Yesterday evening I was doodling a bit in “my first garden” diary that I started shortly after I started setting out the garden. I was doodling a bit for my own relaxation and I was writing down what had been successful crops up till now and which were less successful. I was preparing for the last piece of sowing this year, so I tried to figure out what I could sow for the last time based on previous experiences. What did well and what didn’t do well? While doodling and thinking and writing I slowly realised that I couldn’t name a lot of unsuccessful ones, but had a big list of successful crops.

seeds1I remembered the words of our gardner (that does everything but our vegetable garden), he wished us luck – when we told him we wanted to try out a vegetable garden. He warned us that it was not a suitable place. It was going to be too warm and too dry, we could only grow some easy crops like tomatoes and courgettes. So against all odds we begin and in January of this year I started some early sowing. In a very stupid way, I had to do most of my sowing all over again later that year. But that didn’t matter, it marked a start and that in itself was important enough. And based on the doodling I was doing it might have been a difficult start, but eventually most of the seeds germinated in something beautiful. I went to bed being satisfied.

This morning – considering that it’s a Sunday – I was up really early. Nobody was up, so I decided to go and have a look in the garden. It’s pretty warm again these days, so there is less enjoyment with being in the garden during daytime. Being there in the morning was perfect timing. With the evening doodle in my mind I strolled in between all the plants to see how everything was growing/standing/hanging/crawling. Was the garden really a success? And quickly realised that it was – a success. It’s a big success, and I based this only on one thing that started growing this past week. 


The melons! I’m a bit of a melon junkie. Mostly a watermelon junkie I must confess. And while I sowed these different melon seeds enthusiastically – I actually never thought they would really produce fruit. Most of the melon plants have been in the garden for a long period and they hadn’t produced anything yet. Others – like the watermelon – was sowed much too late by me and I couldn’t imagine that it would do anything on time.

Now this past week luck had changed. The plants had probably finally gotten enough warm sunny days that they started growing into mature plants. They started producing fruits! Not one, or two, but by now we have four melons. Two plain melons (like above) and two **special** watermelons like below. I’m not sure if they will grow up to be 14 kg heavy watermelons (like they should). But the fact that I just held a baby watermelon from our own garden in my hand was so special, that I declared our first vegetable garden a success this year!

melons2There are a lot of things I would do differently next year, to maximise and balance out the harvest. I made a lot of mistakes in seeding, planting & looking after the plants. I didn’t choose right positions for some of the crops, I sowed too much, too early, to late, to dry and so on. But this was a trial year where the idea was mostly to find out what we could do and what we couldn’t. I realise now in retrospect I could have just planted fifty watermelon plants and I would have been equally satisfied, or wouldn’t I?