I have a confession to make. A few months ago, we found out that at the height of our future vegetable harvest, that we would be moving house. And my first instinct was heartbreak knowing that after months of work and making my garden the way I wanted it, we would be leaving it. I actually cried.
The vegetable garden that essentially started it all would not be mine soon. Because of this, I made a decision to leave the garden, and focus on my kitchen garden on my patio. I couldn’t justify the investment of time and money if I couldn’t even reap the harvest.
But after making this decision, I decided to go ahead and plant the seedlings I had been growing, up in the big garden and also on our patio, and I would still enjoy the big garden while I had it.
But then again, reality hit me, and slowly but surely, I stopped watering the garden, I stopped weeding it, and I stopped going up there. It became a burden in my mind, knowing that whatever work I put in, I wouldn’t benefit from it in the way that I had wanted. The place that was once my paradise and sanctuary became a place that I just couldn’t make myself visit.
Its crazy how much I benefited from gardening in a way I didn’t actually know I did. Gardening in my garden became my safe haven and my get away from the craziness of my life, as I’m sure many other gardeners can relate too. And then this garden became something I was ashamed of. I didn’t want people to know that the girl who gardens, stopped gardening. And then I felt guilt that I let it happen.
Then I just gave up completely on gardening. Even the garden I walk past everyday on my patio. I just gave up. I couldn’t be bothered. My life caught up with me and I got so consumed in the busyness. And then I didn’t even think about it anymore. I didn’t even feel ashamed or guilty. I just didn’t even care.
But then I came home one day, and I saw it. It was there. Right there. Even though I had left it, and abandoned it. I hadn’t watered it or fed it. But it was there. A little, green tomato. On my patio. Somehow, against all the odds. It was there!
And I felt this immense joy and satisfaction because life is so persistent and it goes on. And even though I had given up on my plants, they were still tree and growing! That tiny, green tomato was like a beacon of hope. It reminded me that gardening isn’t just about the harvest, it’s about the whole journey. It’s about taking time to enjoy the garden and it’s beauty.
And now here’s where it gets crazy. I went back up to my garden that I hadn’t been to in months. It was so far gone and so crazy. Wasps had made a best in the rock wall behind the garden. Tomato plants had fallen over with big tomatoes attached as I hadn’t staked them. Lettuces had overgrown. There were dead plants everywhere. And at first I felt a pang of regret that I had let the garden become that way. But then I let it go. I appreciated what the garden had been like and all that I had felt up there. All the hours, all the sweat and occasionally blood.
I realized that The Cottage Veggie Garden isn’t one permanent garden. I’m not leaving it behind when I move house. The Cottage Veggie Garden is an idea. It’s a dream. It’s wherever I choose to plant, whether that’s in pots or in the ground.
And strangely enough the beauty in the overgrowth of my two gardens has made me want to get back into the garden. And that one small, green tomato, I want to see it become big, red and juicy.