Friday, April 22, 2011

“First Ever Garden” Lessons Part the One

Restraint. More is not always better. Less is often more.

It would have been easy in the delusional world of the first garden to try and make this bad boy 30’x 30’. Had we gone with those first instincts it would have been an exercise in futility. That’s too much work. We wouldn’t do it. We’d get discouraged, tired and cranky at not living up to each other’s expectations. 12’x 10’ is big enough to be proud of and small enough not to be too disappointed if things don’t work out exactly as we had hoped.

We are eager to “brew” good soil. There is so much advice to be had. I believe we have talked each other out of adding 20 bags of top soil along with the peat, lime, and horseshit we’ve already added. There really are no shortcuts. Give it a little help and then dig in the dirt. A lot.

Perspective. Work isn’t work if it’s play time together.

While driving home from work last week I found myself complaining in my head. “I have to work in the garden when I get home. I’m so tired. I don’t want to.” After a short nap I took my little rakey thing, sat my ass next to the garden and got to "work". After about 10 minutes I realized this wasn’t really work- it was just playing in the dirt. I’ve seen kids enjoy the hell out of that and it worked for me. Add to the mix that I was pretending to be a pirate digging for buried treasure (rocks) and it was really much easier and kind of fun.

There's GOLD in that there dirt!

One reason we decided on a garden is because we love each other and we love our dog who loves to be outside. I’m not very good at being outside. Maybe I have some long buried traumatic experience but ask me to go sit out on the porch and I am as twitchy as a sleeping puppy.

Yesterday while digging for buried treasure, the sun was shining on my face and the dog was checking in with a zillion kisses every 10 minutes. HELLO! That was awesome. I stopped digging for a while and rolled with the dog in the grass. What A Blast. Somewhere as we grow up we no longer think to just say “hey honey, I’m going to go outside and roll with the dog in the grass in the sunshine.” Gardening makes this possible in the misguided adult world without feeling like “this is really weird- I’m going back inside.”

There are other lessons (hope, persistence, patience and negotiation) that have come to mind but I’ll save those for another post. In the meantime, here are some bibb lettuce seedlings going on and a “Jiffy Garden” seed starter waiting to happen.


JelliDonut said...

I really am jealous of your garden!

roxie said...

Oh good for you! Just remember your sun hat and keep having fun! (You can also dig for diamonds, you know.)

Yarnhog said...

I love, love, love to garden! I am perfectly happy just pulling weeds and deadheading flowers and sweeping the patio. And if a dog or three comes to join me (and they always do), well, that's just icing on the cake!

Lydee said...

i love my gardens. I feel so purposeful when i work outside.

Anonymous said...

That was exactly what I loved about gardening (pre-bad back). It put me outside to listen to the birds and watch the butterflies without getting bored.

Carol said...

sometimes, when the weather is nice, I come home from work and sit in the sun with my eyes closed and it is lovely. Outside is something we forget about in our busy world, I think...