Growing up, we didn't really have a very productive garden. My mum and dad work full time, and of course, we go to school, and we're lazy buggers.
Occasionally when I was little I'd bury a fruit or a fruit seed or stone, but nothing ever happened, because I normally forgot about it, and I didn't do any research into how certain things should be planted.
Our soil in my old house was also quite dreadful - mostly yellow or grey sand that didn't hold water properly.
The only thing that grew that was edible was the guava on the nature strip, the mint that I loved and my dad hated because it ran EVERYWHERE, and the mandarin tree produced masses of fruit every year. But I wasn't particularly in love with guava, and you get sick of mandarin after you've eaten about twenty. At one point we grew kang kong, but at another point we also gave up.
Now we're in a new house with slightly better soil, so we finally have a veggie garden. We planted snow peas (a favourite) and beans (another favourite), lettuce, parsley, basil, strawberries, coriander, passionfruit and cherry tomatoes.
The snow peas was the most successful - at its peak we harvested a big bowl ful every couple of days. The lettuce led to many korean bbq nights, but eventually became old and bitter because we didn't harvest whole heads of lettuce, only leaves. We've got waaaay too much coriander, and parsley that we rarely use.
The strawberries grow alright, but they're always getting eaten. The fruit at first was at first tasteless, then sour, then tasteless again. Any fruit I can salvage now that is ripe and not eaten or pecked is tiny bit intensely sweet.
We planted the basil and the cherry tomatoes in the same place - in a garden bed we forgot to mix with compost and blood and bone. The basil was miserable - half of them died, and half of them turned an interesting shade of yellow. A careful transferral to potting mix and they're now flourishing wonderfully.
Despite hearing stories of hard-to-grow tomatoes, our cherry tomatoes flourished in the same soil where the basil slowly died. We now get dozens of tiny tiny tomatoes that are so much nicer than the watery, powdery things you get at the supermarket. The passionfruit flowered - I don't know what happened to it, lol.
I love having a productive garden - I'm always the one in the garden admiring as the yellow cherry tomato flowers grow into tiny deep green fruit the size of peas - as these peas become yellow and then orange and then red - I'm always the one admiring the provocative flower of the passionfruit or how the tiny tendrils of the snow peas stretch and and grasp onto each other or the fence, coiling in on itself like a telephone wire. One day when I'm rich I'll build a massive greenhouse and I'll plant a forest in there, and work in there every day. We will never have to go to the supermarket because I'll grow everything. And as I'm digging after coming back from a book launch or movie premiere I'll be thinking about this day, this day when I was fourteen and blogged from school when she was supposed to be doing math, when I was a kid dreaming, forever dreaming.