My neighborhood is full of experienced and dedicated vegetable gardeners. Barbara is a Master Gardener who spends her days with school children cultivating edible gardens — an incomparable teaching tool. Nicolle started somewhat small but now has one of the most impressive and prolific garden I know. Both are generous with their knowledge and extra produce.
More than a year ago and despite the searing summer heat here in Arizona, I decided to give my own garden a try. The first attempt was a total failure — too much shade. The puppy trounced the plot (twice), then birds found the few pathetic tomatoes I managed to grow. Maybe this gardening thing wasn’t my gig after all.
Nicolle told me about a local company that helps wannabe gardeners like me. They’ll plan, install, maintain, and advise on backyard gardens large or small. They’ll do as little or as much as you want. Not willing to try again without a little more know how on my side, I worked with Farmyard to plan and build garden number two.
Persistence is not my strong suit. I tend to be easily discouraged, and throw up my hands rather than risk failing royally. Thinking as a coach (retrospectively), I know when I’m weak in one area, finding a way to bring in something I’m good at can turn things around. In this case, it seems one of my signature strengths, “appreciation of beauty and excellence”, saved the day. I really wanted to watch those lush green vegetables grow. I knew that even just the sight of my garden flourishing would bring me exquisite pleasure.
I was right. Many of the greens were planted from seed. I watched impatiently for several weeks (probably because I shoved those tiny seeds too deep into the soil.) Finally sprouts emerged, and then, watch out, everything began growing like gangbusters.
Green onions, butter lettuce, arugula, broccoli, kale, mesclun, spinach
Then there’s the many nuanced tones of green…
against the rich brown soil…
encased in the smokey blue of the smooth wooden box…
set against the warm, textured, stucco wall.
Soon, I’m told, it will be time to retire some of the greens and make room for tomatoes and other spring crops.
This time, I’ll be ready for the birds.