I have officially dove into the world of gardening.
I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.
It all began with a friend who shared his love of farming and gardening. He told me of the abundance of fruits and vegetables I could easily produce on my own – eventually making jellies and salsas to give as gifts or keep for myself from the Mighty Stoneburner Garden.
Has a ring to it, doesn’t it? The way he stared off into space when talking about how wonderfully relaxing it would be and how much it would enhance my life made me too curious not to try.
So I began drawing pictures. Triangle? Square? A circle would look nice. I decided I wanted everything from strawberries to zucchini and all I had to do was stick ‘em in the ground and enjoy them in a few weeks. Despite my inability to keep house plants alive, it sounded wonderfully easy. At the very least, I figured I’d save a few bucks and minimize my frequent trips to the grocery store this summer.
As with everything in my life, my sister questioned my thought process on the garden. “Your yard is too small,” she reminded me. ”There’s a reason nobody else in you neighborhood has one. Most importantly, what will you do once you want to sell your home?”
Good point. Nobody is going to want something I built.
I explained that it wouldn’t be a huge garden; nobody had gardens because they were lazy, and if I hated it, I would push the lawn mower over it. Game over!
Well, now I have to prove her wrong, which usually doesn’t go well. My yard is indeed small, but I stepped off a place for it and devised a way to make it look very attractive. Of course the fact that it would save money would be an attractive quality to anyone, especially my sis. The budget was set at $100. This, I thought, was a generous amount which would surely help me create the adorably cute garden I was looking to have. I was going first-class.
The grand total so far? $300. That would have bought a decent camera! Or vegetables for an entire summer with no work involved other than putting them in a bag, dropping them in a cart and swiping a credit card.
Three. Hundred. Dollars.
I know what you’re thinking.
She probably went overboard with immaculate fountains and cutesy decorations – maybe even an automated underground watering system that also cleans up the dog crap around the yard and stirs the compost every 16 hours.
No. I tried to get by as cheap as possible. I used every coupon, rebate, and sale in town trying to get the best deal. I bought retaining wall bricks from under a sign that read “bargain area”. Most of the dirt came free from my friend’s farm. Still, with everything we needed, the total came up just short of $300.
We’ve had a few other hang-ups.
The wonderfully cute puppy was less than desired the day he got his huge paws up on my patio table and knocked over our pre-garden greenhouse. The greenhouse held several sprouts from seeds we planted in March in efforts to give the garden a head start and boy, oh boy were they looking good! Turns out the dog was just as excited, only he had a different destiny for them. In fact, he treated himself twice!
The good news is, we didn’t kill the dog, although plans are definitely in the works. I bought a fence to prevent the dog from helping himself to the now planted, good looking garden. I’ve warned my dog-owning brother that if I catch his dog doing any type of dog business in my garden, he’ll be living in a cardboard box in someone else’s back yard. Both of them, not just the dog.
Our backs are sore, and I’m a bit sunburned. He’s disappointed in the size of the garden, as he wanted one to fill my entire back yard and part of the neighbor’s, but I’m excited to watch it grow and learn a ton about gardening, cooking and canning.
In fact, the ol’ gardener admitted last night that he was impressed with my gardening skills (besides my trekking over the just-planted beans) and he actually came to the conclusion that the garden was an appropriate size.
I’m thrilled because it is absolutely as cute as a button and I have a 50/50 shot at making my sister slightly jealous, which of course will never be admitted.
Now, the only thing we have left to do is sell the dog without my brother finding out.
Purebred black lab, loves dirt! Doesn’t ever run away (unfortunately). $300.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.