white legs and wellies

— April 20, 2017

Anyone else have out their winter legs and their Wellies (those fabulous garden boots) recently?

It was fabulous to don shorts and my waterproof garden boots and get moving some dirt around. I did have to disinfect our outside toys from the mole or mouse that hibernated in our outside storage shed and made a mess of things for the kiddos. Not pleasant. Buy hey, I want a hobby farm one day. There will be plenty more critters to contend with than one mole. This was just practice.

Taking the time to make a moment throughout your day to pause and enjoy also includes taking moments just for yourself. This time of year, one of my favorite moments all by myself, is to wander leisurely through my local garden shoppe.

I had company on this trip but he said that he loves this store so there was no fighting going on or dragging of the feet. This fabulous garden shoppe is also a café, as well as a home store “plus”. So, we had lunch too. And ice cream. Life is good.

But…when I do have a moment all to my little old self on this wandering adventure in my favorite garden shoppe, I can stop and take a deep breath of all of that earthy smell that I am starting to crave, for as long as I want without corralling anyone from running down the flower rows. My senses aren’t split in half between earthy goodness and parenting. Pausing, my eyes can gaze across all of the colors that are displayed and for sale. Colors that have been absent because of the winter season. I like to go with no intention of buying anything on this trip, just browsing, so that I can start to plan this year’s garden scheme.

Doesn’t that just make your heart happy? It’s a room full of geraniums.

Pitter patter.

Red is the theme I am pondering this year. They have three variations of red. How lovely. But, now I have to decide how to choose red. Who would’ve thunk it?

I am thinking a mix of reds.

I share this annual trip with you all the time, so you may feel a bit of a deja vu here.

But then, these beauties waved at me. Decisions, decisions.

Or would a lovely mix of these two colors be the right scheme this year?

While I pondered all of these huge life decisions, my constant companion was having a ball touring the facilities.

(Yes, he is faceless to protect the young. Long live Photoshop.)

Here is one of the things that goes through my brain. Don’t ya think that the so-called raised beds for your garden that are advertised and trendy now are really just “gated communities for plants”? Putting up 6 inch wide by 4 foot long strips of wood in the shape of a square and filling it with dirt is not a raised bed in my book. You’ve only lifted your garden floor a few inches. It’s still right on the ground. A true raised bed does not have me bending over. Somehow “raised beds” have come to mean to me “not bending over”. Maybe it’s ’cause I am 46 and bending over seems like an extra step.

There are some real beauties out there for true raised gardens but in the meantime, I have acquired some half barrels to work with. Mostly for aesthetics, since I am also working on some more curb appeal this year. I love home décor and design, although you wouldn’t know it because I have lost the battle to toys and clutter.

I will have to bend slightly though. Good thing I am a young 46.

Just a wee bit more time to warm up the weather and I will be able to commit to my flower and vegetable choices for the year.

Don’t these colors look like sherbet ice cream? I love food. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to bend over? Could my fluffy middle be the cause?

My garden grows mostly on its own. When we moved into this home, we had one very wee one and another wee one on the way so I knew that I wanted to plant perennials because my ability to garden would be limited. I chose native plants so that they would be happy in my windy sun-beaten hard as rock clay soil and then they could come back every year without my attention, or much of it. It has worked well and it is fun to see how they have grown, especially without me.

Slowly, I have added a teeny tiny bit here and there over the last few years. I really want to get into the dirt more but our annual Road Trip is a consideration as well, since I am away for a bit too long for a garden and my plants need to pretty much fend for themselves despite a wee bit of intervention. Perennials are nice for their ease but they often lack the color that annuals can add.

This year’s garden finally has a theme that is not “hurry up and get something planted”. This year, it is “Organic”.

Have ya heard of it? Of course, it’s all over the place. I do not go out of my way to find and purchase organic foods but when I started planting my own vegetables and it came time to fertilize them, I paused. I was all ready to throw on the same name brand fertilizer that we had always used as a family and I couldn’t do it. Knowing that there would be a chemical in my food because I was actually putting it there was not how I wanted to grow my food. So, last year I did some research about fertilizer alternatives and purchased some fish fertilizer for my vegetables. I think I only put it on once because my garden-tending skills still lack for various reasons, pretty much called “Life”, but I was at least on the start to a better path for me.

Composting is also a fabulous option but not one I have begun yet.

This year, as I work on balancing all of the things going on in my world, one area that I have started to focus a tiny bit is on the side of my future dreams. (Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me as I pondered this side of life in a post a short while ago and I will share my thoughts as a result of all of that in a future post. “Edge of your seat” stuff, I know.) One area of focus will be on organic gardening this summer because when I have my country shoppe someday, I want to eventually include a hobby garden nursery. Chemicals will definitely not be used in that adventure so I figured that it is a good year to start learning about organic gardening and what it really is. As with all fads and trends, there is a true definition and an evolved definition to the terms used. I still have much to learn. My focus down the road will be on “heirloom” type plants that are local to the area where I set up shoppe. My grandmother’s flowers that have been in the same area for millions of years are on my wanted list, as are the flower and vegetable plants of other grandmothers, grandfathers and great-great family members.

I am only just learning about what “organic” really means. Organic is not just the absence of using chemicals when you garden. There is a science to the birds, the bees and the dirt. Good bugs, bad bugs, time to cultivate the right soil, and a “some for me and some for you” approach to growing are all areas that are included in organic gardening. I won’t bore you with the rest of the fantastic details that I am learning about organic gardening. There are plenty of great “how-to” books for that.

How does your garden grow? What are your organic tips and tricks?

What works for you? Do you grow patio plants? Vegetables? Acres of gardens?

Or is your “garden” at your local Farmer’s Market like mine is?! Support your local CSA if you have one. You purchase a share of fresh grown goodies for the growing season – it helps to provide money up front for the farmer’s and then you get a piece of the action the whole growing season. It’s so much fun to pick up your weekly selection of veggies, herbs etc.

These chives came back from last year. Sweet! I love independence…