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My white, shaky thumbs: Starting a garden

“The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” – George Bernard Shaw, The…

By Robyn Smith , in Garden Sweet , on March 10, 2010 Tags: , , , ,

“The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” – George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932

I am not a religious woman. I would go so far as to say the idea of finding God in a garden is ludicrous, but I know what Shaw’s getting at. Gardening is creation.[/caption]

I now face the troubling fact that I know very little about gardening. This fact has been pointed out to me on numerous occasions by Justin, the practical roommate, who continually reminds me that I can’t learn everything from Mimi Luebbermann’s book Vegetable Gardens. So far, I disagree with Justin: Mimi knows everything about gardening, even though her book is a tad dated. She’s told me exactly what vegetables will grow in my garden, based on the pH of the soil, how much light the plot receives, and whether I’ve germinated my own seeds or transplanted. Here is a list of Mimi-approved produce:

Beets, spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, a slew of herbs (mint, cilantro, chamomile, lemon grass, rosemary), anything from the cabbage family and carrots if I’m feeling brave.

Carrots are native to Afghanistan, so you can imagine the duress they’ll be under to perform in my shady little plot out back. Generally they require full sun and sandy soil, neither of which I can promise, but as I’ve always said: a garden without carrots is like a night without stars. I plan to do everything from transplant (meaning already germinated seed), and I plan to start once the threat of frost has passed. For now, I plan to plan.

I hope you follow my sojourns in the backyard of the garden suite (hence, the title). Coming up this week: Gord, the neighbour upstairs, and I take a trip to the local garden store to mix-and-match our own organic compost.