COMPLETED GARDEN AWESOMENESS
WARNING: LENGTHY POST OF LENGTHY VICTORY
So here’s some badassery that two people with chronic illnesses managed. I’m so proud of us. We just did what we could do, step by step, and now we have a lot of amazingness.
And you get a long post about it.
First Gabe found a book called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, which makes incremental gardening really accessible. We’ve wanted to have a vegetable garden for ages and have only had a little experience with them. So it was kind of intimidating to approach. This book sort of cracked the code for us.
Then, Gabe made one raised bed box.
Then honestly we got tired and busy for like… a year. But hey, one step done and waiting for us when we were ready. And all that time spent thinking just sorta composted and fed the next steps.
Eventually we got momentum again and Gabe made another raised bed box. We picked where to place the boxes in the yard. We bought some good stuff to mix into dirt. Eventually we made that good mix of dirt. We decided we wanted some paver stones right around the boxes, so we started collecting small stacks of those whenever we were up for a Lowe’s run.
This was… February this year?
We filled the boxes and started planning veggies. We also started a small garden on the kitchen bar with a cheap grow light (one cool white bulb, one warm white bulb).
Step by step. Whenever we had energy we did whatever was next best we could. And kept going.
We portioned out the boxes like so, like it says to do with the Square Foot method.
Then, when we were up for it, we started planting! Green leafies and carrots from seeds, tomatoes and cukes from transplants from the inside garden. Taters in tater bins. We’re just dealing with pests as they arise.
Then Gabe started planning the fence we’d eventually need when some very enthusiastic family dogs come home from being long distance. We lucked out and a family member had a bunch of chain link fencing we could use. We bought the lumber we needed for the frame.
Now here’s where life gave us a little deadline, because said enthusiastic dogs are coming home Wednesday. So we had to bust our sick butts a little this month to make all this happen. We were lucky and had spoons to spare or to borrow.
First the frame, then the fencing, across three weekends.
Finally, today we hung the gate and added some finishing touches with bits and bobs we’ve collected… and that we bought with a victory trip to Big Lots this weekend.
And here’s where I’m spamming your feed with ALL THE PICTURES. Because AWESOME.
Currently Cap greets you when you come in. He may look tiny, but he’s fierce.
To the left… stand with our hardier herbs and some aloe. Carrots, lettuce, chard, squash, bell peppers and First Avenger in the box. Blue potatoes in the tater bin.
The tallest are happy new transplants from the store. The farthest right square has lettuce coming up from seed! The square at the bottom has feathery carrot tops! Look!
And our mostly herb stand we love - mint and aloe that’s already endured trouble with us, and new lavender and cilantro.
On the other side, to the right then: red taters, tomatoes and cucumbers. Plus ancient bag with hand-painted dragon for hand gardening tools.
And we have attracted very rare grass dolphins!
The tomatoes and cukes are being read to so they will grow up big and strong.
Other finishing touches – we found the perfect windchime.
And solar powered fairy lights!!!
Yeah, we did it. Here’s the thing… the blackberry vines went in way late. But they’re in. The cukes were late but they’re in. The rainwater barrel is set up but we don’t know how to use it yet. Ants took some lettuce and one part of a box but we shook them and started again. Several herbs didn’t make it. We do what we can do when we can do it. And eventually we’ve got this foundation we can build on, and if something doesn’t grow, we pull it up and try something else. We learn and grow at every step.
Maybe gardens aren’t your thing, but please take this as a reminder of what can happen if you’re willing to risk the scariness of taking one step at a time without knowing how on earth you’ll finish.
It feels great to be out there. It feels sacred. I’ll have to be careful as it gets hotter especially. But it’s beautiful and it feeds me just by being there. Maybe we’ll even grow something to eat.