Before moving to Nevada five years ago, I told my real estate agent I required a house with a pool. I was tired of the cold Montana months and thought if I was going to make the change to a warmer climate I wanted a pool to swim in. See I am a California girl through and through. I wanted to garden again and splash in water; something you really do not get to do in Montana. So a pool and backyard was a must.
Surprisingly it was hard to find a house with a pool; you would think a state that has three months of extremely hot weather would have house after house with a pool. No, not many Nevada’s like water it seems; the dry dessert is the main attraction. When we found a house with a pool and huge backyard I was thrilled, and though I hated the Jack and Jill bathroom set up, I bought the house (but really I bought the pool). Now five years and no real garden later(the large backyard does not get a lot of sun) I am done with the pool.
The pool was an older oversized Dough-boy. It ran 24 feet long by 12 wide. I enjoyed swimming laps and lounging on a float. But as the years went by I used it less and less. When I went back to work full time I used it on the weekends only, as by the time I got home the wind had picked up and it was too cold to swim. This last summer I was toying with the idea of taking the pool down, but was not quite ready to give up on my weekend swims. Well the pool gave up on me! The liner and skimmer cracked, the sides started to sag and the ladder was starting to show signs of wear and tear. Turns out the pool is over 15 years old and needed an overhaul or taken down. I priced everything out and after adding up the cost I decided it was time to take the pool down.
This last weekend my friend Chuck, my son Alex and I spent two hours undoing over a hundred bolts and screws. We had no idea it would be so hard to take down, but once the chore was complete I was thrilled to see I had a huge garden spot! The sun shines on this part of my yard all day, which is what I need for a vegetable garden. Now once again I can play in the dirt and grow my own organic produce. For me, gardening is a spiritual endeavor, one I have missed for over 10 years. I have missed the daily routine of taking care of a garden and watching my plants grow. There is no bigger thrill than picking produce you have lovingly grown yourself. The produce tastes fresh giving me a reason to put on my chef hat and cook homemade quality food. Fresh basil calls for fresh pesto and ripe tomatoes and peppers make for the best salsa. Ahh I can taste it now.
To give you an idea of just how much produce can be grown in a large garden Mel Bartholomew the author of Square Foot Gardening says you can place up to four or six plants per square. I have over 24 feet to plant in! Oh joy oh joy! Spring cannot come fast enough for me. For now I will continue to work the soil, make the fence to keep the cats out and dream of my garden.
For those of you who do not have a lot of space but want to garden I recommend Mel’s book as he shows gardeners how to use space wisely. All you need is sun, good dirt and a love of growing plants.