May 062015
 

nature center tree bird pond

What a week this has been!  The gardening bug finally hit me full force and I know that this summer will look different than last, which seems to happen every year. 🙂

The extra time taken to get going with the garden has not been a waste, though.  I have used to time to think through a few various parts of the garden that have not been working for us.

  • Our front yard where grass will not grow.
  • The bed under the kitchen window that has full southern exposure to the sun (it gets hot!).
  • The bed off the deck that contains a stumps from old lilac bushes and living ever green bushes, but where I want the dwarf peach tree to go.
  • How exactly I am going to fence in the vegetables beds.
  • Filling in holes or low spits in the yard.
  • Getting grass to grow where I killed it last year.  🙁
  • What are we doing with the part if the yard near the remodel where the ground was dug up or had dirt piled on it?

These were just a few of the items I have mentally been working through.

nature center bird identification display

As time went on, I was feeling like no answers were coming. It was frustrating and I was feeling like a failure as a gardener.  “How can I have a website about gardening, when I seem to fail at everything?!”

Finally, I took a deep breath and decided to start with ONE thing.  Just one thing, not everything all at once like I had been trying to do.

In the hour it took me to mow the grass earlier this week I came up with several solutions.  Now there is a plan. The garden and yard did not look so hopeless.

  • While I do not have the time and mental energy to spread a truck load of wood chips over weed barrier right now, to start the shade garden in the front yard, I do have straw.  Lots of it actually that has no home and was becoming a problem.  Like with the shade garden idea (if grass won’t grow, plant something that will), I had to step back and look at the problem differently.  The purpose of wood chips is to have sonething that will break down, thereby fertilizing the plants and trees.  For now, though I just needed something to hold the weed barrier in place.  “Straw will do that,” I thought as I mowed that part if the yard. Two problems solved as I hope to get the garden in by the later part if next week.
  • I have low spots in the yard. Our contractor has extra dirt left over. Problem solved.
  • Grass seed can be spread one spit at a time.  There is no rule saying you gave to do it all at once.
  • One night this past weekend, I did some yard work after the kids were in bed.  I decided to remove the ever green bushes and plant the peach tree.  A job that I though would take hours, took 30 minutes.  I also found out that the stump is not sprouting as much as it did last year. I think I’ll plant some vegetables in the extra spaces this year.
  • As for fencing the raised beds, I found a new roll of fencing at a garage sale and picked up some new stakes this morning.  This evening or tomorrow I plan to start on the largest bed so I can get some seeds in place.
  • While considering the fencing of the strawberry beds, I realized a temporary solution to keep rabbits out would be to place old fencing directly on top of the plants.  Not a perfect or beautiful solution, but it does the job.  That is also something I did this past weekend (and one of the sources of the extra straw).

Sometimes, a hour spent mowing the yard can be more productive than two or three hours in front of the computer.

nature center relax collage

Here is another example, though not quit gardening related.  I have been feeling like there is so much to do at home, and I am exhausted at night, that I did not have time to type up this post.  Today I brought Jack to a local nature center for a program geared towards home school kids.  I was not sure the set up, so did not plan to leave him Aline. Turns out he was just fine and I would have been in the way. With no book and no errands to run near here, what could I do?  “Silly Girl, write the post!” 🙂

Here I sit, watching the bird feeders, the man-made waterfall, listening to birds sing and kids have fun, while getting to write.  No dishes to do or floors to sweep or hammers and saws to listen to.  We almost didn’t come, due to attitude issues. So glad I persevered. I think this is something both he and I needed. Jack, time away from the house and Mom’s ever presence. Me, time around nature and away from the house to think and just be.

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