Sunday, August 8, 2010


I have spent more time in gardens in the last three days than I have in a long long time! When we were kids we'd spend hours in mom's garden, sometimes weeding, but most of the time, helping ourselves to the yummy peas and berries growing there! We'd put on our long sleeve "mosquito shirts" as protection from the bugs. Gardens seem to be notorious for growing produce and mosquitos!! Over top of the long sleeves we'd spray a layer of Deet on our entire bodies and head into the garden. We'd stand at the pea fence and pick peas, shelling them and eating them as fast as we could! The raspberries was more of a suicide mission as they were not only full of nasty prickles and mosquitos, but also bees, lots and lots of bees!!!
Having a garden in our backyard was awesome! We'd have fresh carrots, potatoes, beans and peas for dinner and berries for dessert. Sometimes, because we loved them "raw" so much, mom would put out a giant bowl of raw peas and we'd just scoop them onto our plates, yummmmmy!!!
In my adult life, I have not been lucky enough to have a garden at all. I've had some flower beds and grown quite a few weeds, but no produce. Both of my sisters have awesome gardens! Aimee's garden in Colorado is even home to peppers! How cool is that? She grows her own peppers? We can't do that here in Alberta, or at least I can't! Nic's garden has the most healthy raspberry patch ever and she is very generous with sharing them! Just the other day, I was visiting her and as we each pulled on our mosquito shirts, I was flooded with happy gardening memories! I even remember when Mom made us each our own garden, shaped as the first letter of our names! I have no idea what we grew in those gardens, but I remember the dirt was definately shaped like a J and I had to keep weeding it if I wanted to be able to see the J shape.
Marty and I do not have a vegetable garden at our new house....yet. We do however have a healthy patch of thistles! They are tall and tough and grow up against our fence. This weekend, I made it my mission to tackle those prickly beasts!
My gloves were not thick enough, so in order to remove each weed, by hand, by the root, I had to pick off all the bottom leaves. The bottom leaves have a zillion little prickles, but once those leaves are gone, I could get a good grip on the stem of the thistle. Sometimes it took me standing up and using both hands, and all of my weight to pull the weed and it's root out of the dry, crusty soil. But I ask you, is there anything more satisfying than pulling a thistle out of the ground, root and all??? I actually let out a few victory cries after every time I was able to pull a thistle and it's entire, long, white root straight out of the ground! I will admit that more than one of them busted off at the stem, leaving me digging furiously all around the bottom part of the stem desperately seeking to uncover enough of the lower stem to give myself a better grip. More than once, I had to abandon mission, leaving the stubby stem sticking out of the ground, a deafening reminder of failure! The thistles may have won the battle this weekend, but I vow to you here and now, that I will win the war! I will!!


Nicole said...

I totally get it! At our acreage, I once harvested an entire crop from a leftover 'garden' mud area. Rubber boots and all, i tackeld the patch and remember the satisfaction of the root extraction and the exclamation of pride.....and the neighbors watching and shaking their heads from their back yard :). (are we lame or what?). Anyways, keep at it, by the time we moved, we were mowing what used to be the thistle patch. We won the war!

Country Girl said...

I know - environmentally UNfriendly... but I swear... there's this thing... called... Round-Up. Kills weeds - even thistles - dead! lol

Happy gardening. You've seen mine. lol