I was so excited last night, looking at the 10 day forecast for Pittsburgh. It promised sun and the kind of temperatures where we could actually open the windows! Of course I jokingly thought I’d wake up to a foot of snow, given the track record of the meteorologists this year.
Well, it wasn’t QUITE that, but it was about 20 degrees when I woke up. Given that the forecast low temperature was 37, I call balderdash. You heard me: BALDERDASH. In fact, now at 11am, it’s 35 degrees. Still haven’t hit the low temperature.
Nonetheless, it’s April 4 and I’m working under the assumption that it’s spring. I’m done wearing my winter coat — I don’t really care HOW cold it is. I’m going to work on clearing out our back garden this week, and I’m dreaming about a vegetable garden.
Now, I have mixed results with veggie gardens. Our first year, we tried to garden in the back yard. It was not great. The soil isn’t terrific, I was definitely a novice, and we overestimated the sun we’d get back there. Powdery mildew claimed the overcrowded zucchini, critters ate the roots of our melons. If I recall that was the year I had a miscarriage and I didn’t have a lot of motivation to keep up with it.
The year after, I planted periwinkle and they’re doing very well in the back. Hopefully in the next few years it’ll totally fill everything up and it’ll be pretty back there! This would’ve been the year I had my youngest and I can remember waddling back there with my pots of periwinkles.
The next year I dug up our misplaced shrubs and planted a vegetable garden in our front yard. It was awesome! We had snap peas, green beans, carrots, peppers, Swiss chard (TONS of it!), lettuce, a HUGE variety of tomatoes and herbs. I felt so excited and empowered by this success! Irritated by the groundhogs who sucked the pulp from tomatoes and enraged at stink bugs, but otherwise really excited.
However, the next year we stalled out. My husband’s worried about the soil quality and how that affects the safety of the food. I’m sure it’s not terrific — Pittsburgh hasn’t had the best record on pollution! We toyed around with solutions from building raised beds to removing the horribly ugly yew shrubs that we so dislike. Big decisions, so we let it go too long and missed our window. So I planted some petunias and marigolds and called it a day. It did look pretty for sure, but I felt a little sad that we weren’t using the land in a more responsible way. We got some bonus tomato plants in those shrubs, planted by the thieves who stole them the previous year!
This year… I just don’t know. We could make it pretty with not a big investment in time, effort, time, or money. Or we could build up those beds, awesome up that soil, plant those veggies, and have a nice veggie garden! What to do!?
At any rate, yeah, I’m finished being inside. Something will be planted and it’ll be nice! IT WILL BE. Eventually. Isn’t that the way it is, always, trying to look towards the future, trusting that seasons won’t last forever?