Of course, I rarely had a literal garden. Now, I wish Nana were able to see these photos and witness my development as a gardener. I am still pretty small potatoes, but rather proud of myself and happy with the way things are going.
Of course, gardens are a fine metaphor for life (as my Nana well knew), and so, results are mixed.
My tomatoes and beans are doing really well:
Of course, some things haven't gone so well. The slugs decimated my bok choy.
|Tomatoes, marigolds and sweet williams (I don't have a flower garden, but love having some flowers scattered in with my veggies. The marigolds are there for their pest-deterring properties; the sweet williams are there because I love them.)|
|A flourish of beans (I have a hummingbird who comes around to whirr at the stained glass in my window. I hope it will soon discover my scarlet runner beans – much more satisfying)|
|Bok choy boneyard|
|Bok choy boneyard converted to herb garden|
And the bok choy's sacrifice may have preserved the lives of the less-favoured-by-slugs arugula and kale.
My peas were a flop and my brussell sprouts are completely static. I think they may be the leeks of 2017. (I didn't bother to plant leeks this year: although they did not die last year, they also did not grow).
My potato patch is thriving and the potato bugs don't seem to have found us yet.
|Potatoes and some teeny, tiny beet plants|
|Potatoes hilled with seaweed|
Best of all is the daily-ness of the garden for me. Every morning, I have some mindful, undistracted garden time. I go out and hunt for slugs, I water if it's going to be sunny (and if I have any water in my rain barrel), I check on the progress of things, see if anything is ready to harvest and graze on a few greens.
Items on my to-do list like "hill potatoes", "stake and tie tomatoes", "netting for beans" inject some more grounded and less stressful activities into my daily, peri-menopausal life. And happily, weeding is limited. Gardening in the forest, most of my weeds are ferns and baby trees. I don't have many of the typical, super-annoying garden weeds, at least not yet.
And almost always, there is this guy in the garden. On the hot days he sits under the ferns to keep cool, and deters the mice and squirrels. Now, if only I could teach him to hunt slugs...
|My garden helper/familiar (the hugelkultur beds are great at deterring Sal from sleeping on top of the gardens themselves – too lumpy!|