Mary Mary Quite Contrary

I started a mini container garden this week in what I call my “front yard.” It’s more like a teensy patch of ground perched before my front door, half of which is covered by the ugliest bush known to the Americas (although I am grateful for the privacy it gives me), a quarter of which is blanketed in little white flowers, “ground cover,” and the rest of which is a wasteland of randomly-planted perennials. I also have a long narrow driveway that would be awesome for a plethora of plants and flowers…if it weren’t completely covered in rocks—and not the pretty kind. I’m a renter; I don’t care that much about the aesthetics of my outside space.

I do, however, want a little more control over my front patch; I also want to see if I could nurture some veggies from starts to the dinner plate. This is the first time since I’ve flown the coop that I’ve had any kind of room for gardening, albeit container gardening. I remember my father with the rototiller in the backyard garden behind our old farmhouse when I was a young girl. I also remember not wanting to help with any of it, but I sure did like the fresh corn on the cob!

I have been exponentially more excited each day this week as my “garden pimp,” as I fondly named her, brings me more vegetable starts and herbs from her large garden in Warren, Oregon. She’s like my own personal farmer’s market. First there were the lobelia flowers, planted in painted cone-shaped containers, which I stuck in the ground to the right of the ugly bush. The next day it was my “salad bowl,” a big planter containing arugula, romaine, the red “giggly lettuce” (I don’t know the name of this one…I’ve always called it that.), and chives. In addition I got oregano in a pot made out of a decorated recycled tin can. Next week:  tomatoes, mint, cilantro, and potatoes! As I write this I am positively giddy at the amount I am taking on and the adventurous spirit I have claimed in this project.

I feel like I am growing a centimeter or two every time I add something to my garden. I am continually surprised by the things that have come to interest me in my adulthood; gardening was never something I thought I would be absorbed by. Maybe the Pacific Northwest mindset has taken over my brain. Portland is a haven for DIY (Do It Yourself), from gardening, to building structures, to recycling and reusing anything and everything.

Maybe it’s my biological clock ticking. I’m responsible for a living thing! Granted, I’m not going to mourn if my plants don’t make it, but I will probably burst with pride as they bloom to succulent perfection during the summer.

Next step: a cat?

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