The first time I grew vegetables I was 24 and pregnant with my first son. I remember it like it was yesterday. I always loved being pregnant ~ one of life's most spectacular, miraculous joys. We had a quarter of an acre of garden, with lots of nooks and crannies, so I set out designing it, even though I had no clue what I was doing, just a dream and a vision. It was on a very steep slope, with lots of concrete so we had to hire a big digger and other big heavy machinery to get rid of all the rubble, and to put down the top soil for the vegetable garden. I had no clue where to start with the growing of veg so I winged it...
I remember not too long after I had planted the carrots it was time to thin them out, so here I was sitting taking each little individual teeny weeny carrot out and laying them all out in rows to be planted at exactly the right depth and distance apart from each other, well having said that I never usually measure things exactly as I have a really good eye for this. My neighbour walked by and was intrigued by what I was doing with all these, approx 200 tiny carrots all sitting waiting to get replanted. Have you ever felt like a complete plonker? Yep, I have many times...When he smiled a big smile, trying not to laugh and advised me that thinning carrots out didn't mean you had to actually take each one out individually etc...etc...Thankfully things have progressed as we live and we learn.
Anyways I've always loved growing things, watching them, touching them, smelling their beautiful aroma. One of the best aromas ever is an onion or new potatoes freshly out of the ground. I say growing things as opposed to gardening as I'm not all that keen on weeding, and yet as sure as night meets day it has to be done.
So because of this love of growing it stood to reason that the first thing I'd want to do when I started getting outside again was gardening. Of course I had to be careful not to run before I could walk which is 'of course' what I always tend to do. But I was fortunate as my husband and three sons recognised this and know how to handle it. So they spent many days preparing the land, getting rid of the stones, putting down the manure etc....So all I had to do was sew the seeds and plant things. I love gardening with my bare feet if I can, I did this instinctively even before 'earthing' became a 'thing.'
We managed to get a greenhouse for free from a neighbour and although it wasn't a glass one it did the job. Organic gardening, getting in touch with mother nature, breathing in that fabulous fresh air, and actually just focusing on the present moment, enriches your life and brings about a wonderful therapeutic enhancement which helps to lift your spirits. When I first started growing things again my exuberance was like the excitement of a small child going out into the world full of miraculous possibilities, doing something for the very first time.
Some things worked out and some didn't for various reasons, but all in all I planted, six variations of tomatoes, peas, purple broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, purple kale, spinach, four variations of lettuce, courgettes, butternut squash, onions, red onion, garlic, chives, leeks, six types of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, two different varieties of beetroot, peppers, chilli, rosemary, lemon thyme, lemon balm, parsley, basil, coriander, sage, apple mint, apples, elderflower, radish, three variations of lavender, camomile and calendula.
Delightful feeling it was looking after these beauties and watching them grow. Wonderful ~ beautiful ~ heart warming memories...
What do you like to grow? Have you got any good tips to share?