Sadly, those times have past my friends.
As much as I wish it wasn't, gardening is a science. Soil, light, water, wind, rain, heat. They have to be right for these little seeds to turn into tasty plants. The reality is that before you have a good garden, the summer before you have a trial by fire, why the hell is nothing working, garden.
Currently I have a, WHY IS NOTHING WORKING? Garden.
I wanted to keep it a secret you see, my garden failure, but then Grumbles went and shared her tomato monsters with the world and suddenly I had flashbacks to my masterpiece that was my garden last summer, and OH THE JEALOUSY.
Want to see my mess? My things I have nothing to brag about seeing as it is already nearly August and I've tasted only a handful of spinach leaves?
Fine, I show you my shameful excuse for a "garden." Please don't laugh.
These tiny tiny seeds were started in early MAY. It is now nearly August and I am no closer to adding basil, oregano, parsley or cilantro to my meals than I was in the dead of winter. Why herbs, why do you forsake me?
In Olympia I started seeds, they took off in about 17 seconds, two weeks later they were in the garden, in minutes I was picking tasty leaves. In Alaska I apparently bought snail speed herbs that hate me. And guess what? I hate you too.
Next on my list of ways I suck at gardening we have my two types of lettuce and some green onions. All of which were seeded in MAY and are still pathetic, weirdly shrived little messes in late JULY. Lettuce for those who are unaware are supposed to be ready to eat in about 30-45 days. Hmmmm.
I believe I have a few things working against me. I think first of all they are actually getting too much sun, and the fact that they sit on the balcony edge means they're being abused by wind.
SO, in a last ditch attempt to eat something before the snow comes I've removed the pot from the ledge and placed it on the floor of our deck so that the lettuce might receive direct sun only half of the day. We'll see if I have even one leaf of lettuce before October. Fingers crossed.
OK ok, I'm being slightly dramatic. There are two areas where I have not totally fallen on my ass. Beans and spinach. I didn't get around to planting anything until mid to late May seeing as we'd just moved and my brain was having a hard time thinking of anything other than, "Where the hell did the cheese grater go?" Planting and gardening was hard to jump on board with so I got a really late start.
Considering I also had a SPECTACULAR failure right out the gate when all my herb and bean seedlings died on me (really this has been a whopping failure in garden land) I don't think these particular beans were even planted until nearly June. JUNE PEOPLE.
But, they're alive. They're growing! And if they keep it up I might have a bean by late September. Maybe.
And finally we have spinach. This is my second pot of spinach, which you can see I have to get to work plucking leaves asap since it's starting to flower.
My first batch of spinach was a tremendous FAILURE. It got all brown and burnt around the leaves and I think I only tasted ONE little leaf from my first pot. But I was smart enough to plant this second batch when I saw how sad my first yield was going to be, and this might be enough for one salad.
I'm starting to realize that if I wanted to grow enough spinach to feed my obsession I'd need to devote my entire balcony, backyard and front yard to the crop. Crazy town.
As it stands I feel like I have so very little to show for my "garden." I've restarted another batch of spinach in the original container, I'm hoping the new location for my lettuce and onion pushes them to actually GROW, my herbs just make me mad, and I'm really hoping the beans come through as the winners of this miserable gardening summer.
My only real saving grace is that I know I had to fail this summer to do it right next summer. That's the horrible thing about gardening, 95% of the time your first summer will suck. But, you'll figure out what works and doesn't, you'll spend the winter dreaming of a new arrangement, buy amazing wonderful books that fill you with inspiration and happiness, and hopefully next summer I can put to work some of the new ideas swimming in my head and actually, oh I don't know, EAT some of the things I grow.
Either that or I'll get really depressed and spend next summer looking at pictures of the Olympia garden or standing longingly outside my neighbor's greenhouse until they become so creeped out by me they file a restraining order.
You never know.