I have learned, from years of good intentions and naivete, that more is not always better. That certainly applies to gardens. But brown, untended earth, is a petri dish for weeds and regret, and that’s no fun either. So it's a delicate balance. I have learned to ask myself some important questions when planning a garden. Questions like: How much time do I have to manage it? (This is why I leave vegetable gardening to my friends and local farmers market; my time is precious.) How often will I enjoy it? What is the feeling I want to create? Is there water and a hose nearby?
In addition to the physical and mental work, there is also the financial factor. Gardening is expensive!! Money doesn’t grow on trees, and it certainly doesn’t grow in the garden. Plant materials, containers, fertilizer, tools, plumbing, hard scaping, and furniture can really add up. There have been times that I have grown tomatoes that, in the end, cost me $150.00 each. It’s nuts! However, I am a slave to garden aesthetics, gorgeous blooms, seasonal foliage, texture, color, depth and statuary. I also love the work. Early spring planning eases into digging in warm soil, planting and watering and waiting for the blooms to pop. Being a dirt monkey doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it runs in my family. My 89 year-old mom (who is currently quaranting with me) gets up every morning, gathers her bag of tools, tucks her socks in her pant legs (a tick defense move) and digs in. She wields a mean rake and trowel and can be found tucked into hillsides, along streams and in overgrown beds, pulling and clipping and raking. I grew from that stock. As self-appointed head gardener at the castle, I have carved out a few spots, begging for attention, that will provide me with enjoyment throughout the summer. They are patios, terraces, hillside, stream edges and garden beds that have been neglected and overgrown for years. This spring is a fresh start. Last year, we focused on clearing the overgrowth.
This year, it's a chance to create and reclaim.