The Goodness of the Garden . . . All the Year Round

May 14, 2024

Nurture Creation Everywhere

Spring is a season of creation at our house. The soft sun invites me outside where I cannot resist digging up weeds here, removing dead leaves there, hoeing the soil to prepare for vegetable seeds and flowering plants.

I spent most of the first two weekends in May in my yard taking care of the little patch of earth we nurture. The piles of wood chips that the tree trimmers left slowly shortened as I filled up the wheel barrow and buckets to haul the mulch to one of the gardens where I’ve weeded and planted.

My favorite garden spot at the moment is on the side of our house where we tilled up a patch of the lawn three years ago to establish a new garden that isn’t shaded by one of the dozen trees in our yard. The trees have grown so much in the twenty-three years we’ve lived here that they provide welcoming cooling in the house and on the porch in the hottest months, but they also block the sun from spots where tomatoes and peonies thrived in our early years. Thus, I needed to expand my places to plant.

There are two bushes to plan around in the side garden and as we trimmed one of them, we discovered a nest of Robins hidden by the green foliage. The oldest of the three youngsters sat wide-eyed as I talked to them and snapped an image to remind myself to search for nests next year so I don’t expose a growing family.

The newest garden includes plants (mostly native) that attract Monarch butterflies—Bee Balm, Black-Eyed Susans and Milkweed—as well as other flowers, herbs and small vegetables in pots. The butterfly garden is the oldest part of the patch. The flowers and herbs there have spread so thickly that they haven’t left space for many weeds. That’s my goal for the entire garden.

This year I’m adding two waste-high garden boxes. I found photos of a couple I liked, gave them to my husband and he combined those ideas to make custom boxes for me. My typical routine for working in containers is to put rocks in the bottom to help with drainage then mix composted soil (when available) with potting soil. Working in these tall boxes provides a welcome break from kneeling to weed and plant. Another benefit is that they give me new out-facing surfaces for more creativity.

Because I’m a lifelong writer, I hold myself to high standards with my writing. I also enjoy painting. My experience in that art form is totally different. I do not expect to have talent as a visual artist so I paint with no expectations of myself. When a neighbor drove by while I was painting and stopped to offer a compliment, I told her I was having fun. It’s a joy to create with no expectations of what the result will be.

I do expect everything to grow so we, or the local wildlife, can feast on its goodness and beauty. Four sides of the two garden boxes name my hopes for everyone who encounters the gardens: Grow, Bloom, Thrive, Create. If Mother Nature and God the Great Creator grace us with more gentle rains than storms and droughts, we’ll accomplish it all.

What are you creating this spring?

Add Your Heading Text Here

2 Responses

  1. I love you planter, Beth! Green is my favorite color.
    I, too, think I enjoy doing visual art, as opposed to writing, because I’m freer to play and make mistakes. Great insight.
    Happy gardening!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *