Thursday, September 24, 2009

Making a garden

This is the fastest garden I've ever made. It's also the first garden I've had help making. This is my fourth garden; the first one really doesn't count, because it was so tiny; it didn't take very long, either, but it was only about 2 feet by 12 feet. It wasn't expected to take very long.

My second and third gardens took about ten years each to make. The second one was a small city lot; less than a quarter acre, including the house. It took awhile because I didn't have much to spend; it was also fairly grown in, and I was a bit tentative about changing things for quite awhile.

My third garden evolved over time. It had once been a nice garden, but it had been allowed to run wild; I started at one end of the half acre lot and gradually went around in a large circle. Because of the heat, humidity, and voracious mosquitos in that part of New York, I really never quite kept up with that garden; every season I started with good intentions, but August did me in. By the time the ground froze I was ready to concede defeat. Every spring I started in again with renewed vigor and hope, but the weeds always won when the heat and humidity drove me indoors.

So now we come to my fourth garden. As I have previously mentioned, this one was a three-quarter acre field when we moved in, almost one year ago. Now it's a garden. I spent the first winter and spring digging out flower beds and planting fruit trees, and my husband built raised beds for our veggies. We hired a wonderful young man to install an irrigation system, then we had him build a retaining wall, and he's just finished putting in quite a lot of concrete, giving us room to barbeque, sit out, and eat out, once it has cured enough to use.

In the meantime, I'm still digging out flower beds; the concrete dictated a change in the shape of the lawn. It's a rather sad looking lawn, so it will have to be reseeded and babied a bit this fall. My husband is building a terraced planter on the hillside for our strawberries, and we're planning to put in more fruit and nut trees this winter.

Of course, there's more to do; gardens are never completely finished, but it's no longer a field. It's definitely a garden.

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