This is not our box!
This is the view we have when we are gardening.
Last year, Sarah and I were able to snatch a plot at our local community garden and start our own garden here downtown. Not easy to get a plot. Some of the community gardens around the city (on the plateau, mile end and around Olympic O have waiting lists many years long). We were able to get one because the previous gardener of our “jardinet” had to leave due to health issues and Sarah had just gone to the city of Montreal to bring the paperwork requesting a garden plot, a.k.a. “jardinet”. We got lucky.
Basically, I pay the $10 to the city for the 8 X 10 box, and then another $15 to the President of our garden of “Jardins Versailles”. This $15 goes to supplies for the year. The garden is great, just up the street from our condo. There is a huge garden shed full of tools for all to use, we get to use city water, and the people are funny.
This brings me to my community garden peeps. Last spring Sarah met the President and received her “new gardener” package. This gave us the key and the garden rules. Then we both went to opening day when everyone tries to go to the garden and help with the spring clean up. Sarah and I met some of our fellow gardeners and planted our plants. That’s when we noticed some of the ladies take this gardening thing to heart and some told us our plants were too big, we should have started from seed! Right, like I have time. What we didn’t know, it wasn’t in the rules, there is a garden contest. At the end of the year a committee selects who has the best vegetables, fruits, flowers etc…
The Rules of Montreal Community Gardens: I won’t go into details on the rules but will mention the important ones. No tutors taller than 5 feet. Plants must be 8″ from the border. At least 5 different vegetables or fruits. No more than 25% of flowers and let me tell you, if you let your weeding go, (like Sarah did at one point last summer) you will get a warning where you have 10 days to weed. If you get a second warning and ignore it or are away on Vacay, you will lose your “jardinet”. They don’t mess around.
Monday, Peter emailed me. Our President had called our Vonage number. There was a meeting on Monday night at 7 pm at the downtown Y. Sarah was busy reviewing for her organic chemistry final so off to the Y I went. This is where I met the lot of them. The funny garden people and the garden Nazis. I also met the city of Montreal horticulture expert assigned to us. He is the one who visits the gardens and send the warnings when you have too much weeds. Yeah, he sent Sarah an email last year…Nice guy but barely spoke English. We have a lot of old English people in our club. They are the same ladies who wanted Sarah and I to start from seed. This became a bilingual meeting fast. With some translation. As an outsider (I don’t quite consider myself one of them) their dynamic was very interesting. According to comments and looks I was able to get the gist of who is a trouble maker, a “do gooder”, a winer and so on. The only person I really knew was my neighbor Harold. Harold and I met last year on opening day. Retired guy who had a stroke and has a bit of a disability talking but really nice and we agreed that if either of us were there watering and noticed the other one’s garden looked dry, we would also water our neighbor. Plot 54 (us) and Plot 53 (Harold) would have each other backs! The other crazy people can go to ….
Anyhow, after discussing the height of tutors, weeding between jardinet (some people don’t do it and the seeds from the weeds go into their neighbors’ “jardinet”, lots of finger-pointing), electing a new committee, paying the $15 for supplies, getting a new key, talking about the height of the fence and the safety of the garden AND hearing who received the gardening awards they finally called an end to this meeting. It was 9:45 pm. Yep I had been there for almost 3 hours! 3 hours I will never get back. I just wanted to go home and drink. My garden peeps could quickly get me to drink. Thankfully this is more Sarah’s garden than mine.
I left the Downtown Y with a couple who had just joined the garden and they asked me, “are these people for real?” I told them not to worry about it, they are nice people when they are gardening.
Now we wait for opening day, May 9th. In the mean time I will go take a look at jardinet 54 this weekend. Have to start planning what Sarah will plant.