Well, we have been in a drought for 3 years now. The back yard is parched, dry and dusty. What to do… I didn’t know what to do so I picked up a rake on that hot dry morning and I started to rake the dry grass into a pile. That’s how it started. Rake, rake, rake.
Before I knew it I had piles of dry grass and leaves that had to be carried out of the back yard. I had so much to clear out I thought I was going to go crazy. Slowly but surely I cleared the yard. It soon became a blank canvas. As it did, I began to visualize what I wanted to do. We had a pile of used brick on the side of the house and so I started to chip off the old concrete. It’s funny how satisfying it can be to clean old brick. I know, I’m weird and thank goodness I am very task oriented.
As my pile of clean brick began to grow, I started to see a curved walkway from the wood deck out to the shady corner of the yard. I dug out a path, laid that brick down and then took it up, laid it down again, took it up and laid it down a third time. They say the third time is a charm. Well, charm or not, I was not taking it up again. I call it my umpity, bumpity walkway…or vintage. Ya, that’s it, my vintage walkway is perfectly uneven.
Plants were put along each side of the walk way and since it was well into April I decided to include a vegetable garden. There are only two of us so I put in three zucchini plants, three English cucumbers, one bell pepper just because they’re fun to grow and four different kinds of tomato plants. I squeezed all these plants into an area that was about five feet by eight feet. Yep, way to small and I knew it, but that’s what I did and it worked! The plants grew quickly, I shared with the neighbors and now we are nearing the end of the summer and we are still having fresh cucumber and tomato salad every night. All we need now is an avocado tree!
The yard needed more color so it seemed every time I ran to the store or post office or any other errand I ended up at the nursery. Do you know how wonderfully therapeutic it is to wander aimlessly through a well-stocked nursery? I was in heaven very often this summer.
I painted old ugly flowerpots bright yellow, orange, blue, green, marigold (yes, that’s a color) and even desert pottery color. I planted zinnias, daisies, marigolds, vinca, geraniums, ferns, impatiens and I’m not near done filling the yard with color. But, the season is coming to a close so for now I will be patient and imagine what next year will bring. Of course, there will be some winter flowers and maybe a small winter vegetable garden…Brussel sprouts maybe for my husband.
I’m thankful for my time in the garden this year. While working in it, I often thought of my years growing up when I would water my moms’ garden. Mom would cook up all sorts of good meals from our fresh vegetables. And, we would trade with our neighbors and cousins. I can still smell the summer air. The dry grasses, the sugar mill the harvest. I can still smell my dad when he would come home from a hard day on the farm. Farm smells, there is nothing better.
Yep, gardening takes me home again to good memories and makes me miss those carefree summers as a child.