Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Garden Beginnings

I am so excited about growing a garden this year!  A previous owner of this home loved to garden, so we have lots of space in the yard already dedicated for growing flowers and vegetables.  However, during the time the home was neglected, these areas turned into wild, weedy jungles.  It is our privilege to be able to turn each garden plot back into a cultivated place of peace and delight.

How I love to grow things!  The older I get, the more I realize how deep this love of the earth goes into my soul.  It surprises and thrills me.   Watching this same passion blossom in my children brings another thrill.  Even the twins love playing in the dirt with Mommy. 

So, this bed is right up by the house.  Last year it was one big messy mass of grass, weeds and discarded tree branches.  It also used to have a nasty pond, which we tore out last fall and are in the process of filling in.  There's still the weird rock that looks like a termite mound, but we'll leave it for now because it's really heavy.  This area was probably originally intended to be a flower garden, but it's one of the sunnier spots in the yard and this year it's going to be the kids' individual garden plots, as well as my herb garden.  You can see that they are already marking the borders of their sections with pebbles. 

 I know it doesn't look really great yet, but it looks so much better than last year!

Here is Roo's little corner, on the side.  She did a great job clearing out all the weeds and now she has a potato plant growing.  More to come!  

 I work diligently to tear out the grass that had taken over.  You can see that I still have quite a bit to do.  It's slow work, because the grass has a deep and intricate system of roots which must be dug up, and this can only be done when the soil is of a workable consistency (most of the bed is pretty heavy clay, which is hard to work when it's too wet or too dry.)  As I work I encounter surprises such as a scattering of small landscaping rocks in one area and a load of turquoise aquarium pebbles in another.

As hard as it is to deal with in the garden, I am grateful for the tenacity of the grass.  Our lawn is patchy in spots, but I think that it will fill in without my help now that we have removed some of the things that were hindering its progress, such as a couple of badly-placed trees. 

At the back of our yard is an old dog run.  On either side of it are the remains of two vegetable gardens.  We tilled them this spring.  One side had very workable soil, though it's a spot that gets quite a bit of shade.  I planted four rows of potatoes, which are doing quite well.  

The other side is kind of an interesting place.  It has a little decorative fence in front of it, so obviously someone invested a lot in making it into a garden at one point.  The earth, however, was pretty hard when the Badger tried to till it.  Last year it was waist-high crab grass.  Post-tilling, it is a carpet of bindweed along with one random peony bush which apparently didn't mind being chopped to ribbons by the tiller.  The peony getting ready to bloom and I'm pretty excited about that because I love peonies and I have never had any of my own.  However, Leaf is determined to bite the buds off the bush, so I may or may not get any blooms. 

 What shall we do this this little section?  Well, hopefully we shall haul in a load of compost and turn it into a fertile, fruitful field.  But probably not this year.  We've talked about just putting pumpkins back there this year.  All we'll have to do is make two or three small hills for seeds in that hard soil and the entire plot will fill in with vines. 

Since I took that picture, a lady at church offered me some raspberry plants and I put them back along that fence you see.  Hopefully in the future this corner of my yard will be a magnificent vegetable garden edged with raspberry plants.  Wouldn't that be lovely?


Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

You're like my sister--happiest when your hands are in the dirt. May your garden be fruitful!

Courtney said...

I am amazed at your gardening. I feel lost and overwhelmed with yard work. One day soon I want some huge garden beds.