Saturday, 17 September 2011

Balcony Garden

First - I was going to take today off from writing because it is Saturday.  Then I remembered every day is Saturday to me!  And I had a horrible nightmare last night that I have to share. 

When my husband Jesse and I first moved in together my Mom gave us a little plant.  Our love plant (he doesn't know that I've call it this and have come to superstitiously believe it symbolizes our love and relationship, god help us all if it dies).  Which, three years later, is miraculously still alive.  I am not known for my gardening skills, in fact I am known for my lack of gardening skills.  I was once described as having a 'brown thumb'.  Pretty much any plant that comes too close to me dies. 

Despite this, I often have ambitious dreams of gardens, flower and vegetable even strangely citrus fruit gardens where people will marvel at how I have managed to help them survive in such an inhospitable climate.  Okay, I have one over the top fantasy where I am never employed but instead turn a giant backyard into a vegetable garden and am able to grow all of my own food.  I then turn into a 1950s housewife and learn to can and make preserves and homemade baby food (also in this dream I have a lovely little troupe of children who enjoy homemade preserves not McD's).  I see now this is rather unrealistic, especially since my only gardening space is my balcony.

I have had some recent gardening success.  My love plant has not died.  I have had a bamboo for about a year that is still going strong.  I have also had a baby tree for a year and a half that is only brown around the bottom, so I still have faith it might make a comeback.  Inspired by these successes, as well as having the fall and dying marigolds bring back childhood memories of helping my Mom pluck off all the dead flowers on marigolds, I plucked some off for myself (aka stole from the neighbours gardens).  I then took them home and planted them.  In shocking news they have since started growing, enough that I feel as though they might be in a state to flower next year (oops I may have gotten carried away already picturing beds of flowers overflowing, an entire balcony covered in brilliant oranges and yellows and maybe even a hint of red).

Baby Marigolds growing on my balcony.

This, of course, all leads to my nightmare.  I woke up this morning with a vague but horrified recollection of seeing all my baby marigolds being swept up into a massive flood of water and the more I tried to water them the more they kept disappearing into the soil.  Obviously, Regis and I ran out to check on them first thing in the morning and they are all still fine. 

Regis humours me with a trip out to our garden.

My lazy weekend morning question is, what should I grow next?  How do I care for my baby marigolds over the winter?  Can I have the majestic garden of my dreams on my balcony?  I suppose the answer to these questions are - will I ever get a job?  Let me assure you, the second I start working I will toss all this stuff in the garbage and never dream of gardening again. 

One final confession - in case you think from this story I am in fact some sort of flower growing expert  - I had assumed my marigold success was because I had chosen the proper location and soil mixture combined with my loving attention.  Then, I noticed the extra pot on my balcony for leftover dirt and dead plants and garbage had also sprouted some marigolds, presumably ones I had just thrown away.  Maybe I should just give up now.

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