Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Garden for One

You know that sore feeling you get the day after spending several hours doing manual labor of a type you've not done in a long, long time?  That is the feeling I have in my arms and legs this morning from digging in the dirt for most of yesterday evening to make my community garden plot look less like a 10 x 15 rectangle of dirt and more like...well, more like a garden.

I added my name to the community garden waiting list just over two years ago.  At the time the intent was to share the garden with a man I had begun dating a few months before.  I don't recall if the initial idea was mine or his, but we both thought the idea of sharing a garden space was a good one.  I remember having visions of us in straw hats, planting, weeding, harvesting and making wonderful fresh meals made with our garden bounty. Neither of us had any idea how long the wait was to obtain a space; and I at least, had no idea just how different  life would be two years later when a space finally became available.

Well, community garden waiting lists are apparently longer than some relationships.  The romance ended a year and a few months later and in the midst of all that goes along with unhappy endings (weeping, anger, too much wine and all night woe is me conversations with the cat) I completely forgot about the garden plot.  Had I remembered I might have called to have my name removed from the list because it was something we were going to do TOGETHER (weep, weep, sniffle, sniffle, etc) and along with the untagging of Facebook photos, the removal of pictures from frames, and deletion of his special ringtone from my iPhone, it would have fallen victim to the end of love purge.

Yes, I am grateful I missed this one.  When the call came about three weeks ago it was at least a few hours after my initial giddy excitement before I remembered how I came to put my name on the list.  It was only a few moments and a shoulder shrug after that, that I realized I didn't care because I now had a community garden plot!  Just as I have come to realize over these past several months that I do quite well living life on my own, I can certainly garden on my own too and I began sketching garden plans.

Last night I spent two hours digging and raking.  A friend gave me some scrap wood and stakes to edge the plot and I had squash, zucchini, cucumber, dill and lemon thyme plants to get in the ground.  At the end of the evening, I sat down in the middle of the soft soil, looking out at the sun setting behind the trees, and I began to see myself over the next few months, planting, weeding, and digging.  I imagined conversations with other gardeners to share advice and just to chat.  I saw tasty meals prepared with my garden bounty and shared with friends, the canning of dilly beans and cucumber pickles, and passing on extra veggies and herbs at the end of the season.

So, I am sure there is some metaphor here about new growth from composted loss, life going on, and.....

Is there such a thing as too many tomato plants?

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