I love to work in the yard and in the garden. To me, there is always something magical about doing so. I feel connected to the earth, in more ways than one. I’m not sure where, or when, it started, but I have always felt a sort of spirit, if you will, within plants, the earth, everything. Something that’s there if you’re willing to see it, to feel it, to hear.
I’ve been listening to Echkart Tolle podcasts from when he was on the Oprah show. He often speaks about feeling the isness of things. It helps to remind you to be more present. To focus on the now. Because plants and animals only know how to exist in the now. By observing them, you learn to live more presently as well. I have to agree with that. Oprah told him about her experience when she was walking through the woods, and how she really understood that, because when she was by a tree, she really could feel the presence, the aliveness, of the tree. Ekhart often speaks of this. When we place a name upon something, then we label it, and it then becomes an object and less of a presence, or a spirit.
So in some ways, I believe that is what I speak of, but to me, it sort of goes beyond that in some ways. Some like to call it spirit, some God, some mother earth, and on and on. The descriptions can be vast. For me . . . I say magic. I prefer thinking in terms of magic, and yes, I am a huge science person as well. I try to think up my dreams that come true as scientifically they happen, versus something of magic. I am a constant back and forth. But at the end of the day, I prefer to forever believe in magic. I do not like a harsh black and white world.
So for me, that is what I love about working in the garden. There is something special about it. That connects me to the earth. That connects me to everything. It grounds me. It relaxes me. I’m often hit with a load of creativity while working in the yard, and I have my hands in the dirt.
I even feel like that is where a lot of problems come with growing things in ones garden. At the end of the day, I believe that if you don’t completely and utterly love what you’re doing, and love those plants, you won’t get them to grow for nothing. All the miracles in the world can’t bring forth that secret ingredient. I often feel that’s my secret ingredient to cooking and I’ve had it backed up. When I don’t completely focus on what I’m cooking, and love what I’m cooking, then it tastes . . . like crap. (When I think of that, I’m reminded of that Sarah Michelle Gellar movie where her emotions went into her food. If she cried while cooking, the people cried while eating, haha.)
I was thinking about that when I was looking at my center garden in the backyard today. Below is a storyline of how it started, why it remained utterly pathetic for a while, and then when I finally gave it back my full attention and love. Now, that garden is beginning to show its true beauty.
This is where it first started. I started with the barrel that is in the top left corner. I was moving it across the yard, then it told me that it would move no further (it began falling apart). I said to myself, okay, this is as good a place as any. So then I built the teirs around it. Those were made from the old porch bits that we pulled up to be replaced with new. The most recycled and beat up wood one could use, but I didn’t care. I painted them to add a pretty punch to the vast green of the lawn. Then shoved some bricks around it, and threw a few potted plants in. Didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with it. (My Amber helping me in the top right of the picture.)
I had great plants to make a pretty border as well. You can see, I did nothing with the grass. The grass is still in there in the tiers as well. I cut those angled pieces to hold the tiers together by just angling a regular saw and hand sawing that to an angle. I don’t do power tools if I can help it.
Then . . . something far more important than that garden came into my life. The little fluffy bits you can see right in front, and back there near the fences. Didn’t care about that trash to clean, the garden, or anything else but raising those little gremlins. They took my every free minute.
Look at those little bodies! Love them so damned much.
trying to catch them on film was almost impossible!
Then Fall came and again, I did not do much more than get some dirt into that outter area. I had to do that part because I had plants that needed to be dealt with. 90% of those plants are long gone. They weren’t a part of my plan, and the harsh Winter wiped them out. All I did for that exterior part, was to place a layer of paper bag down over the grass, and then add dirt. Nothing more.
Then Winter hit, and few of the plants that were there, bothered to survive.
The next year, I hated those bricks and removed them, then expanded the garden further. I made it circular, then a bit more oval-shaped. My hostas are happy to be there, and I brought in some miniature roses. My friend Donna sent me a variety of candytufts (white, purple, and pink) so that is what you see near the ends. I have roses in the center tiers and a broken deer that I have no clue where it came from. But it’s adorable there. I also have some really pretty long stalked purple plants. They look a bit like heather, but they aren’t heather. Can’t remember what the name is.
I tried to grow a hibiscus plant in it, but that didn’t survive. I even tried to have a pretty little house and design . . .didn’t work with dogs running in and out of the garden, haha.
That pink flower in the upper right (I rarely know what plants are what, lol) is something from my my childhood. My mom had this pink flowered plant that had only survived in that barrel that I had moved. Now I’ve multiplied it and it’s finally all over the yard again.
Here is what the garden looks like as of May 12, 2004. You can see my hostas are thriving. The cream edged hostas start a little later than the green, but they will be almost the same size as the green you see. They all put off little lilac bell flowers (no smell) later in the season. That tree on the front corner won’t stay. I’m starting it so I can place it over as a “screen” for our neighbor. He removed all his trees last year and there isn’t much of a privacy area for us anymore. From him, we need one.
This is what it looks like from the porch.
Other side. Hard to see with the magnolia tree and lilac bush.
My mini roses are thriving. I did have strawberries, but last year I removed them. I didn’t think about little boys who’d lift their legs. Sadly the transplants all died so I’m getting more. I love fresh strawberries. I have had many cuttings from those mini roses.
Love the hostas so much! They are such beautiful plants. I started out in the beginning with just a couple dried and scraggly roots that I found in the garage. Can you believe that? Now? Now they are allllllll over the backyard, front, and porch. Amazing plants. I’ve even given a lot away. Seriously, you want some, I’ll send you some small roots, if I can.
Some of the forget-me-knots that we got from my dad’s funeral are peaking through the hostas. This is my brother’s lavender plant. His plant has been dying in the front yard because of a creeping charlie plant. The roots are strangling everything like this lavender. So this year I decided to move it and this is more green than it has shown in a while. If you have any good tips for this plant, and helping it out, let me know in the comments. I would love the help.
Here is that pink plant I was talking about. It’s just starting to bud. If you know the name, please let me know what it is. There are roses in here that were started from nothing more than a dozen roses I received (and my mom) for Mother’s Day as few years ago. And I also have some of my mom’s pink plants that are sort of like baby’s breath, but tiny pink flowers, and sticky stalks. You can see the base of them at the bottom right of the white box. I don’t even know the name of those so tell me if you know.
This is some of my starts for my Irish Moss creeping up, and besides the few weeds, the candytufts starting. I love those plants, but I don’t see as many coming up this year.
I love moss. So yes, all of that you see is intentional. I’m trying to make it more Irish Moss because I love the way it looks.
Up in the middle is the first lavender I transferred. I wanted to make sure it survived in my garden, before I touched the other plants. Well, plant. I multiplied it myself.
I discovered what looks like a little cedar starting! Up there next to the hosta. I’m not touching it. I will move the wood if I have to, but I won’t touch that little guy. I love cedar trees, and that would be a great place for one. I keep finding all these cute trees popping up in our yard. Remember the flower pot holding one above? Came from a start that appeared in our yard. So fun! I love trees that remain green throughout the year, and I love cedars. See the pretty Irish moss, too? We’re ignoring the small hole that’s been dug by Amber. Snot face.