Our garden is verdant, and the trees look like lush new things bursting into life. We even have fuzzy baby peaches huddled together on one of the branches in the more vigorous peach tree. Our Montmorency Cherry was profuse with its blossoms, and I feel a tickle of pride whenever people walk by our garden and point or smile in appreciation. I have every reason to be pleased with our backyard orchard culture going into its second year… except our fig trees died. Both of them.
After chaos of construction, I relished working in the garden this weekend. I planted a few overdue seeds while the kiddos complained of child-labor laws for daring to ask for an extra 90 minutes of help around the yard. (Gasp!) My husband added compost to the garden beds and mixed the other barrel. He set the final garden bed into the slight slope of the hill and filled it with wheelbarrow and wheelbarrow full of dirt. After this miscellany of prep work and post-due planting, our garden is officially, officially ready for spring.
Every year, every gardener has new plans for his or her garden. Some gardeners might try growing a new vegetable, begin starting plants indoors, or decide to save seeds. Others think about world domination and expand her number of 4 x 8 garden beds by seven and throw in a 4 x 4 for good measure. Oh, and, of course, try growing a new vegetable. Or five. Actually, I’m not certain offhand how many new types of vegetables I’m growing this year.
Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. Our own garden, whose scale is too large to ever adequately capture in just one photo, is a testament to the level of enjoyment we get in cultivating our own food and feeding the bees and butterflies. When we purchased our house, our number one priority was having a yard that would work for a large-scale garden. By the time I get the garden the way I envision it, I’ll likely never want to buy another house.
The November weather is finally turning toward the crisp mornings and cool afternoons traditionally associated with fall though usually earlier in the season. We’ve been between 5 and 15 degrees above normal highs and have yet to have a real frost (at least two weeks overdue, depending on how you calculate it). Political commentary about climate aside (and I have strong opinions on it), the warm temperatures mean that veggies are still growing in the garden.
We’ve lived in our house for a year and a half. In that year and a half, we’ve fallen in love with our house, our neighborhood, and our garden. Of course, our garden started out as an awkward, touch too-shady side yard with spartan grass amid the vigorous weeds and a prickly Charlie-Brown-esque bush. When we bought our house, we saw the large, awkward side yard as a potential garden oasis, and we decided to go for it.
My sweet potatoes faced an uphill battle from the moment I planted those slips into the ground. The odds of receiving any autumn harvest of sweet potatoes seemed insurmountable; the confluence of happenstance and necessity bode a poor crop.