I am the worst person I know at keeping indoor plants alive! It’s almost like some kind of sick science experiment is ongoing in our home… how close to death can the plants get… and still be brought back to life? And I really truly am fascinated by the powerful will to live that is inside them… They’ve close to never had any kind of fertiliser, seldom watered, may possibly have been replanted once during the 10 years we’ve had most of them.
And this business of ’bringing them back to life’ – it’s not that they look particularly good after that!
I’ve also been very reluctant to get rid of them. After all, where exactly are you supposed to dispose of something that’s ’living’? (that really is an open ended question by the way, I’d love to get an answer!) Planting them outside somewhere is struck from the list because it freezes here and that’s almost like throwing a goldfish into the toilet… just because there’s a bit of ’clean’ water in there right now doesn’t mean it’s not awaiting certain demise! Giving them away… erhhh, no – there really aren’t any of them that look good enough for that. Actually just letting them die in peace on the windowsill – no, it’s as if right at that critical moment I just can’t sit there and not water them. The ridiculous thing about that too is that it’s only apparently when they’re right at that critical stage that I even ’see’ them!
But, outdoor plants on the other hand, that is a whole other ball game. They’re not dependent on me at all. Come rain or shine, everything they need is right out there, and anything I do just interferes a little with that balance – hopefully sometimes in a good way, and other times in a ’no real knowledge about gardening but very enthusiastic, learning’ kind of way. Nothing really survives or looks good during the Swedish winter anyway so everything has
the chance to be born again in the spring – that’s what I call garden grace.
Vegetables. I’m not suggesting that it’s particularly economical to build a garden box or to grow your own vegetables on a small scale at all. But the pure satisfaction of picking, or seeing your children picking their own berries for breakfast, or cherry tomatoes – hmm, they’ve been tougher!… or peas – they’re easy; or pulling up beetroots & carrots… for us that’s the absolute top harvest satisfier… The resistance you feel trying to pull out a carrot, all it’s roots clinging to the soil around it,
then pop, out it comes 🙂
And ours were particularly hard to pull out, and particularly big this year… because we sort of forgot about them! Then when we remembered the ground was too frozen to pull them out. But just yesterday – thanksgiving – the earth had softened up enough for us to claim them… with the help of a spade!
Well, this is just my experience of it. Apparently, even if you’re totally crap with indoor plants, you can still enjoy the back to nature wonder of home grown produce… and you’ve now got all winter to ponder this thought 🙂 …unless you like garlic in which case you can stick a few cloves down into a bucket outside right away; you’re just in time!
(Before you get any ideas that we have some kind of huge garden, I can tell you that the box these came out of is 0.5m x 1.3m, and if you don’t use metres – not so big!)
Do you know of any fantastic gardening initiatives? Well I know one at least: SEEDS FOR CHANGE… a Canadian grass-roots, social entrepreneurship, you can check it out here 🙂