"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Garden Therapy


    Don't worry, this shot is from last year, it is still way too early for such things this year. I am looking forward to this day, however, and it won't be too long now. You know the day I'm talking about, when you go into the garden store to just 'see what they have' and end up spending way too much money because you got caught up in the moment. You've been there, you know you have. 
     I have a circular garden patch that has been lying fallow for the past three years, maybe more. I am not sure why.  In all honesty I can't seem to figure out what it wants to be anymore. It used to be rectangular vegetable beds and before that it was sort of jelly bean shaped spaces that tried, but failed, to create a beautifully curved series of beds.  Yesterday I tried imagining it as a labyrinth but it kept bulging out in places and the turns wouldn't work. Scratch that idea. I tried drawing it out on paper....maybe just a simple spiral would work, plenty of room for that and you can't go wrong with spirals, right?
      It did not want to be a spiral. I know this because I finally walked out there and stood for awhile, listening.  It wants to be a circle walkway with paths that meet in the middle at some sort of water something, available for blessing. It wants to be the place where you stand and face each of the four directions and connect with the power that flows from them into open space and from there, into you and me. That's what it wants to be. I believe in getting input from those who are actually going to be affected by whatever you're planning.
     So I laid the walkways out today with string, a measuring tape and a can of spray paint and then I started digging right away so I wouldn't change my mind again or let the days, and therefore another year, slip by. The soil needs some compost. (When did I stop adding bags and bags of clean grass clippings to my gardens all summer long?) It needs a little TLC and possibly some bonemeal and a scoop of the really good stuff from 'the top lot', which is where we feed any cattle who happen to need to be in a lot during the winter or any other time.  Think alfalfa and native grass hay stomped into a nice thick layer of cow poop and left to age for a year or so.  Oh yeah, I believe that is exactly what this poor soil needs...and maybe a little water to fall from the sky now and then during the summer months. Regular rains would help, no doubt about it. There seems to be an unsettling dearth of earthworms in that area. Hmmm...compost.
    I also turned the soil in the third and final raised bed in preparation for early planting: chard, onions, spinach, shallots, carrots, beets, peas and then potatoes. That's the first shift of food to go in around these parts.  The strawberries are already in from last year and, believe it or not, survived the zero degree weather we had for two weeks. They were snuggled down beneath their layer of hay and came out of it looking like a bunch of movie stars. The herbs are looking good overall. They're a tough lot, the herbs. Well, Thyme struggles but the other guys seem to be fine.  I'm okay with replanting Thyme every now and again until I find the spot where it can thrive.
      There is a rumor that the grandkids are headed this way one week-end in March. I'm circling that date in red because I love to plant spring things with little kids. So much fun! I hope the weather cooperates.  The earlier plants will have to go in before then but there will be plenty for us to do on those two days as well. I say the earlier plants will be in but some folks are saying we are in for another snow and ice storm this week-end. Ridiculous. I'll believe it when I see it.

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