I would love to have a garden. A real, honest-to-goodness vegetable garden like the one my Mum had at our first house. She fed us, my uncle’s family, my grandparents and anybody who strayed over to our house, summer upon summer.

Until we moved. From the Prairies to Ontario and the town/city where we lived was a 15 minutes drive from the vegetable basket of Canada. So, no more veggies (excepting some half-hearted rhubarb and asparagus patches) and in came lots of pretty flowers and shrubbery.

Not that I minded, but I really wasn’t interested. Belly first!

So even though we live in the desert and my thumb is at best a blackish sort of grey, we decided to do a little bit of container gardening. I wanted the Little People to see that food doesn’t randomly and generically appear at some supermarket. Some things were spectacularly successful and some things were spectacular failures.

This was one of the successes:

Who’da thunk that carrots would have worked in a container? Not I.

We also discovered that basil, lemon thyme and swiss chard were desert container garden superstars.

Our flubs? The lettuce got burnt by the sun and was so peppery as to be inedible. Blech. We also had some pollination issues over at our house. Apparently all the bees hang out in the pond at the front of our house and not at the back. Not cool enough for you, eh? Both varieties of tomatoes (cherry and patio sized) grew well and made lots of flowers, those flowers didn’t always bear fruit. Same story with our japanese cucumbers. By the time I found out how to, erm, hand pollinate my cukes and tomatoes, it was kind of too late in the season to do so. That, and I couldn’t stop cackling long enough to find a q-tip.

So we live and learn and know what to do next year. In the mean time, the Little People and I have had fun watching the little buds come up from the soil and decorating the pots with sidewalk chalk and watching it all get drenched in the monsoon rains so we could do it all over again. Regardless of what worked and what didn’t work, it was a good growing season.