There’s something you must know about me: I love to garden. My parents always kept a very large garden and enjoyed it throughout the summer and put up food for the winter. Sometimes, they kept two large gardens. And, there were always additional raspberry, garlic, and herb gardens too. That’s not even to mention the multiple orchards that my dad tends. So, yeah, I like to garden. It’s in my blood.
When I was a little girl, I stole a bean and grew it in a cup in my windowsill. That bean grew until it ran out of space. Maybe it was transferred to the garden. Maybe it was tossed. Maybe I let it die. I don’t remember what happened to it. But, ever since I moved out of my parents’ home, I’ve kept houseplants–though I don’t love houseplants as much as I love gardening. Like my mother, I like expressive plants that change with the seasons, produce, die, or live, but change.
I’ve also taken every opportunity I’ve had to grow something on a patio. When I was an undergrad, I grew daisies in a small plot of soil by my apartment patio. Those daisies were amazing! I wish I could remember the variety. They really thrived. A year after I moved out, I went back and saw that they were still there, but unattended, unwatered, and smaller. They are probably long gone now, years later.
I still wish I had more space for gardening, but I’m making use of what I have: a patio, a shaded back patio, and some shaded, rock hard soil that’s mostly clay. Despite these setbacks, I’ve actually been able to grow quite a few plants this summer, and they seem to be flourishing. An enormous tree was recently removed from my back patio, so the space that was once completely shaded is now only partially shaded. That means I can grow a few things, but since the tree was only removed a few weeks ago, it’s really too late to grow anything too substantial. I’ve got a few sunflowers going back there, and that’s only because I already had the seed.
Maybe next year I’ll be able to do more with the space. But, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll even be here next year. I’m a home body who would love nothing more than to have a space to live long-term, a space that included lots of room for gardening, but that’s not my situation. I’ve never imagined myself as someone who lived in the city permanently, and yet right now, that doesn’t seem like such a stretch.