My garden feeds 4 families, every year. It feeds my soul every day.
It is a place of refuge for me, the birds and yes, even the rabbits.
Recently, the husband of a dear friend of mine described my garden as a, “Junkyard.”
He will remain nameless (as his worth dictates) but I must defend the space that I call my garden.
Yes, I have 2 truck beds in my garden. And I love them. Anyone who gardens knows how expensive raised beds are to buy…especially the 3 foot high beds! Well, one of these truck beds was free; the other cost $100.
Both warm up earlier than the ground does so I can plant early. Both keep my crops safe from rabbits and gophers. Both provide a windbreak for transplants which is very important on our property as we are on a hill. Both save my back from bending over to plant, water, pick or bug bust.
See the chain link fence bent in half in the left hand truck bed? I salvaged it from the side of the road and use it as a trellis for crops like cucumbers to grow along.
Baskets that were given to me by a friend cover baby plants when it’s cold out. I also use them to keep rabbits from eating tender new leaves on plants or shrubs.
See the yogurt containers on the right? I cut the bottoms out of them (in the foreground) and slide them over vulnerable plants like baby green beans or beets. They are free and they make great collars to keep rabbits and slugs off young plants.
An old screen from the sliding doors we finally had to replace (after 25 years) also provides protection from rabbits, groundhogs and yes, my two West Highland White terriers.
Wherever and whenever I can I find and reuse items in my garden and I love being able to do that. I also follow Ruth Stout’s age old advice and use straw to mulch everything from the garden beds and soil to the blueberries, blackberries and herbs.
My garden is not regimented. Okay, let’s be frank, I am pretty laissez faire when it comes to where some plants show up in my garden. For example, when my lettuce and spinach start to bolt, I let them grow up and flower. I have 2 ulterior motives – I want the seeds and I want the bees!
Borage, dill and bachelor buttons grow together in clumps. Sunflowers grace the back fence. And dill is everywhere! I don’t use dill but it grows where ever its seed landed and I let it grow up and flower. Why? I want the bees!
If you look closely at this picture, you will see a volunteer tomato growing in the sweet potato bed with…yep, some dill.
Volunteer potatoes are growing around the zucchini which I tucked into blueberry patch along with summer squash.
Will this garden of mine win any awards? Probably not. But I love it and I love the food it puts on so many people’s tables.
I love the joy of just wandering early in the morning, the sweet sound of birds singing from morning til night and the beauty that surrounds me every time I step into my garden.