Are you one of those people who has a clear idea of what they can and can’t get done in any given timeframe? You know, who is selective about their projects, realistic about completion times, good about finishing what you start?
Yeah, me neither.
But I’m trying, I really am. One of the things I’ve finally figured out is that I can only do one garden project a year. Truly, just one, not one plus-really-I’m-hoping-to-squeeze-in-five-more. ONE. I mean, why always be hoping I’m going to get an unrealistic set of tasks done and be constantly discouraged that reality doesn’t measure up? Why not set a realistic, achievable goal and then feel great about my easy win, right? Sure, sometimes it’s good to stretch, but right now? I need this. I just need to feel like some things in my life are a slam dunk.
And so, here, in front of the InterWebz and everybody, I’m saying: this is the ONE THING I am doing this summer in the garden. This one project. Everything else is just going to have to wait. So there. The sunniest corner of my garden is the one with the shed in it. When I moved in, that space looked like this:
And the winter after I moved in, I was daydreaming about a romantic cottage garden and made a digital makeover for inspiration:
Since then, I got obsessed with the idea of growing food and since this was the sunniest part of the garden I started turning it over to raised beds. Over a couple of summers I put in several beds and grew some peppers and basil and tomatoes and lettuce and eggplants and garlic and lots of good things.
And then last summer happened. And I realized that while I do want to grow a few select things that aren’t readily available, that I don’t want to convert my entire garden to a food producing machine. I belong to a CSA, a community garden, and I live in a land of plenty in the Pacific Northwest. Quality, local food is abundant, and I want to support the people who have devoted their lives to that cause. My life is for other things. It’s for my kids, for writing my books, for my own endeavors.
So, at the end of last July we planted a tree in the middle of that space. A japanese elm, which will someday be a big, beautiful shade tree to keep our family room cool in the summer and provide a gorgeous leaf canopy for us to look up at and appreciate. It’s the right thing for us.
But other than that, with everything that happened, we did nothing else, and I mean NOTHING.
So right now, the garden looks like this:
Here’s another angle. It doesn’t get better.
I’d like to say this is an isolated case, but it isn’t. The whole yard looks like that. Some if it’s slightly better, and some of it is a whole lot worse. But that’s okay. I’m just going to work on it a little bit at a time.
The first step is to just clean it up. This and the rest. Mow, edge, weed, prune, clip. Just get it to where it looks like someone actually lives here. Then I’ll focus on this specific part of the garden for the rest of the summer.
I’m looking forward to this being a slam dunk. I’ll keep you posted.
What about you? Do you garden? Do you grow food or flowers or both? Do you have a project picked out for the summer?