This is my very first year to have a full-fledged garden. It’s been a longing, a passion you might say. I own many, many, many gardening books; and each spring I buy gardening magazines. I have even buy seed packets that remained unopened. Every year, I plant flowers around my house and add in one or two tomato plants between them. I dream, plan and plot out where and what should be in my fantasy garden.
Then this year it all became a reality! Three things collided to make the dream a reality:
- My husband said, “Why don’t you plant a garden in the fenced in area?” (Our long-deceased family dog used to run around in there.)
- My brother-in-law informed me that he had a tiller I could borrow.”
- My 91 year old, green thumb owner, and gardener extraordinaire dad came for a visit.
First, Dad and I took Old Red, our 66 Ford pickup, to my brother-in-law’s for the tiller. Then Dad taught me how to use it to break up the hard, clay soil. He encouraged me to keep on trying when the tiller didn’t perform as easily as we hoped. But after many hours of hard labor, a few rows worth of soil were tilled and we headed off to Lowes and Rural King for seeds and small plants. Dad showed me how far apart to make the rows; and we planted our purchases. He even came back a few weeks later and helped me pull weeds when they threatened to take over. Finally I smarted up and laid cardboard and covered that with straw between the rows which helped the weed issue immensely.
Now, it’s August and I’m harvesting the benefits of all this labor. (Well… mainly it was my dad’s labor) I’ve canned green beans and pickles. I’ve made a jar of pickled banana peppers for stir-fry dishes. We’ve eaten spaghetti squash and tomatoes. Soon I will have sweet corn and onions ready. Huge sunflowers tower over the fence, and basil fills the garden with sweet scents.
I’m already planning next year’s garden. I began by asking for a tiller for Christmas. I plan to put in a raised bed at the back end of the garden for perennials such as rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, herbs, etc. I’ll plant less cucumbers, more onions, green beans and peas. I’ll add flowers and plants that are good for dying yarn. My brain is on fire with ideas.
I’m finding satisfaction and anticipation at the same time. I never thought that was possible, but it is, my friends. My dream of a garden is a reality. Yet there is so much work left to do this year. And then I have a whole winter to dream and plan. Then there’s the satisfaction in learning a new skill, one I’ve longed to know for so many years. And lastly, anticipation at what the future holds for my little plot of soil fills my resting moments.