In mom’s vegetable garden
Under a rhubarb leaf
Frog had a home
Carpet made of grass
Leaf roof over his head
Walls green and red…
There is one giant rhubarb growing in our yard, even though I don’t think there are any frogs living under it unlike in the Finnish children’s song. Together with raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, an apple tree, some tomatoes and cucumbers growing in buckets, that rhubarb is unfortunately the only food-bearing plants in our garden.
We have used the rhubarb throughout the summer for pies and rest are in the freezer waiting for winter bakings. Last year we got over 30 litres of raspberries, more than enough for our own use and to share with my daughters, and there is still plenty left in the freezer to use for swiss rolls and cheese cakes. Last fall I cut down all the bushes, which sadly means that there won’t be any raspberries this year.
Back in 2011 my daughter and her family built a house on the other side of our property. One of the very first things she did after moving in was setting a small vegetable garden on their yard. This spring the garden grew to a whole new level: 12 new planter boxes with plenty of space for vegetables and herbs. Now the garden provides them with strawberries, carrots, onions, beans, artichokes, basil, camomile, different types of parsley, thyme, oregano, chives and rosemary – and there is still plenty of room left for new plants.
Her aim is to have the vegetable garden running at full capacity next year, and I have to admit that I’m a bit envious. We have a freezer full of store bought herbs, but it would be so much more fun and rewarding to grow all the herbs, onions, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and other vegetables myself. Sadly on this side of the property we lack a large enough spot with enough sun for starting such a garden. I could always plant some herbs in big jars that could be moved around to catch the maximum amount of sun, if only Finnish summer would treat us with a bit of sun and warmth that is.
We have lived in this old house for over 20 years already. The first 15 years I spent taking care of the huge garden and its apple trees, berry bushes and flower beds – and it didn’t even cross my mind to ruin that stunning beauty with planter boxes. Though, back then I was more than busy enough with work, kids and dogs and would have not had the time to plan and plant new things anyway (at least that’s what I keep telling to myself). Now I have all the time in the world for projects like that, and my very own vegetable garden would be a dream come true.
Between the two houses, south from ours, we have a 16 square meter flower bed. Maybe part of that could be used for few planter boxes, and house a nice combination of beautiful flowers and useful plants. Strictly speaking that part of the yard is on my daughter’s side though, but I’m sure we could easily agree on sharing that space. Who knows, maybe already next year?