A few nights ago, Joe was helping out at a Community Orchard event at the community garden where we rent a plot, planting nut trees who, in a few years, will provide free produce to anyone who wants it. I had to run some errands, but I came back near the end of the event to take advantage of the knowledge that had gathered.
Joe & I are both getting rather immersed in the Orchard community, & many of those most connected to the Orchard are the kindest, most eager & motivated people I’ve met in my life. I knew they’d be happy to help, & I want to learn as much from them as I can while we’re here. After guiding a friend around our garden plot & getting the official OK that everything seemed to be rather established & alive, I was pretty excited.
Now I just have to not kill everything, I said. In response, I got one of the best gardening tips I’ve ever heard:
Plants just want to grow.
Think of the “weeds” that return every year. The trees that sprout from uncleaned gutters. The cracks in concrete. Plants can make it. Their survivors. I’m trying really hard to just back off, let them be in the garden, jump in to give them some water & let them bask in the sunlight. This laissez-faire attitude, which at times makes me feel like a slacker, is working.
Out of the tiny trough in front of our apartment, with a metal railing as their trellis, we are growing peas. Granted, we’ll end up with a total of about 2 servings, one for each of us, by the end of the season, but it’s proof that it’s possible. Peas can be an urban garden crop. Check out how happy & plump they are! They’re happy. Just doing their thing. Growing.
Not everything has been so happy or fortunate. I got this adorable rosebush after an event a few weeks ago. Directions: Avoid direct sunlight (check). Keep indoors (check). Keep soil moist (check). Not listed: Wait for all of its leaves to fall off, then watch it slowly die. Double check. Any idea what happened here?
Part of me wants to toss it in the dumpster & move on. Part of me feels bad for the little guy & wants to bring him back inside, cut everything back & attempt to start over. We’ll see.