The Learning Garden
Excerpted from The New Canadian Garden, 2016, Mark Cullen. All rights reserved. Published by Dundurn Press.
Chapter 4: The Learning Garden
My very first memory of a gardening experience was when I was about four years old (no one knows for sure). My family had several rows of vegetables in the ground on the “other side of the back fence” in a hydro right-of-way.
One fine Saturday morning my dad took my two sisters, my brother, and me out to “help” him in the garden. He showed me a weed and how to pull it while standing at one end of a long row of potatoes. They were gorgeous, big plants with deep green leaves and white flowers. He said, “Pull the weeds starting here and let me know when you get
to the end of the row.”
I did as I was told, and when I arrived at the end of the row, I pulled out the last weed and held the most beautiful (albeit small) potato in the air, “Hey, Dad, is this a weed?”
I will never forget the look on his face at that very moment. Did he want to kill me or just hope that I would never become a career gardener as he was? I will never know. But I know one thing for sure: where gardening is concerned, there is no such thing as “failure,” only composting opportunities.
Read more in The New Canadian Garden, available at independent book stores and Home Hardware.