When it comes to stories about my own garden, I’m delighted to share my thoughts about this year’s developments with you.
I think it’s important to begin with the thought that all gardens and their gardeners are different. And to be frank, I see no problem with this. Each of us has a different approach and view of what’s important in our garden and why we garden.
My objective in this series, which I hope to update every month, is to show you what’s important to me in my garden. Perhaps by sharing these thoughts you will be able to think about your garden in ways that make sense to you.
Let me begin, by telling you yellow daffodils are one of my favourite spring plants. They are the first to bloom and in this particular picture, you can see some that we have planted and transplanted out into the field beside our driveway. Over the years, these will multiply and I will continue to add more. In my fantasy and it’s important to understand that we all have fantasies about how we want our garden to look, this field will turn yellow in the spring. I confess that yellow daffodils brighten up the day and in this case, it’s an overcast about–to–rain day, and the only serious colour out there to brighten my mood are these daffodils.
What you’re looking at below is our new vegetable garden. This is being constructed from the destruction of our former raised bed vegetable garden. The old garden was simply too big for two people and we’ve reduced that in size. We eliminated the the wood structures and used the remaining pile of dirt.
I dug this area up. Added peat moss and compost. Each of the beds that you see is approximately 4 feet wide and the pathway down the middle is 2 feet wide. We may increase the width of the pathway depending on how easy it is for Mayo and I to work in there and get wheelbarrows into that area.
Because we have a heavy clay soil, these beds were hand dug to incorporate peat moss into the and compost into the soil.
And before those of you who detest garden digging, or will add comments to the blog post about why I should not dig my garden, let me short-circuit that by saying when you have a heavy clay soil your options are limited when it comes to improving that soil.
In my experience, digging and adding organic matter to the soil is the only way to achieve any kind of harvest in the first year of operation. So while this soil was in use for a few years, and wasn’t just straight clay anymore, running my tractor over it to shape the beds and to eliminate all the wood, has compacted it terribly. Digging is the solution.
These are rhubarb pie in training shoots. And those pies have to be one of my top three choices for dessert. Seeing them in the spring makes me as happy as anything in the garden.
The black drainage tile that you see running along the back of the garden and is attached to the downspout acts to spread the water from the downspout along the back of the garden so this shallow soil area receives all the water it needs.
Normally this pipe is covered over with straw but it obviously requires an addition for this spring.
You can see this Juniper has become a little aggressive, and has decided to eat the stairs. Not in my garden!
A little pruning, the stairs are now safe to walk on, and the cuttings have been put into the compost pile. And yes, they will take a very long time to decompose.
I show you this grassroot, and I know you have longer ones, but this simply illustrates how far grass will go and will spread underground to quickly take over our garden.
The best thing, and the first thing, I do in the spring is to go and hunt out all of these grass shoots.
I think you can easily see the grass and how it’s trying to hide alongside this Iris. It didn’t make it and it is now part of the compost pile. For the record, I don’t put freshly roots or plants into the compost pile. I let them dry out and die hidden behind another plant before I pick them up and move them. I don’t want them growing in the compost pile as well.
Finally, let me leave you with the thought that your stories, indeed your garden stories matter. The stories you tell yourself about your garden, whether it’s good enough or whether you’re good enough to garden successfully, are important.
For more years than I care to remember, I’ve said that gardening is one of the slowest of the performing arts. And the stories you tell yourself about your garden determine how you approach the garden. Remember, gardening is not rocket science. Gardening is about creating a small plot of beauty in the middle of a world that may not make sense. And the added note to that is you get to be the judge of what’s beautiful and brings meaning into your life.
But that’s my story and one I tell myself regularly.