We all hope our wishes come true. Sometimes, tho, we don’t know how to handle it when they do. Recently, I told a friend I’d like to do a container garden in my arid backyard. Now that the light is changing, with the sun rearranging the shadows, I find there is enough light to do this. The best spot would be by the gate, but that won’t work since I need egress. It was a lovely bubble of a thought, but little more than that. An idle wish.
Of course, the entire idea is made more speculative since I know zero about container gardening in specific, & gardening in general. Everyone tells me, “Oh! It’s easy!”
My friend found a huge tub at Tractor Supply & happily gifted this to me. Now that I see the “container,” I’m even more tremulous. First, I’ll need about 60 pounds of soil. This means putting the tub where it will not need to be moved Ever Again (unless I buy a tractor from Tractor Supply & I don’t think the yard’s that big.)
So, choosing a spot comes first. Then the fill-er-up. Then seeds or plants. I checked ‘container gardening’ online & the search turned up beautiful flowerpots trailing pansies & vinca vine along patios upon which Home & Garden subscriptions have been lavished for decades. My yard is layered stone-on-dust & somewhat anti-lush while being dry to the point of acrimony, not to mention uneven. The desert sun cooks growings to the same effect as a microwave melts plastics. Besides, I want to grow edibles.
After these decisions…seeds or plants? I love the thought of a fresh salad, leaves moistly green, plucked from the backyard pot with a few cherry tomatoes & maybe sun-warmed stringbeans…but out here ants eat seeds, as do deer. They contain moisture.
T or C does have a community garden by the library. I’m not serious enough for this league of growing among experienced amateurs. Plus, we have one guy who spritzes his plot with what is suspected to be Round-Up, of recent cancer-producing fame. When confronted, he says, “It’s mostly water.” Before adding, with a scowl & a pointing finger, “You name me ONE person who died of Round-Up!”
I guess even if his plot is clear, he figures those nearby could use the public service of a spritz or two, including the rigorously organic patch farmers of T or C in the singular favor of his Rescue Efforts. I figure he’d be gardened to death & used for fertilizer if the participants found him out.
When your plants are in his Zone, although the consensual farmer’s agreement is never to use such chemicals, the finer points can be lost. It’s rather like Monsanto suing nearby ranches for growing the GMO crap they manufacture because the wind blew their seeds over the fence. One must ask, “Cui Bono?”
But, back to my tub. The expense & labor of toting all that soil, finding seeds/seedlings, plus the need to borrow an oil rig to put drainage holes in this heavy-duty plastic are beyond my budget in the moment. Now, I understand most wishes can be expensive – otherwise it’d be so much easier to make them happen, right?
I like little wishes that are simple enough to easily manifest: Here’s an example of one such happy ending. In the 80’s, I listened to a show called “Echoes.” It aired late at night on the university station & featured unknown, esoteric, mildly weird music (which I now refer to as “massage music”). I longed to buy the CD’s from the show, but at $25 + shipping, these wouldn’t fit my wallet. Recently, some local has been divesting himself of a collection of “Living Room Concerts” as they were called, at our local thrift. I have gotten Volumes 1-7 for twenty-five cents each. The music is just as good now as then, still unearthly, still eclectic.
So, you can see I am enamored of wishes coming true; however, timing has much to do with it. I wouldn’t, for example, too much appreciate getting a pony for Christmas anymore. Nor could I afford the gas it would take for a plum Challenger. A house is off the List: I’m not allowed any pets here. So, the Wish List is entering the Reader’s Digest Abridged Version in honor of practicality, space, time, effort & cost.
I can get $5 rebate on my Walmart bill, though, with one more credit card purchase before the end of this month. That’s at least one bag of soil. See? This is how my mind works. And after three husbands’ worth of pointing out illogic & inconsistency, it is still how my mind works.
So maybe I’ll just go check their stock today. Maybe I’ll bring home a couple of bags of seeds. Maybe the landlord will lend me his heavy-duty drill. Maybe I’ll even invest in a jar of poppy-seed salad dressing to keep the dream alive.
Fresh food will give me the energy I need to earn from my odd jobs to pay the credit card(s). As one hand washes the other, I’ll wind up with an immovable yard decoration full of dirt all winter. But rocks are free in the desert. And I’ve always wanted a really nice rock garden.