a little bit of earth

estimated 3 min read

One of my favourite books is The Secret Garden. One of my favourite musicals is The Secret Garden. I’ve longed for “just a little bit of earth to plant some seeds”.

So, how doth my garden grow?

I have a heck of a lot more than a little bit of earth! When we purchased our home, I said that quarter acre of land didn’t seem like a whole lot, especially since I grew up on a bit more. I had grand plans for what I would grow.

You can stop laughing now.

Right.

Lots of stuff happened since my bit of dreaming and today. Work picked up. Other work became more defined. I was sick for a while. We renovated the library. I discovered how intense the landscaping the prior owner left was.

I spend more time trying to keep the front of the house looking somewhat maintained than doing much else. Thankfully the back is semi-marshy and quite shady so the fact that I haven’t mowed in about a month isn’t a big deal. (I hope to do so early tomorrow morning before the heat picks up).

For kitchen gardening I have a window box and two deck rail planters of varied herbs and one tomato plant alone in a otherwise unused bed.

Surprisingly I consider this a success. I’ve used my rosemary, basil, and dill quite a bit. Tonight I planted some sage and parsley. I keep forgetting to buy mint.

For other (?) gardening I have a nice window box and a planter by the front of various leafy plants. They’ve been there for quite some time and I ain’t killed ’em yet so I consider this a success too.

The other day we took hundreds of photos of the exterior of the house and the landscaping from various angles. I’m aiming to simplify with low maintenance but appealing shrubbery. We have a beautiful japanese maple smack in the middle of the front and it’s proving difficult for me to balance. Why? When combined with the walkway, something I’m not in the mood to move, this year it’s a bit much. I like symmetry or a balanced asymetrical design. I’ve yet to figure out that balance for the front. It’ll happen. I have three flower beds I expect to tear completely out. At first this upset me, but I’d rather not plant things than have things look ragged and terrible because I just can’t maintain them. I need to do something with the walkway lights. If I hit one of them with a mower again next week I will scream loud and be annoyed. I know friends in many varied fields… how I wish just one was a landscape architect who wanted handknit socks!

Yes, I’m aware I could probably pay some landscape company to do the yard maintenance freeing me to do the gardening. As long as I can push the mower I want to do it. Last year, without the walkway lights installed it took me 15 minutes to mow the front. They added 10 minutes to my time this year and I either step on them or hit each of them weekly.

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5 Replies to “a little bit of earth”

  1. You probably know this, but….be sure to ISOLATE the mint. Ours is in a separate planter box, because it proliferates like a weed. Which is great if you love mint, but you want ot be sure it doesn’t take over all your other stuff!

    1. Totally agree here. Someone planted mint loose in our yard and I’ve dug it up and I keep pulling it every few weeks and it still keeps coming.

      1. @Shanna & @TheBon yup, I’m already with you both on the mint. which is probably why i’ve forgotten to buy it … I have enough of a weed problem I don’t want a semi-intentional one!

  2. I’m not a landscape architect, but i do have a wee bit of training towards that from my regular architectural education. I might be able to at least help you get started.

  3. So, Shanna – wanna come help me find my mint? It seems to have disappeared. Not sure if some heartier weed has truly choked it out, or if I’m just dense.

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