Friday, April 12, 2013

To Garden, or Not - That is the Question

Image by M. Gustafson Gervasi, 2013 -- My Garden Buddah

The calendar says it is nearly mid-April, yet the weather hovers in the low 40s on a good day.  Rain, sleet, flurries fall day after day.  But one day, soon hopefully, warmer weather will arrive here in the Midwest.  And with it's arrival I will be forced to decide -- to garden or not?

One one hand, I say no.

  • My knowledge is basically non-existent.  I did not grow up in a gardening family.  Science has always been a challenge to me;
  • Time is short.  Really, another item to add to my "to-do" list?;
  • Southern sun hits the front yard of our home....situated on a very busy road.  Add two small children, and the stress of monitoring them negates any zen like moments gardening is supposed to bring; and
  • There are ample farmers' markets all over Madison from which I can purchase locally grown veggies and fruits.
And then on the other hand I say yes, at least give a little bit a try.
  • plant some perennials that will come back year after year;
  • kids you garden are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables;
  • learning something new is a good thing, and I love to learn (hence the 9 years of college and grad programs); and the motivation to put me over the edge was in the Ted Talk by the Renegade Gardener -- taking control of my family's food means taking control of our health.  It is 10 minutes long (not the cleanest language, so no kid viewing), but pushed me to the side of giving it a try again this year.
So, for anyone who knows a little something, or a lot, about gardening in southern Wisconsin, please leave comments with advice.  What perennials might be a wise choice?  Blueberry bushes?  What about container gardening or an herb garden?  Please remember that my "work" is in the legal field -- this is not a natural for me.  But 30 years from now I hope to have learned enough and set an example so that my children will be adults holding a basic knowledge and fond memories of fresh veggies and fruits that Mama grew.


  1. I'd be happy to share what I know! I have no formal training but my parents had us work in the garden as kids, and I've been gardening at this house most years since we got here. Starting small and adding over the years, I now have several kinds of berries and herbs, some perennial flowers, and I am getting back to trying more veggies this year. maybe you can come over some time (when it's not SNOWING) to see what interests you.

    Also, a great frugal and time-saving gardening method is Square Foot Gardening, which can be done on a small scale, small budget, and limited time (sounds perfect to me). I got a (used, frugal) book on it as I'm sure the 1981 version will be as good to me as a brand new version of the book.

    1. I'll be requesting that book, sounds perfect. And we'd love to tour of your yard.....if Spring ever arrives! Thanks for reading.