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Southern Gardening, lesson 1,,,Controlling ones temper

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:44 pm

I used to have a garden.

I used to have a lot of land to make a garden.

I used to have a lot of land to forage on.

Ahhh, i can keep on going, but i won't. The shoulda, woulda, coulda's do me no good here in the south of Norway.

Here in the south, is the land of cars, buses and trucks. People with fences, tightly guarded homes and gardens to die for. Flowers all bursting with color and well maintained you think you was on a TV set of a horticulture show. Nothing random. Every little detail so well plotted out that it actually does not look so planned at all.

Now. Then there is me. Knowing i must keep up the Olssens (norwegian version of the Jones) I made my plans. I hauled rocks, dug dirt, made compost and bought compost to get started even more. I bought seeds, and flowers to ward off pest. Very planned i tell you. I incorporated existing plants and bushes into my plans to give it that " not so new look " Man it looked good! I tell you i was so proud when the neighbors came over and asked for details and where i got the ideas from. I worked hard on that one little part of my garden around our new little cottage house. So hard i threw my back out for a few days. But i hobbled around even then, dropping something here or kicking something in place there. Then when i was able to get back to work again, i started another garden this time for shade loving plants that only love morning sun on back side of the house.

Here i trimmed rose bushes of 3 different kinds, pulled out and ohh yes i did dry or freeze tons of nettles. I needed the room for what i had planned. I kept the roses! But worked hard to get all the roots from the nettles out, and ohh wow they was huge and spread i swear half way across the yard. One of the neighbors as a welcome gift gave me 3 blackberry bushes that will bloom this summer comming. It takes a few years for blackberry bushes to mature. Altho they are little, they are very much appriciated.

I cleared out all the plants around KB's father house and planted strawberries in the corner of the house that got sun from morning until about 11:00 in the night. mmmmm, the makings for the sweetest, juiciest berries.

Then on the other side of the house where i had built the rock garden with existing bushes and plants in it, along the house i made another small garden area. My tomatoes, paprika and basil was planted there, and oh i just drooled when i watered that area. I can see it now, pictured in my head, char roasted paprika, skin peeled, on a sandwich with feta cheese, salt and pepper with strong olive oil soaked basil layed over. Tomato saus, soup, sandwiches of all kinds, and ofcourse just plain eating the tomato like an apple. I drooled. I honestly did. I made Balder (our rottweiler) jelous with envy at the amount of fluid i could produce and drool.

So what happened with all that? i hear you asking.


Lets start with my drooling area.

Balder is 10 years old now,,so he just basically lays around and watches....but he is still good looking to all the other lady dogs in the area. Yes. They flocked to my dog and took out my tomatoes, basil and paprikas. I was devistated. Heartbroken. And well,,,,mad. Okay i let it go, its not Balders fault he is just so adorable.

The rock garden that i hauled all the rocks to, built up and layered so intensly with different woods, leaves and dirt, not to mention compost and dirt i bought. Well i didn't see it at first, everything was taking off so nicely,,all my herbs and edible flowers looked so darn good. Just a matter of time when i would be picking them along with the radishes and lettuce that i had also planted along the other end of it near the light pole. ohh yes the spinach also. I was ready, knife and fork in hand just about every day when i checked. Then for some reason i dropped the knife and fork and looked at the plants and started to panic. What the H*ll is going on here. They were turning brown and dying in mass quantity. My garden became the neighborhood litter box for all the cute little furry cats in town. (there is sarcasm in there) The cat feces caused my dirt to turn so acidic it ruined the dirt for years to come. I will have to replace everything there including all the way down to the bottom level. Not to mention just the act itself the food was no longer edible.

As i slowly picked up the knife..........

No no, it was just a thought. I do like cats, just not in my garden is all.

Then one day in June, all of a sudden our back yard turned into what can be called, " an almost fjord" it flooded out. The main water pipe in the road burst and all the pipes from it also burst, leading out to all the homes in our little area of the back road. Yes well,,,in come the bulldozers to fix the main break. Then came the bulldozers to fix all the homes affected. One problem with this scene. "I" was the only house effected. Well mine and KB's fathers. In come the bulldozers and took out all my strawberries just getting thru the gates. Just smashed them and no hope at all of anything recovering. On the way to the back yard, remember the blackberry bushes, it took out 2 of them, and just rolled over and kept going.

Okay insert Berserker here.

After loosing the other areas and the strawberries i went balisitic. I asked him what part of a plant surrouned by a little mini fence did he not understand, that meant "garden"! He apologised, shrugged his shoulders and went back to work. I hung my head, went back inside and made my mind up right there, i am ment to forage. By every god known to mankind i will be the best forager in all of Norway. I will.


Not this year.

The open field that lays at the edge of our home, across the long drive way, desided to get developed. All the cherry tree, but a few, all the plum trees but a few, all the pine trees but one, all the pear trees but a few got torn down. But! We now have a very nice childrens center or Barnehagen with all kinds of trees they planted for the children all fenced in, sitting there. And this summer there will be an elderly home right next to it. Even Balder is p*ssed off, that was his potty for goodness sakes.

Alot more has happened but that is what has become of my first adventures in gardening in the south of Norway. Do i like? Not one bit. Do i like living here? Not one bit. Will i try again? Probably. Do i want to try again? Not sure. Its still early yet for gardens here in my little part of the world. Is it still a fairytale place. hmmmm. To me it is more like a nighmare, but hey even nightmares have some good to them. Rude awakening, and showing you how to over come and work out what is wrong. So i guess i have learned now why all the homes here in the south are so guarded and closed in, protected and beautiful. City life is not for me, but then that is the beauty of the human nature, we all are able to adapt and learn. Some faster than others. Wish i was one of them.........*giggles*

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Netty wrote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:59 pm:

Oh dear Biita...all your hard sorry to hear!
Sounds like you are missing northern life a little bit. Balder and all his pals haven't kept the cats away I guess. Maybe you can try container gardening Biita. Good luck!


eileen wrote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:16 pm:

Awwww Bitta it must have been dreadful for you to watch all of your gardens being destroyed like that. I could feel my frustration growing as I read your blog and by the end of it I had a lump in my throat thinking of all the hard work you'd put into them all going to waste. All those ruin tooed plants!!! I just wish that I could have been there to give you a BIG hug.
I hope things will improve for you this year and that you're not too depressed to try growing things again.


Kay wrote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:38 pm:

Oh, the trials and tribulations of gardening! I do hope you try again. Bet you will :)


gardengater wrote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:38 pm:

I've had some of those problems you're having and they are heartbreaking, but I have a feeling it won't stop you from trying again. Real gardeners never give up. I hope your new home becomes more happy for you and you can make some excursions to the wild country to forage. Sending love, Carol


desertflower wrote on Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:49 pm:

Oh my! I feel for you. Went through similar ordeal last year where we moved to. Not cats, but neighbors cows....Anyway I know how you feel. It is just plain disheartening. But like I told myself, This too shall pass! But it is still tragic. By the way, you are a very good story teller. I so enjoyed reading your story, except for the fact it was sad.


glendann wrote on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:46 am:

Oh Biita how sad your gardening ended up.I don't think you will give up but will figure a way to garden.
Maybe you can go back to the old home every now and then to forage.You did get some nettles out of the yard.


Sjoerd wrote on Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:49 am:

What a blog entry THAT was! I can easily imagine your situation and also become a bit irritated by it all because I'm still angry about things here.

I do hope that you can adapt, to a degree... and I hope that you will try again.

I can imagine that it will take quite a bit of determination, but who knows-it could be easier than you think.


daisybeans wrote on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:19 am:

Oh Biita... I just hated to hear all those things happening to your gardens, one after another.... I remember last year just thinking you were an amazing person to have been lugging all those stones and putting so much of yourself into those new gardens. Well guess what, I still think you are amazing. Your post made me start to think about the things we all go through as loving gardeners, the disappointments and the successes... we kinda keep plugging away, even in the face of the hard things 'cuz we just love gardening. So I know you'll find a way to connect with the Earth again (isn't that what it's all about anyway?) and we'll all be happy to hear about how you do it. Chin up... and good luck with it.


Jewell wrote on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:29 am:

Biita - sorry to hear of your difficulties, but you write with such a sense of humor that I couldn't help giggling. My giggles were probably because I can truly identify. With two rescued dobermans and their lack of garden respect it is often frustrating. I could never express it with your grace though.


Droopy wrote on Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:33 pm:

Oh, dear. It sounds like you're in for a fun-filled spring. I can't see you giving up here, you know. :lol: You're the stubbornest gardening forager I know, and you'll find foraging grounds aplenty once you set your mind to it. As for your gardens, I guess you'll come through with flying colours there as well. "Get-off"-chrystals are nice when it comes to deterring cats. Good luck, Biita. It's good to have you with us again.


Biita wrote on Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:53 am:

Thanks all! I am probably going to try again. I know i will find foraging places,,but kind of defeats the purpose when you have to drive or bike Km or miles just to find a place that has no cars. lol. But i will find it! I have not heard of " Get-off" before so i will hunt that down as a prority!! But like i said, i will probably give it another chance, just different layout i think, just in case!!! lol.

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