Friday, September 28, 2012

Gardening and Living out a "Calling"

Our latest shelf, with Eli guest starring. Our kitchen is becoming functional!

I recently enjoyed this post about being an introvert. It made me think of the famous quote by Eric Liddell in Chariot's of Fire, who wondered whether he had to be a pastor to fulfill his calling: 

"I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." 

For me that story and Darren's post both ask the fundamental question of whether we have to try to change who we are in order to have an impact or "live out our calling".  

Having made this big move to South Africa, I am often in a rush to figure out why we're here and how we're going to start a revolution, change the world, be inspired, be inspiring. I say that jokingly but also dreamily. I know I have to change and grow, but also that the things I'm hardwired to love are somehow meaningful.  

I am not a great gardener and I don't have any special insight into how to make our tiny space into a place of beauty and productivity and peace and lots of food and... but I feel amazing when I try to grow something and try to make something where there wasn't something previously. It feels like something I can do to bring a little heaven to earth right now, if only internally. Making a beautiful space in a fairly concrete-filled treeless street is my offering. 

It's not very beautiful yet, but I see potential in what's growing this spring. You can check out our "Before" pictures to see what the front and back spaces are like:

I'm always on the hunt for old tires. They make extremely hardy tomato pots. In the end, this tire will just have one tomato. In the end there will be only one...

We have two blueberry bushes, just beginning to get blueberries.
We have one lemon tree, given as a gift, in a pot. It's beautiful.

Although they don't produce anything I really enjoy my bonsai as a sort of microcosm of trees in a small space.

In the front area, I have over thirty plants in self-watering soda bottles. Because they're hanging, there isn't a big problem of pests, but I am interested in ultimately scaling up and trying bottle towers to conserve water and space.

We're just coming out of winter so the lavender and rosemary need some extra love.

I'm growing granadillas (also the little ones in the photo below) to try to hide some of the burglar guards and hopefully grow a lot of fruit. Granadillas have become my favorite fruit, but they're fairly expensive so I'm experimenting with space, sun, water and worm castings to see what seems to make them happiest in their pots. 
In the end, there will also be only one. Though I'll just transplant the others into big pots, if they're doing well! One can never have too many granadilla vines. Well...


CB said...

Hey! What's the tree in the first picture to have no caption? I think I have one growing on my street, and have always wondered what it was....

Concrete Gardener said...

Sorry! We just call it a fake fig tree. I picked it up growing as a seed in the gutter of our house in Durban in 2006. Let me see if I can get a better name for you!

Vanessa said...

You have a beautiful garden space!

Darren B said...

I love how you've called life out of your little space!

BTW: What are Granadillas like? Carla asked Siri on her IPad. Is it pretty much a passion fruit?

Concrete Gardener said...

Wow, Siri has joined the iPad! Yes, it is a passion fruit!