Ive never had a green thumb, so to speak. Rather, my thumb is a perfectly normal shade of beige and is completely inept at putting things into dirt and making something fabulous burst forth in return.
I have, however, since buying my house, made some vain attempts at gardening, and, though I wont be surprised if I dont reap any excellent crops from my efforts (heck, the majority of the seeds we bought for planting are still sitting in their packs in said house), the toil is already worth the rewards in many ways. Let me share with you some of my observations.
First: Gardening, though ridiculously messy for someone as inexperienced and glove-less as me, is actually really great exercise. Not only can you get a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun, but the effort is a workout in and of itself that isnt as strenuous as weightlifting or running for people, like me, who arent exactly fit.
Second: On the off-chance we do get something, be it the wildflowers and corn currently springing up awkwardly together along with a thick batch of crabgrass in our front flowerbed, or even some fruits and veggies from late-planted seeds, it will be a tasty, unexpected reward from a first-year, ridiculously amateur garden.
Third: Weve been blessed already by the service of others. Weve had several different neighbors come over to help us struggle to tame our extraordinarily weedy and awkwardly structured garden beds, and its been incredible to get to know them, and to appreciate their kindness, humor and insights, not to mention their extremely solid work ethics! They gave us the strength we needed to actually get some pretty intense weeding done, and get our gardens on the road to productivity.
Fourth: I have met so many more neighbors! When we first moved into our home last September, we had a bit of a tough time getting to know the people living around us. With two full-time work schedules, a super active 1-year-old and a pretty solid schedule, it was hard to be home, let alone out and about. I waited for a month before writing this column just to see if the pattern continued, and I can say that LITERALLY every time weve worked in our garden, weve had a neighbor come outside to talk to. Its kind of awesome, all things considered.
So whether we grow food and flowers or weeds, I can say one thing about our gardening experiment: Its already been a wonderful, fruitful success.
-- Kari Kenner