I’d Like to Show Off the Garden…



This is not my garden.

This is the front of my house, showing the snowball, serviceberry and lilac bushes, the seven sisters rose climbing the trellis, and one of my ceramic sculptures with a gazing ball on it.

I’d love to show off the garden…but it’s not ready, yet, for the photo.

Last year about this time, I showed off my garden plan. It was hand drawn on graph paper with extensive notes of what was going where.

Pretty impressive.

It never got much beyond the planning stages, though.

Oh, I cleared out a lot of weeds. I gave away daylilies, raspberries and strawberries. I put in tomato plants and planted radishes and salad greens. I even started framing in my raised beds with cedar boards.

Then, as fast as that, summer was underway, with all the flurry of activity that comes with it.

The strawberries continued to send out runners. The raspberries spread into the paths by way of their strong roots. The sod persisted in moving in from the fields to the south and east, and from the lawn to the north. My pathways were becoming so dense with unwanted growth, I couldn’t even get a shovel through!

An hour a day was not enough to make any headway, yet that was all the time I had to give it.

Though I harvested rhubarb and berries, greens and tomatoes, mostly I was just frustrated with my garden.

When friends came over for a tour in July, I was embarrassed by the lack of order. “A work in progress,” my guests offered, and I kept that thought for the rest of the season.

Snow was a relief, when it came, as it marked an end to the battle.

This year, a fresh start.

This year, new battles.

Spring was uncommonly cold and windy through the month of May.

Everything that had a toe-hold last year settled in even more seriously.

The man I hired to take out three wild cherry trees dropped the last one right through the garden fence, over the rhubarb patch and onto the raspberries. I don’t know if he’s ever coming back. The tree he dropped in the front yard had prevented me from mowing lawn the last time I had an opportunity to do that.

Mosquitoes were threatening to carry us away!

This weekend, with two days off, I faced what seemed like an insurmountable challenge.

Though I usually double-dig my beds employing only shovel, wheelbarrow, hoe and a lot of stamina, I had some help this year. My cousin, Bob, brought his rototiller over yesterday! He earned my undying gratitude by turning that overgrown garden patch under for me.

It seems like something I may be able to manage now!

I still have lots yet to do, but that bit of help was just the boost that I needed.

I’m not yet ready to show the end results, but in the last two days, I’ve got quite a list of accomplishments:

  • Moved more than three dozen logs out of my front yard
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Trimmed around the trees and stonework
  • Divided and replanted chives, lemon balm and sage, and bordered the herb garden with rocks
  • Transplanted four peonies into their new bed, and bordered it with rocks
  • Transplanted two dozen daylilies from the fence line to the central bed I’d prepared for them
  • Raked the newly tilled garden area and hauled away two wheelbarrows full of roots and weeds
  • Weeded the iris bed
  • Dug strawberries for a container garden and to give away

I have tomato and pepper plants still in their pots, ready to be planted very soon. It’s late – but not too late here on Beaver Island – for the things I start from seed.

I may have a photo to show before long!

Meanwhile, I could use a rest!


17 responses »

  1. You deserve a break after all that work, Cindy! I like the look of the front of your house. It looks like a sweet little island house. Looking forward to seeing the garden one of these days. In the meantime, watch out for those brutal mosquitoes!

    • The mosquitoes are better (just a normal springtime infestation now) since I took down the “field” that was growing right up to my doors! Thanks for reading, Kathy, and for your comments!

  2. It seems that alll good things come with a price. You worked quite hard in the garden and the yard.I think you accomplished a lot in two days. You must have been moving like a dynamo. Thank goodness for cousin Bob. Those powered garden tools work wonders for sure.

    In “these here parts” some people have had ripe tomatoes, peppets, squash, green beans, cucumbers, etc. I buy things at the Farmer’s Market in spring,summer, and fall. I have only a little space for a garden because there are so many live oak,elm and,hackerry tress.

    I do hope that you are able to achieve your plans for the garden this year.

    • Me too, Yvonne! It would have been simpler to just not do it. Vegetables can be bought at farmer’s market here, too, and even the store is not too expensive for just my use. I’m clinging to those things, though, that I feel give definition to my life. Gardening is one of them. I feel like it’s especially important to me this year. Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  3. It’s beautiful Mom! I wish I could be there….listening to the crickets and the birds and smelling all of your beautiful flowers. Your garden is my happiest place!

  4. I’m so happy to see a pic of the front of your house….no I’m not some weirdo stalker type! I just really enjoy putting context to the bloggers I read all the time. It helps to see surroundings and a real world pic!
    I’d say you’ve made a huge dent in this year’s work. it’s so easy to get behind especially up north!
    Can’t wait to see pics of your ‘finished products!”

    • No, I never thought of you as the stalker type…I know just what you mean about context. It feels like progress, and that’s encouraging. It’s nice to look out there and see it looking cared for rather than weeds and neglect! Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

  5. Pingback: Calm Before The Garden Storm « Putney Farm

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