Taking Time to Enjoy Your Gardens


| 6/30/2020 4:39:00 PM


What drives you?  What passions prod you into the garden as the sun rises?  What responsibilities keep you hoeing and harvesting into the evening hours?  Are you growing much of the vegetables your family will eat, creating a healthier diet for your children, or recapturing childhood taste memories?  Do flowers captivate you?  Are you working towards having a rose bed like your grandmother’s or a peaceful garden in which to wander?  What is the connection between you and your soil?

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Mine began as a mid-life dream to escape the city and a life-long dream to put down roots.  A new rear-tined rototiller and five acres on which to play gave me vegetable gardens and flower beds in profusion.  Much like a child, my eyes were frequently bigger than my resources.  “Small” flower plots I created visually with the tiller turned out to be massive when it came time to put in the plants.  In the early days, I often resorted to planting watermelon between the tiny shrubs I could afford because the vines quickly covered the bare dirt to create a living mulch.

As I sought to grow the majority of the vegetables we ate, my initial food gardens continued to expand.  Curiosity compelled me to plant a myriad of vegetables I’d never heard of.  That led to fascinating experimentation in the kitchen.  When upkeep of the gardens took too much effort I turned to no-till gardens and permanent mulching so I could keep adding to my growing space without more work.

Working in the gardens rarely feels like actual work to me because it is my favorite place to be.  Watching things grow, tending to plants that sustain us physically and emotionally, this is a deep pleasure for me.  And yet there are days in which the weeds or rampant honeysuckle threaten to bury me in responsibility instead of the mental relaxation I sought from spending time on the land. 



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