Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Not Too Late.

For some time now I've wanted my own garden. It's a dream of mine to turn out like my mother, Carol, and have a flourishing and verdant green space full of flowers, fruits, veggies and garden tableaus everywhere you look. Over the years I have watched as her gardens take off and inevitably, eclipse every other house on the block, be it in our tiny condo backyard when I was in elementary school, to the expansive vegetable raised beds she now has. And not to forget my amazing step-dad, Stan, who builds the beds and tends to them with her, especially taking on pet projects such as Ellie's Potato Garden. This is his fantastic idea to dedicate the potato patch to my 1-year old niece for digging up come fall.

Unfortunately, however, until now I was under the mistaken opinion that a garden had to belong to me to be useful or worth it. As in, a house that *I* own, in a yard that is mine to dig and plant how I wish that will stay mine forever. This fantasy goes along with the "And then the prince comes down and kisses me and awakens me from 100 years slumber and we slay the dragon and move into our white-picked-fenced home on Cherry Street, USA where all the little children play Kick-the-Stick in the street and the wives greet the husbands with martini in hand" fantasy. Needless to say, not happening. Took me 30 years to realize that my life won't ever look like that. And I have to say, I'm okay with it!

So, onto the garden, then. I have one, it's mine for now, it's 11 blocks away and it is fantastic. I found a community garden plot opening and for $25 a year it's mine. Free water, okay soil and approximately 6x3 feet of space to plant!

Now, I have to back up a bit and tell a little story. Nancy is the woman who runs the community garden and compost program. I signed up for the plot a month or two ago, paid my dues and then promptly fell into personal chaos, as is prone to happen. The plot went unplanted, and unheeded and neglected for that time. I was lamenting my life (giving little regard to my poor garden space) when I got an email from Nancy asking if I still wanted the plot since she had noticed no activity. I thought, I can't handle another commitment right now, so I emailed her back saying cheerfully that she might as well give it to someone who had more time and energy to plant, since I wasn't getting around to it. Well, Nancy emailed me right back and reading it from my phone, I saw in my inbox the email and just the first line. It read,

Jordan, it's not too late.

Whoa. I read that and stopped in my tracks. It's not too late. Not too late to plant a tomato and zucchini, is what she meant, but Not.Too.Late. is what I read. Not too late to find a career path, change my diet, find my inner sanctuary, save myself, be alive, live fully is what I saw when I read her email. So I emailed Nancy back with a chuckle out loud and told her okay, that she'd convinced me and that I'd get started that week.

What I saw when I got to my garden to plant!

When I got to my garden to plant, I found that Nancy had not only weeded my garden, but left a few volunteer plants (extra bonus plants that have sprouted up without having been intentionally planted): 4 tomatoes and 1 possible zucchini. Huzzah, my garden is ready to be planted!

I ended up with 7 tomato plants, my volunteer zucchini, 1 crookneck yellow squash start, summer squash from seed, seed basil (if it takes), a few mixed lettuce starts, and lettuce from seed.

Added extra compost and grass clippings 
I added extra compost and grass clipping mulch a few days later. Hopefully it will help with my soil quality. I am still green (ha!) at this gardening thing and am constantly learning what to do and not do (see below! I planted the lettuce seeds a bit to compactly and will need to thin by 20-30%). Check back for garden progress over the summer!

Things are growing!


  1. Nice looking garden Jordan and good advice form Nancy. Something we should all keep in mind as our different things grow in over the summer. :)

  2. Not too late Jordan! Not too late!