Day 18: How does your garden grow?

cutting a pumpkin for Oliver

cutting a pumpkin for Oliver

There are days when I think of all the work we have done or still need to do on this house and I am totally overwhelmed. We got our home as a ‘fixer upper’, to put it mildly. We have fixed and fixed and fixed, yet there is still more work to be done. However, we have transformed our little money pit into something quite lovely. I’m in agreement with those people who buy houses and slowly begin to make them beautiful. There is something very holy in creating aesthetic beauty and I believe in making beauty out of ashes. I just didn’t know the ashes would be over three years high.

The first year we moved here it was all about working on the inside of the house. Then by the summer time I was so pregnant with Chloe that I couldn’t even think of the outside of the house. I sure did notice it though. We had weeds growing in our back garden that were taller than Matt who is 6’2″. So we just hacked away at the weeds and covered them with a plastic tarp. “That’ll do ‘er for now!’

Then the following year I ached for a garden after visiting Tacoma and seeing a lovely little back garden that a friend had worked years to beautify. He grew every kind of veggie, mixed hot compost (an art all in itself) and about four types of berries, plus flowers galore . I was locked in when I saw how sweet and restful it was. There is a freedom that comes from growing your own food. It’s liberating to go into the yard and pick your dinner.

When I came back to Madison I was on a gardening mission. I grew a lot, and learned a lot, that first year as I pulled up the yard all by my lonesome and planted away. I planted squash and pumpkin (only inches apart- I didn’t know!), tomatoes, spinach, chives, lavender, cosmos, sage, rosemary, basil….blah blah blah. It was crazy how things grew. The compost was the kicker. It mutated my food and flowers so that they grew to epic sizes. People would say, “I’ve never seen cosmos get that big” The stalks were about 3″ in cir.

Every year I plant more and dig up more of the ground. I am taking back our garden, even though a neighbor’s menacing trumpet vine threatens my veggies very existence. But that is another post all together…. And every year I learn more about gardening. The other day I was working in the yard, getting discouraged by the number of trees the previous owner allowed to grow out of control when a woman walked by and said stated that we had quite the make over going on in our yard. I sighed and told her she should have seen it when we first got the house. She mentioned she has passed our house on foot for years now and has seen the progress and that it looked so great. She was also a professional gardener and told me how to deal with those !@#$ trees. In all it was extremely encouraging to hear her perspective since I’ve worked so hard at turning this literal rubbish heap (I’m always digging up buried garbage) into something beautiful and refreshing.

Today I was digging more ground in prep for the spring planting and was so thankful that I have this plot. I love gardening and growing things. It’s something tangible for me to see and touch (and eat) and gain gratification from knowing that I made this, or made it grow. It’s the activator in me that wants results and not many things in my life give me fast results. Raising children shows you slow results just as investing in people’s lives shows slow results. But I get satisfaction and rest from my garden when I can sit next to it in the summer time, watching bees pollinate my goodies and slowly seeing little buds develop into treats for our dinner table.

What are you thankful for?

Showing Chloe our worms

Showing Chloe our worms

Tulip Garden

Tulip Garden

Last summer's sunflowers

Last summer's sunflowers

Green, green, green!

Green, green, green!

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