Sabbatical

My, hasn’t time flown!  I had to take some time off to concentrate on a family emergency, but things appear to be stable now and it’s time to refocus on my garden.

Problem is:  there’s no garden.  Just as the temperatures rose and the few surviving seeds took root, the neighborhood rodents took possession of my veggies.  Aside from the radishes, parsley and a few scraggly heads of collards, the remaining infant plants were nibbled down to the ground.

But that’s not the biggest issue.  As I watched for the sun to rise higher in the sky and clear the treeline, the trees themselves began to fill in.  There is now only the smallest window of open sky over my boxes – not remotely large enough to sustain a garden.  Apparently a lot has changed down there over the last few years. So after all the planning, and all the work, I am giving up on that scheme.

Fortunately, I always have a backup plan.

My neighbor, Bettie, has a large patch of grass between her house and my side yard.  She told me years ago that I could extend my front garden into her yard, so I figured it was worth asking.  And sure enough, in exchange for some homegrown tomatoes, she gave me full reign over this little patch of undisturbed, full-sun exposed gold.

I didn’t want to overextend my welcome, so I kept it down to a 5×10 plot – plenty big enough for tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and eggplant. [The wood stakes above mark the site of the trellis I’ll build to support the tomatoes and cucs.]  Quite pleased by my work, I told Bettie to come take a look.  Her only response:  you left some grass.  Guess I need to start planning for phase 2!

Now that spring is here, and there is an extended window of rain-less days ahead, my perennial gardens should start taking off.  In the “primary” garden (mostly red, yellow and blue flowers), the Achillea is about ready to pop, as are the daylillies.  Of course, all mint relations are already in full bloom and should continue to flower until the end of summer.  The “pastel” garden is already in full bloom due to the predominance of irises, roses and a lovely yet nameless pink flower near the front door.  I really should try to find its name.  It seems to be a real trooper! 

After years of focusing on the front gardens, I’ve found myself drawn to my shade garden behind the house.  Which is a good thing, since my raised boxes are now in partial shade.  I don’t know what I’m going to do back there, but I envision and woodsy trail with a campfire at the bottom of the hill (under the aforementioned speck of sky).  I admit that I’m  a little disappointed about losing the vegetable boxes; but I do love coming up with new plans.

Lastly, just a little glimpse of my fennel herb garden. It’s a very strange little garden, as every year something else dominates.  Last year it was the tarragon, this year the fennel (which, ironically, I don’t even like).  Oh, and after years of struggling by the mint, I decided to give up on it altogether and buy a new plant.  And wouldn’t you know it ? The old plant popped up in a new location at the front of the box and looks ready to trump the fennel. [Who ever thought gardening could get so suspenseful!]  I don’t understand them. I just eat them.

Now that the gardens are on their way, it’s time to start working on my ever-growing list of house projects.   Stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “Sabbatical

  1. Don’t they? I wish I could take credit, but they do that all by themselves. 🙂 I’m sure they’ve appreciated this endless spring rain more than I have.

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