Over Budget and Overboard Again

Slice of Life Tuesday – April 27, 2021

“I was only $4.54 over budget this year,” I proudly remarked as my husband and I wheeled our carts across the parking lot toward the car. We found everything on the list except for the whimsical corkscrew plant I enjoy for our patio.

“Really? I thought we usually spend more than that.”

I couldn’t tell if he was satisfied or questioning whether we had purchased enough. Either way, it didn’t matter because we both enjoy the flowers, fruits, and vegetables throughout the summer and rationalize that since we spend most of our time outside, we shouldn’t scrimp.

Little does my husband know that I was only referring to the budget for Honeymoon Acres Greenhouse. There are other, closer to home greenhouses I like to visit, but Honeymoon Acres is our new favorite place we discovered last year and vowed to return to each spring to get what we need. It’s a bit of a drive from home, but we were planning a hike nearby and could combine both outings in one trip.

Before heading out, I looked back in my notebook at my garden plans from last year. I studied my neatly organized lists designed for efficient shopping by vegetables, herbs, seeds, flowers, perennials, and other supplies such as potting soil, a new spray nozzle, and gardening gloves. I’ve learned to keep notes and lists after too many years over planning and overspending.

Last year’s garden notes with comments added in color
Last year’s shopping lists

I will admit, last year, during the lockdown, we went a little overboard. I tried growing potatoes, beets, and onions for the first time. We added an extra garden space in the back yard, and I experimented with growing in containers too. Lettuce, arugula, and kale worked well in pots, along with three plantings of radishes. Normally, we’ve kept things simple, growing mostly tomatoes, peppers, and beans. After planting beans and peas three times, I gave up and considered them a contribution to the neighborhood bunnies. I still had my basil, lots and lots of basil.

The summer-long adventure proved to be rewarding and therapeutic, but we decided to restrain ourselves this year and reign in our gardening goals. We agreed to whatever we don’t grow, we will purchase from the local farm stand, so I created a revised list on my phone during the hour drive to our hiking destination. It consisted mainly of tomatoes and herbs in addition to the flowers for the front porch and patio.

This year’s shopping list

I felt confident with the downsized plan when my friend called and asked me if I wanted a few plants she had started from seed. She had extra. How could I say no to trying a couple more bean plants, snap peas, and hot peppers? What could one more basil plant hurt? I said sure because a few are not too many. A few is three. Right?

Yesterday, my friend delivered twenty-six plants! I’m back up to the same number of tomato and pepper plants as last year. Luckily, I am huge fan of basil because she brought me eight more plants! This summer, I’ll be experimenting with a few new plants, Brussel sprouts, egg plants, and artichokes. So much for our trimmed down plans.

Published by Patty Nault

Retired elementary teacher with a passion for reading, writing, and living a life full of curiosity. "Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." -E.B. White

2 thoughts on “Over Budget and Overboard Again

  1. First of all, I’m going to say this. Your note-taking makes my organizational heart HAPPY. As for trimmed-down plans…eh. Who could say no to the generous offer of a friend? I’m hoping there are pictures or progress updates to come this season!

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