December 14th. Eleven days to Christmas in the god awful year of 2020 with a puppy at her feet, an old woman’s thoughts turn to the summer ahead and the bounty she will welcome from her garden.
The most frustrating part of living in the townhouse ten years ago, in our brief attempt at a simple life, was having no reason to pore through seed catalogues in the winter. No reason to plan a new garden bed, no reason, really, to dream. I hated it!
Every fall, I keep notes of the successes and failures of my summer’s garden. I make mention of ideas for the next year. Thoughts like “what about a Camelia next year?” and ” Plant more Daffodil bulbs!” have been mentioned as well as the more insistent “DO NOT PLANT TURNIP SEEDS” are found on the pages of my garden journal. Last summer, for the ninth year in a row, I wrote “less tomatoes and no more zucchini!”.
I ordered my seeds today. Lots and lots of seeds from a place in the Maritimes, Vesey’s. They are expensive but I have been unhappy with West Coast Seeds and miserably disappointed with Saltspring Island seeds in the past. It can’t hurt to give these guys a try and save half of them for the next year to mitigate the costs. There are five different types of tomatoes, some herbs, onions, carrots, cucumber, peppers, potatoes, and asparagus. There is lettuce and spinach, and peas. There are absolutely no zucchini.
I will try growing potatoes this year in the “potato bags” I have ordered on line. There is no room in the garden beds for them and it is always fun to try something new. I imagine you are asking yourselves how I am going to start all of these vegetables seeds in the spring with no greenhouse.
This brings me to E’s new winter project. As you remember, he built a greenhouse a few years ago which he wasn’t happy with and never really finished. Then a tree landed on it and well, yadda yadda yadda there is a beautifully poured concrete pad just begging to have a greenhouse on it. With all that is happening in the world it seems prudent to make sure we have plenty of fresh food coming from our garden again this summer. Fortunately, we are going to have all the water we will need to make sure the garden will be a success.
A lot of the supplies we need for a greenhouse are already here and waiting to be reused and the order is in for the other lumber we need. It isn’t urgent. The majority of the seeds don’t need to be planted until March but I would really like to try growing some lettuce in the winter.
I have always loved the idea of a garden bursting with beautiful flowers but, living here, I have grown to appreciate the joy found with the flavours and convenience of home grown vegetables. I expect to put more effort into the deck garden this summer also but that will be a conversation we can have in the spring.
The knowledge that I will actually have the water I need to make my garden plans come to fruition is exciting for me. It may be winter outside but, here in my chair with a nice glass of Pinot Noir in my hand, surrounded by seed catalogues and greenhouse plans, summer is inside and
seemingly within reach