It isn’t easy for the gardeners on this island. There is very little natural soil. We live off grid on a rock. What soil there is, has been created by determined hands. Hands determined to grow food despite the less than optimum conditions.
The soil in our garden was prepared lovingly for twenty years by our predecessors.. Careful gatherings of leaves, seaweed, bones, household compost and pond muck created the deepest richest soil that a plant could want to live in. My plants and I are thankful.
It isn’t just the lack of soil which provides the challenge to our island gardeners..When we leave the garden at night to fall in bed exhausted from our days work, nature itself, walking in the disguise of a raccoon, vole, rabbit or deer challenges us. The fences of the gardens are tested every night and when the boundaries fail, we the gardeners arrive in the morning to find our lettuce nipped and our tomatoes vanished. Our work begins again for we are an optimistic bunch… This time, we think, no animal will ever be able to breach the wall….
We have plenty of sun for our gardens but water is in short supply. We pump our water from a well and if we haven’t gathered enough over the winter in our tanks, by July we will find our gardens mere dust bowls filled with crooked wee carrots and bitter greens.
I am unusual on the island. I prefer to put my energies into flowers.. Sure, I am trying to grow vegetables too.. But, I focus my energies on flowers. I do grow vegetables that I will be able to can or store for our consumption during the winter months. During the summer we have easy access to the grocery store in the big city for our healthy food.. In the winter with trips to the city less reliable I need access to leeks, garlic, onions, beets, tomatoes and squash for my soups and sauces.
The flowers though, that is what I love… I need to be able to grow flowers which allow me to sit surrounded by their scent and the privacy of their branches The birds, butterflies and dragon flies are my entertainment… It’s been three years and I have planted a lot of flowers . I was missing a pond.. It took two years to get E on board with the idea but once he was convinced there was no slowing him down. He finished it in a week. Total cost was the glue for the pond liner and the price for the plants and six gold-fish… Thanks to all of our neighbours who contributed their bits and pieces to make it happen.
behold the pond