Monday, May 6, 2013

Gardening. . . It’s Just Not the Same

Have you seen those pictures on Facebook where someone posts about “What others think I do; What I think I do; What I really do, etc.?”

Gardening is kind of like that for me.

What I wish gardening was:

I want gardening to be as easy as caring for my lilacs. I don’t water them, they require very little maintenance, and yet each year, they provide a beautiful display of blossoms that smell lovely and look fantastic!


White Lilac

Our White Lilac in Bloom


What I thought gardening was:

As a child who grew up in a large missionary family, I thought I was familiar with gardening. We would ask a friend who had a tractor to come cultivate our garden. Our garden was probably three times as big as our house. (In my mind, it was ten times as big, but I wrote three to be safe!)

We planted and planted and planted. I don’t have vivid memories of it, but it seemed like nearly every summer day, we had a gardening job to do. We planted OODLES of potatoes and carrots so that we would have enough to store in our cellar all winter. Cucumbers were another big part of our garden. We also planted beans, corn, cabbage, and tried to plant lettuce. It was a large job, but we had a large family, and although some days I managed to barter and do house cleaning instead of gardening, many of my summer days were spent in the garden.

In the fall, we’d can and can and can. I remember blanching corn and green beans over an open fire in our yard because we had no propane to run our indoor stove. I suppose in the long run it kept the house cooler, but it was a huge chore!

What my husband says gardening is:

To my husband, gardening is a similar memory. Every year, his mom would have a tractor come cultivate the land, and then they would plant. His mother would send each of the boys out with a 5 gallon bucket every Saturday, and they had to fill it with weeds. Then, when fall came, they canned and canned and canned.

Jason loves the value of gardening, and has wanted to try it for years, so. . .

What gardening really has been: (so far)

In mid-March, we started seeds inside. It was a fun project to watch them as they grew! They really flourished, and we were excited to have such good success.



Our Sprouts

We checked into renting a tiller. Come to find out, to rent one was about a fourth the price of buying one that we (and by we I mean my amazingly thrifty husband) found on sale. So, we ended up buying a tiller. It’s a good thing too, because we used it, and used it, and used it! We live on the side of a mountain, so the soil is full of rocks. As far as we know, there has not been a garden here before, but if there was, it was years and years ago.

After tilling, we started picking out rocks and sod. A couple of our nephews happily helped us out, and were able to earn some money in the process. We filled not one 5 gallon bucket, not two 5 gallon buckets, but about 60 gallons worth of rocks and sod… and we aren’t nearly done.

Next, we planted. We were super grateful for the help of one of the teens from our youth group. She had a service project to do, and this fit her time schedule. She did a fantastic job, and we got the garden planted in about an hour. We planted green beans, peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Now, we are simply waiting to see what happens. Do you have any advice for us as new gardeners?


Our Little Garden

The rows aren’t perfect. The soil isn’t great, but we’re excited to see what success comes. We’d love any input you can give us about gardening experience, funny stories, and more.


  1. Gardening also has many memories for me...I love gardening and would NEVER barter to do housework instead. Actually, one year I bartered to get to work in the garden every day instead of housework. I enjoy the canning too. This year gardening has taken on new meaning. My grandchildren are helping in the garden and helped choose what to plant. And when it is just me in the garden, I find it is a wonderfully peaceful time to pray.
    Enjoy your garden...and making new memories.
    Aunt Susie

  2. I remember some of the same gardens you do - I think. I particularly enjoyed the times when I got to make a day trip and spend the entire day working in the garden. Now, my little garden is somewhat more of a chore, but also more relaxing.

    Love the pictures by the way.


  3. I am jealous of your lilacs! :-) I have been watching as a few bushes in the neighborhood have blossomed and tried to come up with the courage to go knock on a door and ask to take a few branches... But the courage still has not come and I try to enjoy them from a distance. :-)


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