Saturday, June 11, 2011

blog #466 >> Wide Open Spaces

This year has been a gardening dilemma. As much as I love to garden. I know with working full time, I cannot keep up a garden all on my own. Last year, I spent waaaaayyy too much time out there, and although it is nice, I realize I need some help. The apartment garden is technically a community garden... but I always have a really hard time finding help. Last year and part of the year before, I had to keep it up all on my own. People move and come and go, plus it's hard work. Most people like the idea of a community garden, but not the work of actually keeping up a community garden. This year my parents also started a VERY large garden that they wanted extra help with. And last year I was having a hard time just taking care of the littler one! So I was very thrilled when some of the neighbors wanted to help out in the community apartment garden this year. They're actually the neighbors who started it five years ago. They moved back to Portland and are ready to start anew. I now realize I may have overstated the fact that I REALLY needed some help in the garden. I did this mainly due to the fact that in the past anyone who wants to help either: a) Wants to help late in the fall... and in actuality, only wants to help eat the produce, even though they haven't helped grow any of it. or b) They say they want to help with the garden and drop out as soon as the weather turns nice. What can I say? People are flakes! Therefore I have stooped to practically begging for help, "You can do pretty much whatever you want with the garden, I don't mind... just please don't flake out on me!" If I were a better judge of character, I probably wouldn't have taken that approach. I think I overdid the "I don't really care," and "do whatever you want to," part. Because now I realize that not only did they sincerely want to help, but I think they didn't really want my help. I really just wanted a little patch of my own over by my strawberries and herbs to plant some lettuce, but they seemed against that. They said I could plant wherever I wanted, but they didn't want to give me a small allotment, which was actually all I wanted. They truly are very friendly and good neighbors, but they're a bit bossy. I think they still see it as their garden that they started five years ago. Unfortunately, I lack the inner resolve to stand up for myself in any way. Or at least I won't be doing so this time, since I did say they could do whatever they wanted with it... and they're taking me at my word. So therefore I'll be pretty much taking a break from the community apartment garden this year and letting the other couple care for it. I'm sure they'll do a great job and I'll just keep one foot in the mud so to speak, and help with the watering a bit. Instead I think I'm going to focus my gardening skills on more wide open sp a c..e...s . . ........... . ..........

As you can see my parent's garden is sprawling with space. There's room for pretty much anything in here and LOTS of it. It's been a cold, rainy, yucky year, but I'm hoping for a nice long warm fall. There's even a little garden bunny who's continually getting into the tomatoes. I've named him Peter. I helped my parents get the last of it into the ground last weekend.

There's going to be potatoes in this section.

Charlie my four year old nephew was helping me plant some seeds... well a four year old doesn't really help, it's more work for them to help than to just do it yourself, but they think it's really fun, and it's a good education. I remember one of the kids came out when I was in the community garden and asked what my tomato plant was... "Well, it's a tomato plant." I said, "Oh, I thought those grew on trees!" said the neighbor kid... This is why we need to keep gardens! Anyhow, Charlie was very good at putting the seeds in the little holes, sprinkling the dirt on top, and giving them a little drink with his tiny watering can. Later we went into the house for dinner and when he came back out he noticed the starts I had planted earlier and said, "WOW, Those seeds really growd fast!" he he! Did I correct him? Nah, you're only four once. The world only seems that wonderful for such a short time. Enjoy it while you can! Now, let's run up and down the rows barefoot through the mud! weeee!!!

This is where the radishes are.

And here are the onions.

And a tomato tree.

And here's a few quick pics of the apartment garden this year.

The strawberries...

And the chives are looking lovely as well.

Happy Gardening!

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