The thing I AM good at is leaving my garden to go crazy wild and uncultivated, filled with dandelions and buttercups and long grass and other little wildlings that Gardener’s World would probably frown upon. I’ve mowed the lawn twice in the last 2 years. Both times I broke the lawnmower. Erk.
But I optimistically covered over a patch of mud (and hundreds of dandelions) last year with carpet over winter, to ‘prepare’ it for the huge amounts of veg I was finally going to get round to planting this year. And of course, it just got left as I decided I haven’t got the time, skill or patience to grow veg. I want my garden to be wild and exciting. But I still felt I should be doing a lot more in the self-sufficiency stakes.
My mum came to the rescue. A fully green fingered member of the local horticultural society and grower of the scariest marrows ever seen, there isn’t much she doesn’t know about gardening. It’s obviously not genetic.
In the space of an afternoon, she’d cajoled me into reluctantly clearing a little space into which we were going to plant some VEG! I also discovered that our 3-year-old untended compost is amazing. Who knew?
We planted and named and I gave each bulb and seed a little pep talk as it began its journey into the dark, nutritious earth. The soil stuck in my fingernails and up my arms and I loved it. I started to become very protective of my potential vegetables, nestled in their new homes. We watered them well and left them to nature, full of good wishes and surrounded by a compost meal of old teabags and eggshells. Just like that, I had a small veg patch.
I’ve talked to them every day. I think about them when I’m at work. I spend a good chunk of time sprinkling them with water, willing them to grow.
And this week, they’ve done just that. I sit on my rope swing and send good vibes and make ‘growing’ noises in their general direction. I think I’ve gone quite mad. But truthfully, the sight of their tentative green shoots, their little leaves unfurling, makes me quite proud. An achievement, no matter how small.
Gardening. I might just get the hang of it yet.