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New Beginnings


I have had a fruitful (if you’ll pardon the pun) vegetable garden for the last ten years. My husband built me a fabulously large raised bed by the side of our house, and no matter what I did, how neglectful I was, if I could just get the plants in the ground sometime in April, we were rewarded all summer with herbs and vegetables from the garden. And trust me, I have been very neglectful! Between nature and I, my garden has endured overgrowth – from weeds to cucumber vines; underwatering – thank goodness for rain; and even tornadoes and earthquakes – most notably, both in one year, and that year was the one when my tomato plants grew ten feet tall!

weeds and babies

What my garden cannot endure, however, is leaving. And that’s what we have done. Just before the end of tomato season last year, my family packed up our trowels and moved. I gathered all the tomatoes I could, ripe and unripe, from the garden, and took them with me to the new house. Some ripened; some were fried green (yum); and some just… didn’t make it. It feels a little like a metaphor for dreams, although I’m not sure what exactly is standing in for what.

Our new house is beautiful, and big, and in a much better school district, something my two-year-old twins will surely appreciate someday. But it doesn’t have a space that screams for a garden.

april planting

raised bedThe old house had the perfect spot; a strip of grass that was so unused as to be useless, in between the house and driveway, perfectly sized for a raised bed. We built it, and the garden flourished while we renovated the entire house, got married, and had babies. Now, a tenant lives there. She has dogs, and doesn’t garden, although I hear that my rosemary has survived regardless.

new garden space

Here in the new house, we’ve swung through April and into May, and I haven’t planted anything. I’ll be buying my herbs and tomatoes from the farmstand this year, I suspect, until I can figure out where to put something. I love my new backyard beyond belief, and we have a fabulous patio, but a thin strip of mulch behind it is the only place the previous owners thought to leave any garden space. The layout doesn’t leave room for my preferred raised beds – the sunniest area of the yard is the most child-friendly, and I suppose if I must choose, I have to choose my children over tomatoes. It’s the done thing. But I’ll find a way. Gardening, like life, involves planning. I’ll get there again soon.


About the Author:


theives honor coverheadshotJamaila Brinkley grew up on a farm, and has always preferred to live where she can have land to roam. Her taste in gardening is decidedly vegetable in nature; her harvest regularly shows up in her kitchen. She now gardens and gambols with her two young children in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. A debut author, Jamaila’s first release is ‘THIEVES’ HONOR,’ a light historical fantasy romance which features a shy wizard, a sassy thief, and an interfering duchess in Regency London. This sweet novella is available from Soul Mate Publishing exclusively on Amazon.  You can find out more about Jamaila on her website.