How Does Your Garden Grow?

During this pandemic summer people are spending more and more time in their gardens. They have abandoned their bread makers and taken up spades, diggers, and clippers instead.

In fact gardening became such a big thing that nurseries sold out of stock in early June. Geraniums became the spring equivalent of toilet paper! Line-ups at the local nurseries began as early as 7:00 am. People paced back and forth, breathing heavily through their masks, as they checked their lists and planned their attack on the store. One person would search for weed-killer, while another scoured the store for annuals that didn’t look half-dead. Often they had to make do with whatever they could find. If there were no white impatiens, then pink would have to do. No kale? Then try swiss chard.

My husband Peter and I are part of the gardening frenzy. I mostly take care of the flowers. Peter, on the other hand, inherited a farmer gene and loves growing vegetables. His girlfriend at Sunyland Produce would be devastated if she saw his bountiful harvest of zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, and squash. This past spring our neighbour kept peering over the back fence and marvelling at his vegetable garden. She even quipped,”I can’t wait to taste all those great things you are growing.”

So, one day recently we created a menu using ingredients from the garden, and invited the neighbour and her husband for dinner on the patio. First I made gazpacho, a cold soup of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and onions – all locally sourced, just a few steps away. Peter the Italian admitted that this dish is not part of his heritage, but he boldly took a few sips and declared it delicious. For the main course we have not yet expanded our back yard to include a chicken coop, so I had to buy some of that. But we had summer squash and zucchini as vegetables and we roasted the potatoes with home-grown rosemary. We topped off dinner with a rhubarb dessert, also from the garden. It was a successful meal. But we are not opening a restaurant any time soon.

Peter also looks after the grass: cutting, fertilizing, and weeding. This year he tackled another area of the property. It was a kind of no-man’s-land of weeds, not suitable for either flowers or vegetables. Instead of planting more grass to cut, he had a serendipitous moment – what about ground cover, like periwinkle? He had seen periwinkle growing in an abandoned field when we lived in the country, and fallen in love with its little purple flowers, its hardiness, and its low maintenance. It was the answer to his dilemma.

Peter began his search for periwinkle. His trips to the nurseries were fruitless. He noticed a neighbour’s garden with some growing, and he briefly considered dressing up in black and sneaking out in the middle of the night with his shovel. He finally decided on a better plan. He would get his hair cut! And, after he visited his old barber in the country, he would visit that abandoned field and “borrow” a few sprigs of periwinkle.

Well a few sprigs turned out to be boxes of plants. Peter spent an entire day planting them; filling the weedy no-man’s-land and just about anywhere else he saw an empty corner. He even tried to plant some in my flower beds, but I was standing guard. However, I do have to admire those little periwinkles – growing quietly, not trying to make a statement, not needing to be looked after. In short: periwinkle is perfect! I wonder if I could use it in a salad?


Periwinkle Portrait

6 thoughts on “How Does Your Garden Grow?

  1. Now I know what has been surviving quite nicely in my backyard, year after year, completely neglected. Periwinkle! It came with the house a few decades ago. I love it too!


  2. Right on! Gardening is so satisfying, physical and creative. Congratulations on Peter’s periwinkles.
    My plants are my babies, and I have skirmishes with my neighbour’s flock of chickens, who are into shredding my hostas and scratching dust baths in the mulch. Then there are the peacocks who simply bed down on the sedum and the ferns. Latest report of Pike’s Peak sunflowers: 12 feet high. That means, if the packet was correct, 3 more feet to go.


  3. Is this a hint as to what is in store for Jeff and me tomorrow😌😌😌? Bill

    On Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 7:18 AM Seventy In the City wrote:

    > > > > > > > sueatseventy posted: ” > During this pandemic summer people are spending more and more time in > their gardens. They have abandoned their bread makers and taken up spades, > diggers, and clippers instead. > > > > In fact gardening became such a big thing that nurseries sold out of > stock” > > > >


  4. Thanks Sue, you always give me a chuckle on Tuesdays! I’m sure dinner was delicious and so fresh. Much cooler today but fresh. M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  5. Your dinner sounded superb! You both get two thumbs up. I am glad you were standing guard by your garden. Periwinkle is a greater ground cover, but it is better not to have too much in your garden, it will take over. Know from experience. I managed to take some from a cottage rental.


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