Way back in 8th grade, Quinland offered to make me something in his woodshop class. (The class was not, for the record, called Woodshop – it had a fancy name like Engineering Design, because they had to solve practical dilemmas with engineered solutions. But they also got to build stuff.)
I asked for two things: a cutting board for the kitchen (made of multiple pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle) and a garden box for the deck. He made both. The cutting board got tons of use from Day One, but the garden box sat sadly outside for an entire year before I got around to planting a garden.
I have never grown vegetables in my adult life. As a kid spending summers in San Francisco, I helped my grandpa work in a huge garden down the road from where he lived on Berkeley Way. I loved it. We had “races” to see whose plants would come up first, and my plants often won. He told me I had a green thumb. From him, it was the Supreme Compliment.
I was bound and determined to plant the garden box this year, so when my lovely friend Nancy offered me two of her little tomato plants, I was thrilled. (Of course, I promptly forgot them at her house, forgot to go back and get them, went again, and forgot them again. Typical.) Once I finally got the plants home, it was time for the fun to begin.
Here is my trusty assistant, Bonesy, displaying the tools of the job: a hammer and nail to poke some drainage holes in the bottom of the planter, and a cardboard box with two plants in it. (I am a professional, you see. Don’t try this at home.)
I decided to use Miracle Gro Moisture Control potting soil for two reasons: 1) any soil mix that will hold extra water is good for me, in case I forget to water the plants; and 2) I found a giant unused bag of it in my garage.
Fortunately, Bones inspected my work every step of the way. He’s a good dog.
Et voilà! My little garden has begun. Q brought home a basil plant from the grocery store the next day, so we planted that to the right of the tomatoes. I really should have substituted a mozzarella plant for one of the tomatoes, so I could grow my own caprese. Ah, well. Maybe next year.