Over the years my garden has grown in more ways than one. Each season the plants grow to flourish and create a bounty of food. Although some years there is less of the flourishing and more of the failing. But that is ok. Some seasons just aren’t ideal for pumpkins or garlic or whatever crop it is that makes you hang your head in shame. But these situations are about growing as a gardener, learning what each crop likes and needs and finding out how best to provide that in your garden. While those plants may not grow, as a gardener you grow.
The other thing the garden has done is grow in size. I originally started out with four humble beds and somehow they became 36. It seems to have been a steady consistent growth as I found a garden plan from 2010 that only had 19 beds. To be honest I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I’m glad it did. I can grow everything my family needs each year – provided the crops don’t fail.
And I created most of this with my bare hands. Well I exaggerate. There were tools and Hubby the Un-Gardener has been on hand to help. And while he has been marvellous when digging under supervision and strict instruction, there have been times when the help hasn’t been helpful. I haven’t let him mow around the garden in years – not since he mowed over the cucumbers several years ago. Then goodness knows how many of my tools he has broken with his overzealous activities. Just the other day he broke the tine on my lovely wooden handled fork. But he means well and so he’s still welcome in the garden.
A garden that keeps growing in size can throw up some logistical issues that you never really consider as you merrily create more space for more food. Over the summer months these food producing plants can get a little thirsty and delivering enough water by hose each day can take hours. So after many hours trying to wrap my head around the conundrum of irrigation I came up with some interestingly innovative irrigation solutions. You can read about them for your own amusement here:
- Well that was a waste of time
- Epic Fail
- Finally I can play with my new toys
- It is raining but I don’t care
Now the good people at Gardena New Zealand have been watching me (probably with mild amusement) for several years. At one point they must have felt sorry for me and sent me a wonderful Gardena 6 hose Automatic Water Distributor and a Gardena Premium Water Computer to make things easier for irrigating my large veggie patch. Of course being the creative soul that I am this also bought up some amusing posts and who can forget the wonderful yet terrible Irrigation Trolley MK I: To get water hammer hammer saw saw. MK II was a little better, but not much: Modify.
However after seeing me muddle through with cheap or inadequate tools and wonky, shonky hose set ups, they decided I was in desperate need of rescue and to be honest they were probably right. They reached out to me and asked if they could help. They would show me the proper way to irrigate my garden taking into consideration all the complexities of crop rotation and plants that hate getting their leaves wet, not to mention water pressure and which little nozzle is the right one for the job. I was so relieved. Finally someone was going to take me aside and teach me how to water my garden the right way and I can stop guessing. And the best bit is I can share this knowledge with you, so for once and for all, all those cute little connectors and nozzles and valves and bits and bobs at the garden centre needn’t be a mystery anymore!
I think they may have also felt sorry for me after Hubby the Un-Gardeners trail of destruction across my tool shed and so now I have some wonderful shiny new tools, but I’m left with a conundrum, do I allow Hubby the Un-Gardener to continue his role as chief digger safe in the knowledge that it would be next to impossible to break these tools, or do I save selfishly them for my use only, which will mean I’ll have to do all the digging?
Come again soon – my gardening experience has just become a whole lot more pleasurable
Sarah the Gardener : o)