24 March 2008

From the Desk of a $64 Tomato Author Wannabe [#1]

By Dina RaevskyAs you know, green is a very becoming fashion in our so-called world. As I am typing this commentary, I am staring at my fingers, brown at the cuticles. No, I am no tobacco chewer, nor have I dipped my hands in a stinky substance. I am proud to call myself a gardener, or a mini-farmer. The earlier title is more suitable, for I am just a beginner. Looking back, gardening was for geeks, old ladies, and hippies growing certain illegal substances. Hey, you cannot blame my warped thinking back in the heydays. I am a city gal turned into… well, a continuously city gal in a smaller town of Frederick MD. I came from a penthouse nearby Central Park to a brownstone bungalow nearby Market street and Baker Park. Not much has changed in my cosmopolitan taste.
Gardening was introduced in my life early, but not practiced very much (does watering indoor plants and mowing count?) until I bought my 1920 brownstone last year in Frederick. Feeling a bit stressed out about mowing my lawn (gasp), I stood in front of my house, scratching my scalp a bit. My neighbor, a white – haired and mid-aged lady came out with her partner to greet me and to show me their garden. Looking at their garden made my eyes widen in amazement. “I want a garden like that,” I commented, staring at their immaculate and colorful English garden with cobblestones leading me among the flora. I wish I could say that about the neighbors’ teeth. After coughing a bit from their constant cigarette smoking, I escaped unscathed with several borrowed books about bulbs, perennials, and a ground hole maker to make bulb planting easier.

Is my garden an English one now? Not yet! I have not realized how many years it takes to cultivate a garden. Not only that, my dog, Same’ah, is famous for making plants his target. Thus, a garden filled with diverse flora in the backyard was a compromise in the making. I reserved the sides of my fences as well as the front area for my garden in the backyard and all of my front yard to be invaded by gorgeous plants and trees. The backyard garden area is fenced to thwart any acidic urine sprayed over my poor plants.

This is my second year of gardening, and I am proud of my achievements and failures. I have learned so much this past year and half and wanted to share this with you, my fellow aspiring gardeners, experts, and those who simply like to read blogs. Through this blog, you will be hearing emotional counts of brave daffodils, stubborn tomatoes, plagued eggplants, disloyal lady bugs, a little friend named Snake, and more. Photos are going to be displayed for instruction purpose, or for discussion. The photos enclosed come from my first year experience. If you have any tips, ideas, or thoughts throughout the series of commentaries I am going to share, feel free to whip them up.


  1. i love gardening! since i live in an apartment in a city and the closest dirt is about 50 feet across the street, i don't have much choice. so i'll live vicariously through you and your stories. looking forward to more :)

  2. Looking forward to reading more about your gardening adventures, and I'm already enjoying this! We have a vegetable garden in our backyard, and last summer we didn't have to buy tomatoes and lettuce at all. Unbelievable taste! Much much more richer than anything store-bought. We didn't have much luck with carrots and radishes though. We're growing more tomato plants and will have to decide which vegetable to try next. Perhaps one of your blogs will inspire us to try a new vegetable or two for this spring..

  3. I'm looking forward to the outcome of your masterpiece! I even encouraged (or was it more like convincing) my mother to plant a garden since she is more of a green thumb than moi. Even though I'm moving to the West and won't be witnessing the growth of mini-Eden, Mother has assigned the responsibility as a mini-farmer to my older sis and boy, did she freak out! Luckily, I'll be able to get my hands dirty in the biodiversity garden of Bliss Cafe in Sedona, AZ! Looking forward to having us become more GREEN! ;-)