Happy Belated Beltane to you and yours! It’s really beginning to feel like Spring with the inviting warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing in the Ohio River Valley.
My work in the garden continues and while I know many people might consider gardening to simply be work, to me and other crazy plant people, it’s so much more. It’s like therapy, just cheaper…okay, maybe it’s actually not cheaper, but it’s way more fun than sitting in a chair paying someone to listen to my problems. Not that there’s anything wrong with that and if you ask the right people, they may say that I should reconsider my decision to garden over therapy, but I digress, as usual.
Getting my hands in the soil fills my soul with a peacefulness I cannot explain to you. I feel one with Mama Earth and I find that I absolutely love to raise plants from seeds. I love it so much that today when my daughter and I went for a plants and some potting soil, I passed all but two begonias and grabbed a small bag of soil for two pots and then I came home and cleared out two small spaces at the front of our house, edged them with beautiful stones from near the road and sowed the space with seeds and placed the pots on the stumps that were there.
Sorry to have included my car in the picture, but this is real life, not a professional garden page, as I’m sure you’re well aware! I’m just a crazy lady who loves to garden and to share the journey with you.
Do you see the “stuff” growing on the far side of my car? That’s a bed I cleaned out last year. The Barberry shrubs were about ten-feet tall! I’m not even kidding and they were overgrown with grape vines. I cleared out a lot of it and then my husband paid an arborist to clear it out to what it is now. My goal when the rain clears is to clean it out more and replant with low-maintenance shrubs and English Ivy so we no longer have to worry about mowing it and I only need to trim the ivy to keep it looking great.
If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that I recently built two raised beds for vegetables and flowers. I built them from concrete cylinders, but the more I looked at them, the more I really didn’t like looking at them. It was the use of two types of materials that threw me off. I wasn’t happy with it and it’s my opinion that I should do what I want to do in a way that is not just practical, but also pleasing to the eye. So, my husband and I bought more cinder blocks and I used those. My husband wasn’t too fond of the angled one on the left corner, but I plan to build the bed on the left the same way, except with an angled on on the right to create a sort of entrance into the space. I also want to clear the grass, lay landscape fabric and mulch or gravel to make it even more low maintenance. Plus, I still have to build the fence around the compost pile and the entire garden area. There’s always so much to do!
What I love about using cinder blocks for raised beds:
- No chemical treatment.
- I can fill them with potting soil and plant more flowers and veggies in them.
- A straight edge to mow around.
- They cost under two dollars each.
- They are super low-maintenance.
Today, our amazing neighbor came over and helped me dig out the Pampas grass in the front of the house. He has a chain saw, which is far more effective than my shovel. Can I tell you that I totally dig power gardening tools now? I’m still a bit afraid to use them, but wow! Because of that chain saw, I was able to finish cleaning up outside, do the laundry, and make a run for a birthday gift for a party we’re attending tomorrow!
Back to topic: We divided the grasses and they are sitting next to the house awaiting translating near the pool after I consult with my husband and convince him that the pool will look beautiful flanked by pampas grass. I’m sure he’ll agree. *fingers crossed*
Pending his resounding: “Yes, wife, you’re brilliant in your chaos! Plant, plant away!” I’m going to wait until the deck is finished, or at least nearly finished before I plant them. I think they’ll be the perfect lush backdrop to the pool and they give a carefree, almost tropical vibe, which I really like. Also, out there, we can burn them and keep them under control and super healthy, which means low maintenance.
Are you seeing a theme here?
I’m all about low maintenance. We have an acre of land and it’s all hill. I do most of the gardening myself and as much as I love gardening, I also love spending time with my family and actually enjoying the garden, rather than just seeing more work I need to do. To be honest, the sheer volume of what I want to do forces me to slow down. I can’t do it all at once, or even in a year or two, so it forces me to really pick and choose what I want to focus on. It’s hard for me to find a stopping point most of the time, but I know that I must.
Lastly, I want to tell you how pleased I am with the wildflowers that are sprouting up all over the place! I’m especially happy with the ones popping up in the Red Delicious apple tree bed! I cannot wait to see them blooming and I’m excited to see what they do on their own in years to come.
In the end, that’s the beauty of gardening, isn’t it? Doing what you can, but allowing everything to flow and grow, and create on its own as well. I am a gardener, but Mother Nature knows best.
How is your garden growing? What are you most excited about this year in the garden?