Blogging neighbour and co-learner SarahC at This’n’ThatWithMe and Having Fun Blogging is a welcoming host(ess) for virtual coffee and snacks, from her garden, whenever the growing season has been a good one. The garden as both a creative metaphor and as real place often arise in our discussions. Sarah has ambition to create a new garden from scratch while also growing creative gardens, metaphorically, at her blogs. So for today’s collaborative post, I’m taking time out for a virtual wander and enjoy some more conversation with a gardener, with special thanks to Sarah for being my first ever interviewee 🙂
We were talking about the garden as creative metaphor, are there ways your previous experiences as a real gardener influence or inspire that idea?
[Sarah] “Well I do believe I wrote on cthisnthat.wordpress.com this very thing at least as a comment once or a little saying. I found that growing my blog while watching my garden grow was quite fun that first year blogging. The garden had a few years on it, but no perennials, so each year the soil was different, but the plants had to be added. And some were from seed though they did not grow much.
Creating my second blog was kind of like the additions we did to our garden. We started with one long bed, then added a tomato square to put 4 plants in, then another spot for potatoes. I think I am growing the second [blog] to have a space for creative things, and will stick to a collaboration perhaps with sWishingUp as the next phase in blog growing.
You have to pay attention to things, garden or blog. Otherwise you don’t have anything growing. It doesn’t take much, you don’t have to buy miracle grow, you don’t have to buy a domain name. You can do what you want, it is all, garden or blog, a great experiment!”
I know you’ve been missing your garden after some big upheavals and life changes these last couple of years. I recently re-read your fifty-word Ode to The Sad Garden reflecting this. What will you be hoping for in your next garden?
[Sarah]: “Hmmmmm, had been going to start experimenting with container gardening. Now at an apartment that is the way to go, you can move them to the sun, theoretically, pretty up the old buckets, get some tomatoes, some fresh herbs as we are doing a new low sodium regime looking for Tasty treats.”
Are there any memories from childhood that fuel your love of horticulture, or a specific plant that evokes memories of childhood relating to gardens or gardening?
[Sarah]: “My aunt had a story ’bout my brother picking cotton with cousins so I think of her when I see cotton fields. I have photos of me at my Aunt’s on the tractor, with the hoe by the garden…only I don’t really remember that age about 3 perhaps? Never had a garden growing up, and so the first active gardening was an experiment at our first house. The Mr would come home and I would wonder why he was not coming inside, oh there he was out checking the garden!”
What has been your own most favorite garden and why?
[Sarah]: “We bought a place and the drainage was yucky in the back so we experimented with a raised bed garden. Why? Well we made it as most ‘ natural’ as possible. All the preparation was some bagged growing dirt, mulch chips, but the rest as each year progressed was our own humble compost pile of eggshells, coffee grounds, poo from our friends farm…..etc. No miracle gro on this garden at all!
Best garden ever had- well that is the progressive garden, until last year when we had to travel to work it couldn’t be packed up lol 😦 BUT memory of six foot plus tomato plants, a picture I hope to get added of the Mr with his arms raised , hands behind the plants like the aliens had attacked him. Also we had more rain that year, and discovered that the pumpkins and squash apparently cross pollinated as I had orange things that weren’t pumpkins in there with the pumpkins!”
Looking back through your blog I found a great gardening tip that still makes me smile when I re-visit that post. Gardening with limitations of health can be quite problematic. Do have any advice for overcoming obstacles to gardening, or any tips for preventing or managing problems with arthritis for instance?
[Sarah] “Well the raised bed idea sure helped as the rest of the yard was saturated in the rainy years. We were fortunate to have a pile of blocks there already so no cost. We tried to keep the weeds out by the mulch and that worked really well. Use what you have! We had a bumper tomato crop one year, used tree branch poles as supports for the vines, flash froze the harvest for use in winter crockpot meals.
——-Well the worst part actually was the raised bed wasn’t raised enough. Bending over with a bad back is no fun. That is when it is helpful to be gardening with a friend or family member. Once the tomato crop took off it was easy to go pick a treat for lunch! I don’t plant, I let the Mr do that. I think the key is to plan a little bit if you want to do it all yourself. See what you can do, don’t try to start out too big.”
Your remark on crockpot meals reminds me so much of the poem you wrote for flavour during 2015’writing101. Where would you recommend as your must go to resource for gardening information?
[Sarah]: “Oh we got Mother Earth News magazine forever… Used to watch public television (PBS) and HGTV. Used to follow some on blog or you tube channel. Now I catch Facebook post occasionally on homestead website people.”
Thanks for that recommendation and for taking time out for this wander around the garden! I’ll have to wander off elsewhere now but thanks for inviting me! It’ll be nice to get to together for more gardening conversations in future times.
Sarah’s recently issued some garden themed challenges – you might like this one to add to some collaborative verse via the comments, or maybe this one about harvesting food or maybe one of these prompts for a NoDueDate challenge. I really must try a retreat to Kangaroo Lodge someday soon too!
Thanks for reading my penultimate #everydayinspiration post.The first time round, when this ‘class’ was called ‘Finding Daily Inspiration’, I concentrated on other ways of collaborating and avoided this type of writing. I’ll maybe post links to previous task responses in my day20 post, while I reflect on participation and progress and finally take a glance at what I posted first time round, as I ignored all my previous writings to try again afresh. Once upon a time Sarah interviewed me for a post at her blog too…
SarahC is a co-learning/co-writing member here at sWishingUp and has been a staunch support in my blogging and BloggingU learning journey. Many thanks again to Sarah for helping me practise this type of writing!