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Home grown


We live on ten acres of land and the whole family loves fresh summer vegetables. One would think we’d have had many gardens in the twenty years we’ve lived here. One would be wrong. I suppose the fact that we haven’t is my fault, mostly. I don’t enjoy gardening. I hate pulling weeds. Don’t like getting hot and sweaty. But this year, we tried something new — container gardening on our patio. My husband’s sister recommended the method — potting soil and a panty-hose leg full of fertilizer are placed in a large, lidded plastic storage container. Water goes into a PVC pipe sticking out of the top and is captured in a reservoir in the bottom of the container. The plants are inserted through X-shaped holes cut into the container lids. No weeds, no kneeling, quick and easy watering, we’ve had little problem with bugs — it’s great! I understand instructions for setting up the containers are on-line (hubby took care of that part).

We planted tomatoes, cucumbers and green and orange bell peppers. We’ve had some very nice tomatoes, with more growing now. A few cucumbers, though those plants haven’t exactly thrived. Still, I had a crunchy little cucumber in my lunch salad today, along with one of the tomatoes, and it was delicious. The bell peppers have been very successful; I harvested three big green peppers and three orange ones earlier today, and there are tons of them still growing on the plants. Considering that bell peppers are about a buck-fifty each in the store, we’re quite proud of ourselves. I particularly love them cooked on the grill in kabobs. I should have some to freeze for winter cooking.

We’ve learned a few things about container gardening that we’ll adjust next year, but it’s actually been fun. I like picking the fresh veggies (and yes, I know tomatoes are technically a fruit, but still … ) without even stepping off the patio, lazy “gardener” that I am. And I love eating them.

I suppose I could make this post fit the writer’s theme of my blog by talking about taking the seed of an idea, feeding and watering it and nurturing it into a full-grown story … but no. That’s stretching the metaphor way too far. Today’s post is simply about the unexpected pleasure my husband and I found this summer in our easy-to-grow container garden. Have you been surprised lately with one of life’s little joys?

Only three more days until the drawing for this month’s prize of two connected books. Click on the Enter to Win! tab above for details on how to enter. And remember, everyone who isn’t drawn this month will have to re-enter for next month’s prize, to be announced September 1.


Award-winning, best-selling author of women's romance fiction.

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