Once upon a time, I did a lot of gardening. This was pre-baby/pregnancy and my major destress technique other than walking. I love getting my hands in dirt, especially as a girl who grew up with very little outside space in her childhood home (back patio and tiny 4’x4′ patch out front).
I’ve never been super into flowers or anything. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely appreciate them and love to look at them, but gardening for the sake of having lots of flowers didn’t really do anything for me. Having said that, I’m all about hippy gardening and wildflower meadows are my thing for sure.
Gardening was never something I could appreciate until my mom brought home a cherry tomato plant in my late teens and started growing them in containers. Oh. My. God. They were incredible! Flavorful, juicy and they didn’t have that super thick skin you get on ones in the supermarket. They had soft, delicate skins and produced one heck of a bounty despite the fact that neither of us were expert gardeners who knew how to take the best care of them. Eating those homegrown cherry tomatoes set off a lightbulb in my brain. They were so much cheaper than buying your own, much better tasting and so much fun to nurture them, watch them grow and pick the fruits of your labor!
Needless to say, once I moved out I did start container gardening, but I didn’t get super into it until I moved out to England. We had a conservatory/sunroom that was PERFECT for growing things from seed. It was like a mini greenhouse and we hardly used it anyway. It was quickly evolved to house a variety of plants such as tomatoes. carrots, onions, chilis, zucchini/courgettes, pumpkins, various salad leaves and strawberries. Once they were ready to harden off, we transferred the pots outside. At the time, we were renting, so couldn’t put anything in the ground.
All of our plants moved with us (see above, with lots of our plants the first spring after moving in, after everything was tidied up and we had a solid veg patch). We inherited a mature Braeburn apple tree and put in a cherry tree out front. Since then, we have expanded to have a few flowers such as jasmine and bushes like lavender, rosemary, oregano and thyme. In the veg/fruit patch though, we have expanded to raspberries, blackberries, more strawberries, salad such as red-veined sorrel, little gem lettuce, spinach, cat nip, jasmine, a wide mix of beans, sugar snap peas, yellow squash, mizuna, blackberries and sunflowers. It was a ton of work, but I loved it.
Since getting pregnant though, very, very little has been done to my beloved patch aside from pruning. No growing from seed and nothing has been put in the ground. I want to expose the munchkin to more gardening now that he’s walking around and (hopefully) won’t eat the dirt so much now compared to last year. The only plants he has really connected with are the raspberries. I think he was heart broken once the frosts killed off the raspberries! He made a real habit of being pushed around in his cozy coupe last summer, making a pit stop on each lap at the raspberry canes and chowing down. Kiddo got to the point that he was such a raspberry snob that he point blank refused supermarket raspberries because they didn’t taste as good as our homegrown ones!
I don’t have much of a plan right now about what we’ll end up doing in the garden, but it will probably involve actually growing a few things from seed and getting some seedlings from a local gardening centre. I’ll most likely create some sort of physical border to deter the munchkin from walking straight onto the border and squishing the seedlings and maybe a few stone paths to the raspberries that are okay to walk on. I also fancy doing some sort of kiddie fairy garden or something at his height that he’ll enjoy.