What garden plan?

Remember how I had thoughtfully created a specific plan for our three raised beds, carefully arranging plants using the rules of companion planting as much as possible, considering the way the shade will fall and the foods we definitely wanted to eat for the next few months? And how I’ve been growing peppers and tomatoes inside, itching to put them in the ground?

I kind of forgot to factor something important into my plan.

I forgot to factor in the generosity of our neighbours.

Last year, when we first moved in and put in our little square of a first garden, our neighbour gave us a few cauliflower plants. He passed away a few short months later but his daughter and her cousin seem to have kept up with the tradition. A few days ago, a flat of plants showed up beside our back gate at the end of the driveway we share with them. We didn’t think much of them since our downstairs friends could have bought them for their half of the garden, or the plants could have just been slightly misplaced and meant for their own garden.

Then, as we came home from walking the dog Friday night, she popped out on her front porch and let us know that they were, indeed, for us. Her cousin had dropped into a farmers market, picked up a whole bunch of flats and scattered them out among friends and neighbours, requesting nothing in return. These are amazing people.

Unfortunately, this meant I had to find a place for the eggplants I wasn’t planning on planting (do I even like eggplant?), the 8 more peppers and tomatoes that will now join the 12 of each I’ve been growing, the pak choi that I’m kind of excited about. I’ve planned all winter, but I am completely willing to throw the whole square-foot-by-square-foot plan out in order to accept a gift from generous, wonderful neighbours.

I spent Saturday digging, squaring off, planning, revamping, planting, and watering.

Then, I did the same thing on Sunday.

By the end of the weekend, I had about half the plants in the ground, with plenty leftover. The leftovers are safe inside, at the ready just in case I happen to kill everything I planted by putting them out too early.

Sitting back and surveying our handiwork, the husband and I could hardly believe it was the same garden. I mean, just a year ago, this is what our backyard looked like, overgrown, used for far too long as overflow for the dumpster on the other side of the wooden fence:

One year later, we’re proud of the work we’ve done to get it to look like this.

Over the next few months, our weekend projects indoors may end up neglected as I spend more and more time here among these plants, weeding, watering, sowing second crops and coaxing tomatoes and green beans around trellises. I am more than willing to lose myself in this place, in these tasks, in this bonding to home. And I can’t wait to eat these veggies.
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