Thursday, May 21, 2009

How does my garden grow, you ask?

My first harvest - radishes!

As promised in my first garden post, here is an update on my little plot, my Swiss garden that I rent annually just 5 minutes from my apartment. What started out as this...

A blank canvas...

Now looks like this!

I have spent a lot of time in the garden since returning back from the States - mostly because I don't want to be that neighbor, the one that is growing weeds and grass instead of plants, the one that brings down the whole allotment and is the talk of the rest of the community. And believe me... these Swiss gardeners talk... I know because I have been privy to a few discussions in which such was said, "That one... see that one over there... (pointing to an allotment)... we have a problem there." I will not be the problem gardener, and that means I had a lot of work to do upon my return! Here I am, weeding away.

What am I growing, you ask? What am I not growing really... actually there is a lot I am not growing (like anything with melon in it because those are just easier to buy, or cauliflower or broccoli - same rules apply - too much work...), but here is what I am growing, and it is a lot...

(not in shot - radishes, giant marigolds, sunflowers,
gourds, herbs, more lettuce, and more flowers)

I have also finally met all of my 'neighbors' - plot neighbors that is. And I was surprised to find out that they are both Swiss - as most of the others I have run into are immigrants like me, Italians and Portuguese that is. While I am still in the minority - most gardeners are retirees or families with children (meaning lots of small hands to pull weeds), I am nevertheless enjoying it immensely. With the great weather we have been having, I have put in all my seedlings that thrived on the balcony and almost 80% of the garden is in (flowers and successional planting will go in the last 20%)... but hell it is a lot of work - especially keeping up with the Jones', or the Webers and Wagners as it might be.

Better shot of the garden from the back

Every time I think I have a good garden, I take a walk and am always awe struck by the beautifully manicured and weed free Swiss/Expat gardens. But I know that as a working girl and a foreigner, I have a bit of a free pass to have a few weeds - right? ;) I am just not going to be announcing that free pass with an American flag on the plot - not yet at least!

My peas

So far, the feedback I have received is good - "Nice sunflowers..." and "Du bist ja fleissig" meaning 'you have been busy!' I asked the one neighbor if I was doing ok, and he said "Ja! Naturlich!" He said the previous owners just grew grass, so I am not sure which standards they are comparing me to, yet. Regardless, he said it makes a difference to have good neighbors - so I take that as a positive remark! (Right? He surely meant me!) Then again, the first time we met he lent me a tool which I immediately broke - so maybe I am no so sure!

A tomato plant.

I am looking forward to the days when I can just do a bit of watering and weeding, when the planting is done... and naturally harvest time! Boo - yah! Until then... I will keep at it, and give you an update again soon... hopefully with the next lot of tucker.

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Shaun said...

Great post. Well done.... made me laugh both at you and with you!!!

juanitatortilla said...

WELL DONE!!! What an awesome garden. I am mighty impressed. Now I do expect you to start delivering me a weekly basket of veggies. :D

Kathryn said...

You're waaaay ahead of me! I have one, yes one, tomato plant growing on my balcony. I tend to not do so well with plants, so I wanted to see if I could manage to keep one alive. So far it's growing, so I'm happy. We have a huge backyard where we live, but the soil sucks for plants. :o(

Oh, and yes you had me drooling with your food post!

Anneliese Mostert said...

Well done your garden looks great! I always enjoy walking past these gardens and peeping over the fence to see what's growing. I'll start with some plants on my balcony first though...

Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf said...

How cool are you Gardener Jessica ! I am so jealous... just today in fact I was saying to Olivier that I wish I could have a little garden right here to grow all sorts of fun stuff, with radishes high on the list. You've got a serious menu there too! Bet you can't wait to taste the fruits of your labor -- literally! Um, can I too?! ha ha! But wait, you're even growing... gourds?! You are no amateur gardener, way to go!

Expat Traveler said...

Incredibly impressive! It looks so neat and tidy and of course so much work. I guess that's why I love being outdoors and in sport instead of doing something like that... But I'll gladly watch and be in awe of your progress! How cool... :)

Virginia said...

Wow, such a great garden and beautiful radishes! You've gotten so much done. But no resting. To really impress the neighbors you need a hüsli and a water feature.

Chantal said...

Beautiful! I'm impressed with your gardening ability. My neighbor always wants to trim my plants. And who am I to stop her?

Tina said...

This is me




It looks great!!!


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