I pay for Lightroom now, which means I can organize my photos and I never have to open iPhoto again. (Related, but not to the garden: now our ten year old computer is breaking and the five year old ipad is cracked -- do I buy a Dell??) Today, having put "garden" labels on all photos of the garden since late June, I am able to see that I take more pictures of my plants than my people. Which is saying something. I am in a bit of a holding pattern over here for the next nine months, so I might as well try to make a habit of putting these photos someplace besides Dropbox.
This trellis/pumpkin-in-a-basket situation perfect encapsulates my favorite gardening strategy: try the first thing you think of, lean hard on mama nature, but with oodles of respect and love, and then try the next first thing you think of ... and be surprised when it not only works but kills you with beauty and generosity every day.
I fought hard for the back perimeter this summer, with mulch (more on that later) and whackers and drip hose. The apple trees are suffering like hell from the spot, but the wildflower seed I threw down in April ended up making the sweetest little world in a place no one ever looks. Flowers, man. Flowers make me think I know what the word "miracle" means for the first time in my life.
Good veg crops included: shallots, potatoes, favas, peas, arugula, basil, and now snap beans and kale. I did not bother with a typical summer garden and did not miss it except for a sungold plant. We got a couple volunteers and they are making a sweet, small harvest, but one sungold plant is way worth it. Also probably worth it: one slicing cucumber plant and a zucchini bush. They take up space but they are easy.
These are just random photos I like of the garden this summer. Not even in chronological order. I am so freeeee
I wanted to grow more flowers this summer, and I did. Flower seeds germinate very differently than veg seeds, was my take-away. In late June, a week after planting, if I don't see anything, I am starting to think that I fucked something up pretty badly, or the seed was old, or I should not use that seed company any more. But flowers just do it differently. I had seed sites (My First Dahlia, for example) that I gave up on and planted other things over, only to discover a three inch plant a month later, making herself at home in the mix, getting ready to bust a bud. I found this very humbling, in the sense that I do not generally think of myself as impatient in the garden, and also because I found I could not claim authorship or control when my sense of time and growth were so consistently wrong. Also, I did a lot of seed starting in the greenhouse, and then a lot of neglectful start-care, and then finally put the dried, frozen babies in the earth and they Loved Up that DIY Bunny Fertilizer and took off so fast it made my head spin. What? Flowers, man. Blowing my mind.
Clara has made bouquets for many people.
I wanted to stop pretending that construction on the garage was going to start any day, and just enjoy the garden as it is, now, without making every planting decision contingent on unknowns. I mostly did that. And, more than anything, I wanted to stop pretending that the garden is a Chore. The garden is, straight up, a choice and a blessing. And I really did that. I let go of other things (seated morning meditation for example) and gave myself the time to walk among the rows, water slowly in the cool air, feel goosebumps rise on my calves and prick my bare feet with mulch. I let the things grow that wanted to grow. I touched the leaves and dug my hands into the bunny fertilizer and ate the first of each thing without calling to a child to come and see.
I bow to this little plot of land and all the things that make their lives here, with me. It is a choice, and a blessing.