Having realized it’s been quite a while since I last wrote a blog post, I wanted to update everyone about what’s been going on.
I started in the garden late this year; it wasn’t because I was up to my eyeballs in other things. I was feeling depressed about things, feeling stuck with no way out. I was contending with fears that had a grip on me that were at one and the same time absolutely illusionary. It’s so strange how we can come up with ideas in our own minds about things that have almost no grounding in reality, yet form concepts that stop us from doing what’s good for us. And the insane part of it all was that once I was able to overcome that fear and get back into working the soil, that grip the illusionary fear had on me all but vanished.
As you can tell, I’ve put in a few more beds and changed the concept of what the back yard garden is supposed to be. When I started last year, I had this idea in my head of a kind of cloister of green and purple and pink and yellow and red and blue. This initial idea hasn’t changed really, but the concept has shifted a little bit. That lawn I initially worked hard to airate and fertilize is very slowly disappearing in exchange for perennial beds. The lawn is now pathway. The rest of the garden instead functional on three levels: the first, production of vegetables and fruits to both eat and give away; the second to provide a place to entertain, to be out of solitude. The current vegetable patch will at the end of this season be transformed into a brick and moss patio space with a fireplace at it’s centre. If I can arrange the bricks into a labyrinth even better. The perennial beds that surround the vegetable garden will act as a border between the contemplative space and the social space, as well as a break between that contemplative space and my work space and potting table. Right now, I’ve got some pressure treated wood (thanks for the donation, Dave!) that I will be drilling and fixing into the ground to create a new vegetable patch just behind the tall perennial bed. Once that’s done, the sod that I moved last year which is now turned over and dead will go back into the space to become the vegetable garden in the back…this year, seeded with some wheat from Dave’s family farm going back God only knows how long. If it grows, there will be seed for the birds to eat and a good amount of straw that can go into compost. If it doesn’t, I’m sure the birds will love it.
Speaking of birds! There’s a cheeky little chickadee who doesn’t seem to be too afraid of me. A few times I’ve gone to the pond to get water to take to the beds or the garden, and I’ve interrupted his bath. He just flies around a few feet from me, lands on the trellis where I have the sweet peas growing, eyeballs me, and chirps. I bet if I got bird seed and held it out in my hand he’d land on it and eat. The robin rules the roost, splashing in the pond like a crazy man with a bad hat, sparrows having to wait their turn as they go. Found a dead song bird out front again…time to get a water gun for the cats. Yellow canaries come, land on the lantern, bathe, drink, sing in the trees. And today there were cedar waxwings. I haven’t seen cedar waxwings since I was a kid! I need to get a bird feeder and put it over the compost pile. Bird poop is good for compost.
Corn is growing rampantly, the day lilies I transported over from the house last year are filling in and showing signs of budding. The asiatics are almost 4 1/2 feet tall…clover growing with wild flowers I’ve let take space in the garden for the bees. The mint has filled up big swaths of space in between the perennials, I dug some up and moved it over to the north side of the vegetable garden. Once the patio goes in it’ll be a lovely fresh border of blue flowers and fresh smelling foliage.
The front yard is greening up, but nothing much I can do there until the construction and renovation is finished. That space too can be utilized and should be for purposes other than just grass. It can and will grow food, flowers, fruit. The work isn’t nearly as difficult as getting to the point of actually doing it. The imagining is simply part of the enmeshment that you feel when you let yourself become part of the garden space, let the garden space change you. It feels very much a co-operative process, one in which you read the land your working in and let the land tell you what to do.