A bumper harvest
As the showy autumn leaves turn magnificent shades of colour, I reflect on my first foray into the world of gardening, its successes and challenges.
Last fall, I contemplated the benefits of renewal, re-energizing and the possible pursuit of a new goal.
Thus began my relentless pursuit of a future as a hobbyist gardener. I wrote:
What happens to perennials as they shut down for winter? Do they have a mission for the coming year? Probably, since the new plants come in stronger and more vibrant, given some TLC.
My goals weren’t lofty. For my vegetable patch pursuits, all I hoped for in a “harvest” were a lone cucumber and three tomatoes - and I promised to share my results here.
Astonishingly, I produced (by my standards), a bumper crop!
Using the old trial and error method (which works for just about anything in life), I planted, transplanted, watered, and clipped my way through spring, summer and early fall.
Green-thumbed friends advised me to talk to my plants, so I did, gently coaxing them to bear fruit. An unfortunate by-product of this was that our friendly neighbours concluded that I had lost my proverbial marbles.
Several times I wanted to quit, but I persevered, motivated by the appearance every few days, of an eggplant here, some cucumbers there, several bunches of tomatoes here, endless lettuce, kale and beans. Being sensitive to sun, bees, wasps, tiny stinging insects, certain weeds, etc., each day I covered myself up to look like an astronaut about to take off for Mars. Thus armed, I further equipped myself with shears, pruners, baskets to carry off the fruits of my labour, and a big smile on my face when I returned to the kitchen, laden with garden goodies.
My hard work paid off! I’ve produced flowers, fruits and vegetables a-plenty!
Now, as I wallow in satisfaction, I slowly realize I’m staring at an end-of-season garden that must be cleaned up and prepped for next year. Not something I’m looking forward to!
Ah well, it can’t all be sweet. To be successful, one needs to invest in a lot of learning, planning, doing, failing, assessing and being patient. Only then will achievement follow.
I still can’t call myself a gardener, but for me this has been a sea change. I certainly can relate to the hard work and sheer determination it takes to cultivate a new hobby that was previously distasteful.
So I’m energized, again! Determined to grow and blossom as a hobbyist gardener. Proud that I accomplished something I used to detest and made it something I just might grow to love!
As the leaves fall and swirl about us, and the trees sit back and consider their plan for the coming year, I’m doing the same, and thinking about cauliflower and broccoli …. in my 2022 vegetable patch.
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