It is May and gardening centres are popping up quicker than my daughter's chickenpox. Those wonderful high school/college employees who know a tiny bit less than me about gardening, not a skill set required job for sure. Regardless though, homeowners all across the Northern Hemisphere will be breaking out the skin tight gloves, gardening tools and seeds to fancy up their yards. And I can't forget the cute and adorable decorations, such as the bent over girl in skirt/mushroom. Who doesn't love garden optical illusions, am I right? That reality is no different here at Ever After Acres as we clean up our flower gardens, fruit plants and vegetable gardens.
That is not entirely true though, because most people who do so are pretty successful when it comes to gardens, or at least that's how it feels to those of us who fail regularly. At the very least they are dressed way fancier than I in their sunhat and foam knee pads and such. You are most likely to drive by and see me in pyjama pants and some non-matching top that totally clashes with my cowboy hat. If you've ever watched those talent shows where some people are truly terrible despite how desperately they want to be good, that is us with gardening.
I do take solace in knowing that there are many factors beyond my control. Our first vegetable garden was a rough go as it was a terrible year for cucumber beetles, which eat a lot more than cucumber plants. I will say though when I first saw them on the plants I was thrilled to have such beautiful creatures in my garden, till I realized they were destroying everything. After that realization it was all out war against them and in the end...they won.
The weather can be terrible in any given year here in the Maritimes, which is way beyond our control. It can be a year where the sun fries your plants from the intense heat or we can get freak cold snaps such as last years frost in the middle of June. Thankfully there have been no snowman building summers so far but weather can be your friend and enemy.
In the countryside there is the added bonus of wildlife and their lovely appreciation for tasty plants. I was so excited for my beans and then one day the leaves were all completely gone, just a little stem sticking up from the ground. And of course one year we lost almost everything cause chickens ate all the seeds from the garden. I kid you not, I am staring out my window at a groundhog as I write this blog post. Adorable at this moment but fully aware he would bite my head off given the chance, head lettuce of course...they are vegetarians.
Either way though we look forward to this time of year and getting out in the sunshine and digging in the dirt, even if at the end of it all, it still is just a pile of dirt. Thankfully where we fail in our gardening skills nature itself will take care of making sure that a variety of plants will grow. While we have a few spots that try to control what grows we love diversity of what nature itself will do with the land around Ever After Acres, especially since my green thumb may be gangrene.