Don’t Tell Anyone, But I...Garden

 

I grew up around plants. I was raised by my grandmother and she was an avid gardener. I admit that I always took pride in her talent, and that the yards of our houses always looked amazing. (We moved a lot because my grandfather was a contractor, so when he built a new house he sold the the one we were living in and began building the next.) I swear my grandmother beautified half of the village of Qualicum Beach, where I grew up.
As much as I admired her talent with all things green, I never did quite understand her passion for "digging in the dirt", as I called it. Don't get me wrong, I was, and am, a total tomboy, so the idea of getting dirty didn't bother me; it was watching the sheer amount of WORK that went into creating her garden masterpieces that mystified me. When I asked her why, repeatedly over the years, she self inflicted that kind of torture onto herself, she swore that it wasn't work, but that she enjoyed it! 
Now my grandmother was as honest as the day is long and did not lie, so I couldn't understand how I could plainly see that she was running around the yard in the hot sun, planning where these currently nondescript looking bunches of leaves would best show off their beauty when they bloomed, working up a "glow" (because ladies don't sweat!) digging up massive portions of yard to create new flower beds, or even, in a couple of our houses, doing major excavations by hand to install a pond, how this was not backbreaking labour, but rather, as she described it, "fun!". 
It was at the ripe old age of twelve that I loudly declared to any and all who cared to listen to my hard won wisdom, that I would never, I repeat, NEVER, be a gardener. It was way too much work and they were all crazy! 
Fast forward 20 years. I had left Vancouver Island as soon as I could, heading for the bright lights and big city of Vancouver. From there I followed my heart to Alberta, where I met the man of my dreams, married, and moved from a downtown apartment into my first townhouse. This townhouse had a deck and a fence surrounding what a very generous person might call a tiny "yard". This yard was entirely paved in large cement blocks, except for a teeny strip of sandy dirt underneath the dining room window. Now having seen first hand the insanity of a determined gardener whilst growing up, I recognized this forlorn strip of earth for what it was. Some gardener had lived here prior to myself and attempted to grow something in this tiny little space. 
Humph. Crazy. Just like I always thought. What could they possibly have been thinking??? Wait a minute......it's a really small space.........my husband adores the smell of sweet peas.......I've heard they're easy to grow and really take no work except to splash a little water on them once in a while. How hard could that be? Hey! If somebody else could do it why can't I? That's it! I'll do it as a surprise for my husband! 
And that's how it all began. I can hear my grandmother laughing as I type. First, it really was just a little bed of sweet peas. They grew like the dickens and smelled heavenly. Then I noticed I could tuck some shorter plants below the sweet peas to hide the not-so-lovely lower stems. Next thing you know I'm looking at my tiny, cement lined yard with new eyes. I start ripping up cement blocks to get to the dirt underneath! I go from one tiny flower bed to two, then three, then I start adding (gasp!) hanging baskets!!! Oh no! How did this happen? I've become ONE OF THEM! ...A.......gardener!!!
Once we bought our house and moved to Leduc the seed had been fully planted (sorry, puns are another weakness of mine!), and I really went to town on my new found gardening fetish. My husband is a wonderful man who did not mind giving up a potential double garage in his back yard in exchange for flowers galore.
So even though I love writing about my passion for gardening, you'll have to excuse me for a little while. It's a beautiful, sunny day outside and after this last bit of rain I have a couple of hours of weeding that needs to be done. That's work you say? Don't be silly. It's fun! 
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