Spring work part 1

Since we are back in Zurich it has become a bit more difficult to find the time for blogging. In Turku I used the little ones afternoon nap for writing because after going for walk I could put the stroller in our flat so that she wouldn’t wake up. I can’t do that anymore because we don’t have an elevator in Zurich. So, when I go for a walk and the little one is still sleeping when I am returning home there are three options. I could wake her up (ok, that’s not really an option, so lets skip that). I could sit down on the bench in front of our building and read a book. Which I like to do, but often I forget to bring one. So at the moment, I am going for the third option: I am weeding.

When we moved to our new flat, we were told that we could rent a garden lot right behind the building if we want to. There is an area divided into smaller lots where the tenants can grow vegetables and flowers. A bit like the German Schrebergärten, but without the huts. We thought that it sounds interesting but since Karsten has to work on his field from April to November and is normally completely knocked out in the evening and since I was already 7 months pregnant I doubted that we’d have the time to work in the garden during the summer. And you don’t want to make a bad impression as a new tenant by neglecting your garden. Especially not in Switzerland. My project was to keep the plants on the balcony alive that year (something we failed big time the year before although we only had three plants).

During the next weeks, I found myself exposed to various persuasion methods by Karsten (“Of course I will have time to water the garden in the evening after I spent 8 hours on the field and had some quality time with the little one!!”). And the neighbours did their best too. They told us that if we wait one year the garden lot will be covered with weed and it will be very difficult to get rid of it again. Good point! So one day Karsten convinced me to share a garden lot with our friends and to just plant a wild flower mix which will suppress the weed until we find time to do some proper gardening later on.

Two days later he was planning all the vegetables we were going to plant.

That’s how we became proud gardeners. It has been both a blessing and a curse. The previous owner didn’t find the time to pull weeds (he had children, haha…) so they happily proliferated. Late spring, a lot of plants were suddenly growing in our garden and after some time of happiness (uuuuuh, I wonder what flower that little green seedling will turn into…) we were faced with thousands of thistles and millet. Our summer was a constant fight against them. Against them and the armada of slugs that invaded the lot every evening.

Apart from thistles we had some vegetables too. Some garden radish (a few of them even managed to grow bigger than a pea), some potatoes (we planted blue ones, but harvested yellow), some chard and an explosion of zucchini (basically we had zucchini every single day last summer – I am not exaggerating). The previous owner also left raspberries and strawberries! So when my nesting instinct kicked in during the 9th month, I lovingly put wooden wool underneath the strawberries (the little one’s room hasn’t been completely furnshished until today…) And it is really cool to be able to say “I am going to the garden and get dinner!”.


This is how it looked like last year at the end of the summer

But it’s a lot of work too. Mostly because many of the other tenants are not only Swiss but also former agriculturists. Their beans and peas are sowed meticulously with exact gaps between them. Our plants are growing here and there and with 50% we still don’t really know what they are until they are fully grown.

So this is where I am when the little one is sleeping. The green stuff that looks like weed is some leftover spinach and the wildflower mix that we didn’t cut back on time last year, so it turned into weed this year…I will do a proper before-and-after-photo as soon as there is progress to see 🙂



FIrst flower of the year

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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4 Responses to Spring work part 1

  1. Last year I really admired what you grow in your “garden” being pregnant and more how you came up with all the fruits and vegetables in your kitchen!! I am surely convinced this will not change this year specially if you think of all the vegetables free of pesticides for the little one:-) Probably she will be fond of digging in the garden as well and with her preference for putting everything in her mouth, she will improve her immune system very much:-))

  2. Eingehirner says:

    You make it sound like you regret getting a garden 😉 But I admit, it can be a curse sometimes. Zucchini everyday (with all the neighbours being fed up already because they made the same “mistake” of planting some) and inventing new dishes — Zucchini muffins, Zucchini cake, Zucchini whatever — just to get rid of them certainly is an experience… If only the peas and pumpkins would grow as well…

    One thing a garden is great at, though: being a place to meet people after work without calling enyone!

    • erdhummel says:

      That’s true, meeting people in the garden is a bit like in the good old times when we were children and just went outside to play with friends every afternoon 😉 And I don’t regret renting the garden, not at all – it’s my place of retreat every now and then 🙂

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