This is the land I farmed last year; this is the “before” photo, taken in the fall of 2006, when I was halfway through digging up the grass in preparation. (Having decided that if I didn’t claim a plot in the fall, I would’ve thought of an excuse not to garden at all by the spring, I went at it with a spade before the first frost.)
On this plot I planted two cherry tomato plants, three peppers, a pumpkin, six calendulas, a pair of sunflowers, a trio of Arizona Sun flowers, and rows of arugula. It was sort of a tester year; I barely read anything and pretty much went by the seat of my pants.
The two tender sunflower sprouts fell prey to squirrels, I think, in reconstructing the aftermath.
The pumpkin fared better — long enough to produce a couple of buttery blossoms — but fell prey to my over-zealous attempts at battling slugs: I poured beer at its base, hoping to fend off slugs on the attack, but the brew just drew them in masses. The pumpkin didn’t survive the night.
The arugula thrived, but I disliked its taste and let it go to seed.
The peppers produced, but were so embattled by pests that their fruits were eaten before ripe.
The raging successes of the garden where the Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes, which grew to seven feet tall and bore hundreds of sweet, orange, bite-sized tomatoes, and the calendulas, which bloomed gorgeously in the late summer and fall.
It was tough, but it was fun. I loved watering the garden in the early evening and sitting there watching the water drip in the last sunlight. I didn’t really weed a lot, but trapping slugs sure was satisfying. I guess I gardened just enough to get a taste of what it can be, and did it just for the fun of it, so that failures were nothing in comparison to the successes, that slow satisfaction of nurturing something from seed.