But then I got sick in the middle of March and stayed sick through the beginning of May, and there went all my big ideas. I could barely get dressed every morning and take the dog for a walk every evening, much less get my gardening shit together.
I did eventually haul my sorry and still-coughing ass up to Home Depot with a shopping list of materials and lumber, and I bought what I'd need to build. And then there were a couple of rainy weekends, and then a trip up to Boston, and then when we finally pulled the tarp off everything over the Memorial Day weekend, my 30-year-old drill died.
BUT. We persevered, J got me a new drill for my birthday (as if I hadn't hinted enough), we managed to get together enough soil mix to fill the beds -- surprisingly hard to estimate, even though the book is very explicit -- and we got out to the garden center in Yonkers and bought a bunch of little plants. Not quite the same as starting my own babies from seeds, but good enough. Saturday was the hottest day of the year hands down, but I didn't care -- it was good honest sweaty work, and when it was done we ended up with three raised beds full of all sorts of good stuff. It may or may not survive the birds and squirrels and raccoons and impulsive big-footed hound dogs, may or may not thrive in 6" of soil (and I do think I need to supplement even what we have there -- I've spent more on dirt this spring than on food, I do believe), may or may not work in the conditions we have there. But it's in there, and success or failure aside, I'm very proud of my garden. (The one with the bricks underneath that looks totally crooked is actually level -- it's the pitch of the ground that's totally crooked, and it only looks weird in the photo.)
We have corn and cabbage and broccoli and okra from seed.
We have Roma and cherry tomatoes, a purple and yellow sweet peppers and banana peppers and jalapeños and habañeros and white globe eggplants.
We have sweet peas, even though it's a bit late in the season for them, watermelon, cantaloupe, yellow squash, and cucumbers and black-eyed peas from seed. Probably some other stuff I've forgotten about, and I'm going to throw some lettuce in as soon as the temperatures get out of the 90s. I already had a bunch of herbs going in planters, so that's a done deal.
But it's done. At Last. I'm a garden loser no more. And if you don't think I'm sitting back in one of those green chairs with my feet up and a sweaty cold Heineken, admiring my handiwork and blasting Etta James out the kitchen windows, you'd better think again.