06 June 2010

In the Dirt

I finally started working on my garden. Last month's project was the raised beds, which I finished.

I did seedstart again this past March, however my squash quickly overtook the space and the grow lights.

While they were able to make it out to the beds, most everything else was too stunted to plant. I have two poor leggy tomatoes that made it. Everything else went to the compost pile.

Note to Self: Remember that next year.

So, into the first bed went the squash, and I sowed lettuce, kale, chard, broccoli, beans and pie pumpkins. I kind of followed the square foot method.
I have a handwritten grid of what is planted where, in hopes that I can figure it out as it grows.

A friend gave me some red onions that she had too many of, and the poor heirlooms. I am not going to stake them, instead letting them vine. There is room.

After a couple of weeks I was noticing tracks in bed and one morning caught a squirrel standing in the bed. While I am sure that the neighbors wondered about the screeching lady in the ratty purple bathrobe running into the backyard...well, then again, by now maybe not. But I reseeded the lettuce, pumpkin, and broccoli in hopes that more will come up. So far so good.

The other bed includes my basil. I seeded three square feet of basil, plus bought one six pack of basil in addition.
I am making pesto this year. Dammit. I also added a couple tomato seedlings that I bought, plus a chive plant gifted from my friend Jen's garden. She also gave me seeds from her plants last year, which I have put in the herb bed. I have enough space left for the potato starts I am going to try this year.

Last weekend's project was finally executed with the gifts from Jen. Besides the chive I took home peppermint, spearamint, lemon balm and bee balm. So, it was time to dig out the flower bed. I decided this year to do flowers and herbs, and found that the southeast corner of the house, right at the front, gets almost all day sun. We have a lot of maples, but a lot of southern exposure.

So, like the raised beds, I dug out the sod in pieces and hauled it away in the wheelbarrow to the back, enlisting the niblets to help shake out the topsoil.

The soil here is a lot rockier, and I may end up mulching it later on. It's been running off with the rain we got the last couple of weeks. However, I got the corner done, and may end up extending it to the front steps at a later time.

I did a mad dash through the local nurseries last Sunday, and picked up the missing vegetables, along with more lavender (I had to leave mine at the old apartment), chocolate mint, foxglove, red and purple coneflowers, plus some new plants to me. A butterfly bush, day lilys, plus my ever present daisies - this time not just Shasta, but Cape and African daisies in shades of purple. Plus one English daisy in "Strawberries & Cream".

Purple, or named for desserts. Yes, I am weak.

I also decided to put in my garden stone. This was made with my son's Cub Scout den. I have had a wonderful time leading them this past year, and have one more year before they transition to Boy Scouts and out of my hands. And what boy doesn't love to play with concrete?

A lot of work has been put in, but the wonderful thing I have learned the last couple of years is that this is not finished. Like Life, my garden is a Journey. I have to be mindful, and present, to make sure that the plants continue to thrive. I have to keep watch, and be patient, and not expect perfection - or even a full harvest. These are lessons I keep being presented with along my Path, and I am grateful for one joyful facet of my Life being lived that way.