Summer Garden

Carrots and asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers.  Herbs and onions, strawberries and rhubarb.  Lots of green sprouts and ferns nestled happily in our garden beds, growing away, getting bigger, while we wait for the right time to pull them out and enjoy them.
By no means has my garden ever been big enough to actually replace the need to go to the grocery store for a certain item, but still, there is something nice about seeing it all grow, even when half of it doesn’t grow right and you don’t really get anything from it.  The strawberries, for instance, haven’t given a single berry yet.  They seem far more concerned with growing runners to root more plants then they are with giving me berries.  World domination is clearly more important than jam to them.
On the other hand, some plants take off.  There are two giant rhubarb plants sitting at the beginning of the garden that are over 6 years old.  I can get 3 harvests from them in a single year.  The growing season here isn’t a very long one, either, so this makes that fact even more amazing.  Similarly, there is a potted chive that I just can’t seem to kill.   Usually I’m very good at killing plants.  But this chive is stubborn.  It keeps coming back in it’s pot each year without any help or encouragement, and despite how many times I forget to water it, it just doesn’t die.
I’m very proud of my chive.
Getting out in the dirt is something that just makes me feel good anyways, regardless of wether or not the plants end up being useful or not.  Still, there is something about my small garden that does seem a bit, well…. small.
I almost think it would be better to grow an herb garden.  Something that perhaps you could keep inside your house and use all year long.  Or, for the outside garden, to just pick one plant you really love, and I mean really, really love, and just fill all the garden beds with that single plant.  That way you could eliminate the need to buy that particular produce from the store.  It just seems like it, the garden, would be a bit more useful that way, like there would be more of a reason to grow it, instead of planting handfuls of a ton of plants that don’t really grow anyways.
It does make me a bit disappointed that my garden isn’t exactly as useful as maybe I would like it to be.  But, I must remember that it isn’t really my garden, either.  It’s our garden, my family’s garden, and we all have our plants we love and would like to grow.  We have to share and help each other, just a family should.  So really, in that respect, I can be very proud of my garden, of our little garden.
It may be little, but it certainly is very green, and varied.  As much I would like to strive for a more ‘useful’ garden in the future, I can be happy with what we have now.  There is a very summery feel to it.  You can’t deny that.  The rhubarb and the chives continue to flourish, and so perhaps the rest of the little experiment plants don’t need to be quite so fruitful as they need to be there just make the gardener smile.
Over all, I love going out water it in the summer evenings when it’s cooled down a bit, checking to see if the plants have gotten any bigger, going barefoot in the dirt, and sometimes just sitting there in middle of it imagining what it would be like if we just had a little more room for things to grow.  It’s very good starting place, our garden.  A very good little place, in the middle of it all, to sit and just be happy to look at the life that you grew.
Not everything in life really needs to be ‘useful’, I think.  Somethings just need to be there, for no other reason than to make you smile at life.  That’s what our little garden is for me.

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