The first time I planted a garden was at my parents’ house. I had graduated college and was living at home and, like all good kids, I claimed a part of the yard for myself.
You see, my dad had always gardened when I was a kid. This was back before the deer in the area were little more than “wild pets.” My mom was healthy, my dad was healthy, the garden was exceptionally healthy. Irises, gladioli, azaleas (split from my grandmother’s hybrids), daffodils. A giant holly bush I suspect my dad just never wanted to get rid of. Plus, the hanging baskets all around the carport. But that doesn’t count the raspberry bushes, cherry trees, apple trees, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelon, beans and cucumbers. Growing up, we had a lot of fresh produce in the summer–but this was back when I said I hated flowers and couldn’t grow anything.
So when I came back home I realized I wanted a garden of my own.
I cleared out the old area where the tomatoes used to be (the only spot that could be fenced away from deer) and cleared out the beds where the cucumbers and beans could trellis. I bought my plants and I bought my seeds: tomatoes, peppers, chives, corn, beans and cucumbers.
I was ready.
At the beginning, it was going great. I weeded, albeit not too well. I made sure they were watered. I watched the cucumbers and beans, just waiting.
And then I turned back into a twenty-two year old girl who spent her time running around town with her friends and 0 time sleeping at her parents’ house.
The next thing I knew, my carefully constructed garden was overrun with weeds. Two-foot tall weeds. The corn looked sad (I only planted 2 rows) and I honestly can’t remember if I ever got a tomato off there. By the time I went to clean up the weeds and pick some of the fruit, it was too late. There was a den of baby bunnies living in the back, and by then my dad said, “Leave them be.”
So I did.
I got maybe two bowls of beans and a handful of cucumbers that year, plus glimpses of adorable baby bunnies.
Lesson learned: Weed your garden.