“I don’t have a green thumb,” says Maureen. “This is the first garden I’ve had for forty years.”
For Maureen, having her own on plot on Granville Street is the fulfillment of a long-held dream. ‘I would look at the little plots that other people had. I would see all the gardens and talk to the people and think, I’d love to have a garden.’
Living the dream has proved even richer and more fruitful than expected. ‘I’ve got two tomato plants, one of which is just so huge; it’s taking over my whole little plot, and I’ve got peas that are spreading to the neighbor’s patch. Everything is just doing so well. It’s absolutely marvellous.’
And Maureen, who’s been quadriplegic since an accident in 1992, now has an excellent arrangement: “I can’t do any of this physically myself, but I can share the produce with whoever’s helping me. I say I want you to have a salad too.”
Maureen added to her repertoire of gardening skills and knowledge at a recent DIGA workshop on sprouting seeds:
“I’ve just become a sprout fiend. I didn’t know sprouts could taste so good, because they’re nothing like what you buy in the store.”
As she notes, gardening also yields other less edible, but no less nourishing, rewards: “It’s a great way to meet other people. Gardeners are friendly. I often ask them to do something for me, and they’re more than happy to do so. I say, if you see my plot and it needs watering, would you mind watering it?”
And the folks at DIGA, she says, have been invaluable.
“They’ve been wonderful and responsive. I couldn’t be a bigger supporter. I’m so enthusiastic and so grateful for what they offer.’
Nevertheless, DIGA’s support doesn’t quite explain how her patch has become the envy of the other gardeners:
“I’ve had people asking me how mine got to be so good. For a beginner, it’s pretty funny.”
So, what’s her secret? ‘’It’s the soil. You make sure there is lots of very good soil!”
There you have it. You don’t need a green thumb: just good soil and a bit of good-will.