Although we've recently moved and just had a new baby, I still have hopes and dreams of having a little bit of gardening in our lives this spring and summer. However, my plans are much less grand than last year- for a few reasons. First of all, our little girl is not quite yet 5 weeks old and the 2 1/2 year old is quite a workout! Secondly, we are now renting our house, so doing things like installing our own garden beds in the backyard is not really feasible. But I am undaunted! I will not let these things (completely) thwart my dreams of homegrown heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers and fresh herbs!
My Father (here he is with the new baby) is quite a gifted gardener, he grows all sorts of things, arugula, herbs, even a fig tree, which, this year, he pledges to guard more closely against bird thieves. What I truly love, though, about my Dad's gardening, is that it is much more free form and creative than mine- I planned those garden beds last year within an inch of their lives and meticulously germinated and transplanted things like a train schedule (I'm told my control freak side is occasionally endearing), whereas, my Dad actually has a section of his garden that is designated for 'volunteers.' This very well describes what is so great about my Dad, his point of view can be so unique. His 'volunteers' are plants that grow from the compost added to the pots. An example 'volunteer' could be the seed of a melon my parents enjoyed for breakfast one day, that has now decided to sprout and bloom. And that's a 'volunteer,' love it!
http://www.botanicalinterests.com/ but they are also sold at Whole Foods (but, the selection will vary from store to store). You may also buy plants for your gardening ambitions, which is absolutely great, too. Why do I like to grow them from seeds? First of all, your selection of things to grow is so much more diverse- I am not going to be able to find plants of speckled roman or green zebra tomatoes anywhere- nor will you be able to definitively determine the use or non use of chemicals- and since I plan to eat these and feed them to my babies, I like them as chemical free as I can get (I use organic soil and no commercial fertilizer). Finally, and probably the most joyful part of the experience, seeing these plants grow from a tiny seed into something that is not only beautiful, but gives you jewel like fruits is simply divine!
I wish you happy and beautiful gardening this summer, no matter how you go about it!
For more La Dolce Duchessa gardening posts, look here!