A Garden Of One’s Own

I may be driving the subject into the ground.  I feel compelled to express my thoughts comprehensively.  All I can ask is that you bear with me.  Today I’m thankful for space to think.

One of the more useful aspects of retreating into silence is that one is forced to grapple with one’s thoughts.  Distractions are minimised so it really is just you and your brain.  I used what time I had to begin determining what I honestly, truly want, and what is extraneous.  I turn important life pages periodically and I think I’m approaching another.

I want a garden, divided into crops and flowering plants.  I can’t develop one at my apartment as I only have a small cement slab with a balcony overhead.  I need land.  With land would come a detached house, and a vehicle to haul garden “stuff.”  That vehicle would look better with a scruffy canine passenger.  I most want a garden, a house, a hauling vehicle and a dog, in that order.  I’ve figured out the “what.”  Now I need to work on the “how.”  It’s thrilling and scary in equal measure.

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Seeking Stillness

I did it again.  I apologize.  I’m still somewhat discombobulated after cramming so much travel into a short time.

My trip was a short retreat at a monastery.  I am not remotely spiritual.  However, I have yet to find any other places that offer such enveloping calm.  I love my work.  It can also be very stressful.  Occasionally I need to fully withdraw from my usual life and seek the quiet.  I’ve visited several different communities by using their retreat facilities.

This latest community has a moderately large vegetable garden.  I helped gather what was ready for harvest and sowed other crops for later in the year.  I tried to actually be helpful and not create more work for the overseer by my incompetence.  I’m not certain I met that goal but they were kind enough to remain silent.  I knew I’d needed to visit.  It wasn’t until returning home that I realized just how much I had needed to go.

Be kind to yourself.  You have one body and life.  Use them to maximise the good you do.

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Strawberry Fields

Today I’m thankful for strawberries.

I love strawberries.  My grandparents would always reserve a row in their garden for “my” strawberries.  My grandfather would pretend he didn’t see that most of the berries I picked got eaten instead of put in the basket.  During holiday meals they would sometimes put one or two on their plate and pretend to turn away, allowing me to “steal” the fruit from under their noses.  Strawberries and I go back a long way.

I didn’t grow any this year.  This was my first gardening year in a very long time.  I was mostly trying to keep my plants from dying.  Strawberries are supposed to be a simple plant to keep so I think I will try next season.

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Still Blooming

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Today I’m thankful for my rose bush.

The mushrooms appear to have been routed.  Even if some occasional spores pop up I will claim victory.  The silly thing is still blooming.  I figure it has to get tired sometime.  I can’t prune the rose canes until it calms down.  We’ll see how long that takes.  I bought it at my mother’s suggestion.  I’m glad I did.  Thanks Mom.

Death To Mushrooms

Today I’m thankful for fungicide.

I started gardening to help pollinators.  I don’t if it has technically been “organic” but I haven’t used any pesticides on my plants.  I’ve accepted a certain amount of bugs and damage because it was important to me.

I didn’t plan on mushrooms.  They’re especially bad in my rosebush.  I hate mushrooms.  I’ve been using a people- and pet-safe fungicide on the soil in an effort to get rid of them.  I can handle insects but the fungus will be hunted mercilessly.

Here are some pictures I took of other pretty flowers as mine are not photo ready at the moment.

Playing In the Dirt

Today I’m thankful for gardening.

I have a bunch of containers on my patio.  They’re all flowers.  I didn’t know if I would be able to eat everything if I grew vegetables.  I might next year.

My grandparents had a huge vegetable garden.  There was an entire row dedicated to strawberries for me.  I’ve never been a fan of weeding but working with the soil and watching something grow is amazing.  At home we’d do yardwork but it always kind of sucked.  I’ve learned, that for me, the spirit I approach the work with is the most important part.  It’s probably grossly oversimplified but that’s all I’ve got.  I do think people should have a better idea where their food comes from, and of the amount of effort that goes into producing it.  Our county extension office offers community plots for a small rental fee.  I’m thinking about getting one for the next growing season and just letting flowers and veg run riot.