I had a ridiculously small garden, it ran off of a fountain and provided me cherry tomatoes. It was aquaponic meaning the plants had little to no soil, they were watered by the small fountain, I had 7 mosquito fish, the fish poop fertilized the tomatoes. I thought that the garden would be too small to make a big impact in my life, but I was wrong.
It build a love of gardening in my daughter’s heart, she is tending a container garden of her own in this old photo. It was the first love we shared, which really helped me connect to her through are vastly different personalities. Since then we also love books, libraries, the outdoors and reading, but gardening was the first thing we had in common and it also connected me to my father for the first time in our lives at about the same time. So gardening just fills this need of having some way for me to connect to others when I don’t watch TV or current movies or enjoy sports or politics like most people seem to do.
Gardening also healed me from my miscarriage, the urn of my daughter’s twin sits in her garden, I know some people who are brave or callous about miscarriage, but I was neither, it hurt me more than I’ve ever been hurt. Seeing my daughter grow became bittersweet because I would imagine what her twin could have been like, would imagine them playing, would imaging the lost one growing. For some reason having my lost child in the garden was absolutely essential for me, I bought a $10 urn, and put the remains the doctors didn’t think were worth analyzing there after a fire to sterilize if not reduce to ashes my lost love.
My daughter ate tomatoes everyday the summer this picture was taken, it was her favorite food, not sure if it was luck all we had was her favorite or if it was her favorite because it is all we had (homegrown at least).
My daughter still loves tomatoes, I still love gardening and my father is tending a larger tomato garden for us in Hawaii. We were going to return this summer for six months, but COVID, so… they didn’t take us and we had to summer in California. The upside is my two kids learned to swim (I taught them begrudgingly), my daughter learned her multiplication facts very well – I felt lost about what to teach and figured that would be useful so we covered one fact a day, and my husband and I made some peace another level deeper than I think we would have had we been apart as we normally are in the summer.
This small garden was what led to a bigger one.
Today my garden lies fallow, but maybe I’ll start it up again?
My daughter’s garden pot has one corn plant and a baby tomato we planted today.
With just one pot ladybugs still come to us and she loves them, with just one pot we have a garden.