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Sorry neighbours, no green thumbs at our house

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You wouldn’t know it by looking outside but, according to the calendar, spring is officially here.
It’s around this time of year that my husband and I start strategizing about what we’re going to do with the flower gardens out front and the tiny vegetable patch in the back.


The one good thing about the snow still being on the ground is that I find it easier to convince myself that this year — unlike all the previous years we have lived in Windsor Park — we will actually be successful in our attempts to re-create the beautiful, lush gardens that adorned our house when we first moved in.


It was late summer over three years ago when my husband and I first looked at the house we would eventually purchase. One of the things we noticed right away was the bright, vibrant flower bed flanking the main front part of the house. It was simply gorgeous. One look in the backyard, too, and we were hooked. Lush, green shrubs mixed with colourful perennials gracefully lined the side of the house. We were even more pleasantly surprised to find a vegetable garden in the backyard, something both of us had taken for granted growing up in the country but didn’t think we’d get to have here in the city.


We moved in late fall, shortly before the first blanket of snow hid all that beautiful greenery. We couldn’t wait for our first spring and summer in our new house, eager to show off our little urban oasis to friends and family.


Spring came and, excited to be taking care of our first home, we eagerly spent a glorious weekend at our local greenhouse, purchasing additional plants, plant fertilizer, garden trowels, gardening gloves and packets of seeds.


We planted. We fertilized. We watered. We weeded. And then we waited. By the time all of our neighbours’ yards looked like showcases for Better Homes and Gardens magazine, we finally had to admit it to ourselves — when it came to gardening, we were an epic failure.


This will be our fourth summer here and we still don’t seem to have the hang of it.


Those perennials I mentioned? Most didn’t come back. The annuals we planted absolutely refused to grow any taller than a couple of inches. And don’t get me started on the so-called vegetable garden or, as my husband calls it, "that patch of dirt in the backyard"!


And so fellow neighbours, on behalf of my husband and I —and our matching black thumbs — we apologize for our little dirt gardens. Maybe we’ll get lucky this year and find that our thumbs magically turned green over the winter.


Even if that’s not the case, I know this summer I’ll enjoy long walks around Windsor Park enjoying everyone else’s gardening successes!

Heather Tiede is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at htiede@gmail.com.

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