Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes

We went out to dinner with Bill’s financial adviser, Richard, and his wife, Joan, two weekends ago. After grazing all day at a party celebrating Bill’s cousin’s daughter’s first communion we skipped out before cake was served, giving us just enough time to freshen up, brush our teeth and meet Rich and Joan for more eating. I liked them immediately. Richard, a runner like me but tall and thin, is training for an upcoming half marathon. Joan, an avid walker, is open and warm. We traded stories about our childhoods and how we met. They shared, with smiles, stories of Richard’s Italian mother taking her time warming up to his Irish girlfriend, then bride (it’s all good now).

We all live in different towns, all in the suburbs, but Rich and Joan have enough property surrounding their house toΒ raise chickens and sell the eggs, to justify the need for a rototiller for their garden. They grow peppers and cucumbers. They grow tomatoes, enough to eat in their sandwiches, cook with all summer and make sauce. They freeze enough sauce to enjoy rich and tasty soups and pasta dishes in the dead of winter when I’m picking through the bins at Stop & Shop looking for tomatoes, from god knows where, that might remotely taste like tomatoes. And they grow lettuce, spinach, swiss chard. Having never tried my hand at any of these greens I was interested.

“It’s stupid easy,” Joan told me. They had already planted some 40 plus heads of different types of lettuce.

“I planted them a few days ago,” Rich said. “They like the cooler weather.”

We talked about books and movies, kids and sports, egg incubators and deer resistant fencing, touched on financial matters but only briefly. After dinner we walked out together, my belly stuffed, and said goodnight.

The following Monday I couldn’t wait to go out during lunch and buy swiss chard, iceberg, romaine, red romaine, red leaf lettuce and spinach. After work I got busy planting; there’s spinach and iceberg lettuce in one long planter on my deck, red leaf in another. I planted the red romaine in round planters alongside the deck and swiss chard and a few extra lettuce plants in my garden. The following days were hot and humid but it’s cooled off and rained most days since which, I hope Richard’s right, they like.

My border garden along my deck is coming back nicely, everything green and healthy looking. The knockout roses are loaded with buds and some flowers have bloomed already. Peonies I planted last fall look like they’re going to bloom, too. I’ve been turning soil, weeding, fertilizing. Cheap Therapy.

We’re going to NYC this weekend to see Kinky Boots but I’m planning on carving out some time to plant cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and tomatoes in my tiny garden. No rototiller necessary.

18 replies

  1. It sounds like you’ve got yourself a nice little garden, Geralyn. I’d love to see pictures of it. I’d like to have a small garden on my patio too. Have a great time in NYC!

  2. Gardening is always great for the soul, mind and physical – your plantings sound like you are going to have a beautiful showplace along with healthy eating. Have a wonderful weekend Geralyn.

    • Thanks, Mary, you too. I just hope my resident bunny leaves a little of everything for me. πŸ™‚ So far, I’ve caught him eating leaves from my flowers but not from the veggies.

      • I’m totally frustrated by the rabbits this year – our two residents (two can you believe it) are demolishing our flowers. I’m trying to stay on top of them with fox urine. Now the slugs on the other hand are wicked little guys!!

  3. We have groundhogs, deer and rabbits so I have learned to be careful with plantings. My garden is small and in a dog enclosure which works very well at keep out everything but the birds who occasionally like to peck on a tomato (or is it the chipmunk?). Gardening is better than therapy and good for the body and soul.

    • I was told if the critters can’t see the plants they’ll leave them alone. So, the couple we had dinner with put a screen around their pots and garden. I have no idea if this is true but if I see anyone eating my lettuce before I do I may try that.

    • There’s nothing like a tomato from a home garden. The best! Hoping the lettuce and spinach does well on my deck. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend…beautiful weather here!

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