Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Method to this Madness

Today it is windy and 58 degrees.  Sun is shining.  It is lovely out.  Going outside to plant the broccoli that I bought.
Side yard, where the magic happens ;)
I used to do raised vegetable gardening using Mel's Mix. It never stayed very moist.  You would have to water every day. The mix was very light. I decided that I need more durable soil.  So last fall I took apart my raised beds.  Spread them out into mounds and dumped all of fall's leaves on top.  Well upon looking at it today I realized they never broke down really well because I never turned them.  So today I turned them in, flipped the mounds upside down essentially and dumped some new compost on top.  Not really any rhyme or reason.  Then I made four holes in two mounds and stuck the little broccoli starts in.  Then I sprinkled some left over lettuce and spinach seeds around the broccoli.  Watered and mulched.
Broccoli
I was musing over how the neighbors behind me hire people to mulch and take care of their yard. Every spring I am out there toiling and the hired help is toiling too at the same time. For one second I am envious but then I am thankful because I realize they are missing out on such a wonderful opportunity.   Getting your hands in the dirt gives you more blessings than you know.  It is a great way to learn something about your world and yourself.
This year will be plant whatever where ever cause I don't have that much brain power anymore. But really gardening is not that hard.  If you plant it, it will grow.
I cleaned up the rest of the side garden which is where the veggie patch is.  Veggies on one side of the path and herbs on the other.  Oregano, lemon balm, chives, yarrow, lavender and more.  Cut back four large mounds of cat mint.  Pulled weeds, picked up sticks laying around.

Chives poking out of the ground



Herb garden along wall.


Lastly I covered the baby broccoli for the night.
Broccoli and lettuce seeds ready for bed.
 We still are getting cold weather.
Proud of my hard day of work.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reflections on a Cold Spring Day

Today is 48 degrees, cloudy and windy.  The sun shines only when the wind blows the clouds out of the way and only for a moment, so from the inside it looks like a dreary day.  I went outside anyway to plant the three shrubs that I picked up so far from the garden centers.
I start by mixing a couple different types of compost in the wheel barrow.  Then I attempt to wrangle the bale of peat moss.  This proves difficult.  So I finally find the tarp my husband has absconded with and dump the bale out and break it up into chunks.  Then I mix it in with the compost.  The whole task always seems so laborious and annoying.  Making a mess before I even get to planting.
So next you would find me outside with a tape measure carefully measuring the area where I want to put my plants. Placing the shrub, I step back and take a look.  No a little to the left.  It has to be perfect because I am known a year later to dig up said plant and move it one foot if it does not seem right.  OCD gardening.  I dig my holes and plant my shrubs adding my mixture to the holes.
Mugo Pine I planted today.
At the moment my last shrub is in the ground the clouds part, the sun shines and the wind blows.  I stand up straight and take a deep breath.  This is the moment I love.  I feel Heavenly Father's love in those moments.  I know He creates those moments just for me.  I truly feel all alive.
I sat down on the garden path and soak in the sun. All the birds are either chirping, squawking or singing.  My cat is chewing crazily on a plant; some cat nip that has sprouted in a new spot. I close my eyes and thank Heavenly Father.  I also pray for some of my loved ones that are dealing with a loss of a loved one.  I dedicate this moment to them.  Life all around me, life and death, everything in a continual circle.

Lichen on a stump, yes I have stumps in my garden.

Sedum hiding in the leaves.
I think that is why in Springtime I feel alive again.  Each little plant that pokes through the ground is a miracle and they sprout other miracles.  I love to get down on my knees and clear away the leaves and pull the weeds.  You have to get up close to really enjoy the splendor.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

First Day in the Garden

I was so afraid that I lost all desire to garden over this winter.  I hadn't looked at a single garden magazine or planned anything out.  The oppressive summer last year really got to me.  It made gardening too tedious.  So come July and August it would take care of its self.
Today just happened to be a bright sunny day in March.  Hitting 58 degrees. Whenever the sun shines brightly on a warm winter day the garden inevitably calls. I looked at my garden calendar and thought I am already behind. Could have started the first batch of lettuce and spinach last week.  Well garden's won't seed themselves so I took a trip to Lowe's to see what plants they had in this early.  Came back with some peat moss, compost, a beautiful golden false cypress 
and a holly sky pencil.
I already know just where to put those two.
My plan this year is to start adding more and more shrubs.  It is getting too hard for me to keep up with the up keep of all the perennials.  I also have a spot in my back yard where the mulberry tree, a.k.a. stink-berry tree, drops all of it fruit.  That is where I am going to plant my beautiful golden cypress.  It eventually gets to ten feet round.  That should take up the base of the tree.
So today was leveling day.  I leveled most of my front garden to the ground.  There was a lot to cut back and clean out.  Mums, Russian Sage, ornamental grasses, Sedum, cat mint and a whole lot more. I left it all up over the winter to protect them from kids that would run through and trample the garden in the snow.

 I cut back the rough looking foliage around my Lenten Roses.  Hello!  Now I can see you.  They had been in bloom for two weeks already and it even snowed on them.  Now they look stunning.  My bluebells are the first things to poke out of the ground in February and they are several inches tall now. 
 My daffodils are about the same height.
It is a relief to get out in the garden and breathe the fresh air.  I think I feel the garden bug again, finally.