by underswansea


Rain on and off most of the day. It was spitting in the morning with wind from the south. We intended to swim the lake, it’s been so nice, but took to the river instead. Everyone is bracing for a hot dry summer. Lisa and I have been watering the garden regularly, giving the plants a head start, knowing they will be on their own soon enough.

Recently, a neighbour told me a garden is more trouble than it’s worth. He was looking at my garden when he said it. He said, ‘If you added up your time and effort you could buy everything at the supermarket for half the price.’ I didn’t disagree nor try and expose the other virtues of gardening. There is only one reason to argue – to change somebody’s mind, and I wasn’t going to change his.

Now the kids have moved away, our garden is too big for us. I still have pickled beans and salsa in the cellar that will be lucky to be eaten by the time new stuff is on the vine. The lettuce and beet greens are going crazy and I plan on picking and bagging a bunch to take to friends tomorrow. Now everything is up, I look at the garden’s layout to see where I can plant more seeds. ‘Filling in holes’, is what my father called this.Yet I can’t bear to turn it into lawn or even flowers (that would only be eaten by deer anyway). The garden has produced for us for 25 seasons. In the spring the kids would bury themselves in the freshly tilled soil. They picked their favorite vegetables – corn, lettuce, peas, chard and kohlrabi – right through till fall. The garden fed us, although, unlike our predecessors we would have made out fine without it. Times have changed for the better, I don’t have to look at the impending hot spell as not being able to eat in the winter when the food ran out.

I should have told my nieghbour it takes very little time and effort to grow a garden in this day and age.

Tomorrow I’ll give him a bag of fresh lettuce and beet greens. He’ll enjoy them, but not as much as me.