Visitors can find decor, tools and advice at the Grays Harbor Home and Garden Show in May.

Visitors can find decor, tools and advice at the Grays Harbor Home and Garden Show in May.

COLUMN: The challenge of growing a garden

When I was growing up, I spent countless hours in my grandparents’ huge garden

In regards to gardening, I have always had the best intentions.

My credentials for having a green thumb seem airtight; an appreciation for the aesthetic; elementary understanding of the necessities of life; strange affiliation for the smell of dirt and no fear of getting my hands dirty.

Unfortunately, there is one small detail about myself, that when included on a resume of horticulturist integrity, makes all previous claims null and void. I, unintentionally, kill plants.

Now, this is not a declaration I share lightly.

I alone, out of my family, seem incapable of sustaining the critical balance that keeps photosynthesis humming.

READ ALSO: A Gardener’s Diary: preventing blossom-end rot

READ ALSO: Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

My parents’ yard looks absolutely breathtaking in the summer with all of their planters, shrubs, and hanging baskets in full bloom.

When I was growing up, I spent countless hours in my grandparents’ huge garden, sneaking peas and carrots and pretending I was a farmer.

My grandma’s flower bed encircled their tiny little house with the tin roof and covered porch. Her summers were spent tirelessly tending to her clematis, pansies, lilies, geraniums, and roses, along with countless other annuals and perennials I would have no idea how to identify.

Grandma’s garden was a labour of love, and like everything else she loved, had her full heart and devotion.

It is this nostalgia that keeps me heartlessly buying seeds to lie dormant in my cupboard or urging my husband to make me yet another planter box.

My grandma was a huge part of my life and in some ways, it feels like a disservice to her that I have not yet figured out the fundamentals of fertilizer.

One of my favourite memories of spending summer leisure time with my grandma involves her and her bleeding hearts.

I remember Grandma sitting with my cousin and I on the grass and telling us a tragic tale of a prince and princess. At each interval of the story, she would take yet another piece of the bleeding heart blossom apart.

Perhaps I am being cosmically punished for all the poor blossoms that were sacrificed that summer in the pursuit of enchantment.

I have yet to give up on myself, partially because this community is so gorgeously green and has inspired me to be better.

Since moving to Summerland, I have successfully nurtured a lovely lavender plant through four seasons, as well as three boxwood shrubs (Full disclosure: I did have four).

Not the most impressive repertoire, I’ll admit.

Safe to say there is still room to grow.

Raina Dezall is an assistant community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library and promises that she always remembers to feed and water her family.

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