Friday, May 29, 2015


Spring (detail)      Jacob Grimmer ca.1525-1590

Garden 2015 is finally underway!
There have already been a couple of nice surprises.

First, I happened to arrive at the feed store
just after they had set out all their plants.
I may have been the first customer to see it. 
Row upon row, table after table,
and not a gap anywhere.

There were a few gaps when I left, though.

I treated myself to perennial flowers.
Not just one or two, as usual, but a dozen!
Some are potential dye plants I've been hoping to find.
Others were unfamiliar, but chosen because
they can tolerate partial shade.
Like this Milky Bellflower: 

The image below clearly demonstrates what gardening is like here.

See that little yarrow plant?
See that pile of rocks?

ALL those rocks came from the hole dug for a 1-quart yarrow.
It's like some kind of freakish twist in the law of nature:
every hole I dig produces a greater volume of stone
than the volume of the hole.
I cannot explain it.
But I live it.

Several plants went into one of my existing garden beds.
But five are in a new spot, along a path
I walk several times each day for chores.
Flowers along the way? A very cheering prospect!

A second surprise:
I was invited to take a plot at the community garden in town.
This idea had never once occurred to me.
I thought community gardens and allotments
were specifically for people who have no land.
(But now that I've typed that...
in this rural town, I'm not sure who those folks could be.)

Then I thought about what a battle it is to garden at my place.
My land is composed almost entirely of stones,
with little bits of rusty soil in between.
And direct sunlight is at a premium;
it's always a challenge to decide what I might squeeze in.

So, maybe I should try adding a garden in town?

After waiting a week in case any landless soul needed the plot -
- there are only 8 in total -
I inquired and found there was one space left.
Already rototilled.

Ha! I still managed to get the only spot with shade!
But just in the morning.

With this extra plot - about 20 by 25 feet -
I suddenly have more options, and much more direct sun.
And for the first time in decades, I can plant root crops.
This is thrilling! I use a lot of root crops.

Yesterday, on the way home
from a doctor's appointment an hour away,
I visited a couple of feed stores and bought a few seeds:

Does that look like a lot?
Am I being too optimistic?

At least I can count on Piper to help with the planting.

Lots of work ahead, but it's an exciting experiment!

So tell does your garden grow?


  1. I feel your pain re: the stones. They never bloody end, do they...!?

    Your allotment sounds fun. You and Piper look like you're going to be busy :)

  2. No, the rocks just keep on coming. If they ever stop, I imagine all that's left will be the hollow core of the Earth!

  3. I would be excited if I lucked out and got such a nice garden plot too (not that I'm a great gardener, but the prospect of nice fresh veggies would egg me on). As it is, we garden on our balcony and at the moment have three tomato plants, some chives, oregano, thyme, basil, and some peppers.

    1. I have failed repeatedly in past efforts to grow herbs in pots, so I applaud your gardening system!

  4. All my herbs are in pots, and I supply son and friends too! Basil, rosemary, sage, spearmint, peppermint, oregano, tarragon, thyme. I love my herbs. Most of my veggies come from the farm share, but I used to have a community garden and grew all sorts of food. For birds as well as me! Yes, go for it!

    1. Well, this is not the first time I have wished you would please come live next door to me!

  5. I forgot to say I love your opening image. Are those women shearing or combing? That's one glum sheep there!

    1. Ha! That I a sorry-looking sheep! I think the women are shearing with those one-piece shears that seem to have been around forever. I don't know about the man holding a sheep by the hind first I thought he was trimming hooves, but maybe he's just hanging on to the next in line to be shorn.
      I love this type of image :)

  6. How exciting to have that new little plot of land! It's so exciting planning all the new things you can grow.
    We're finally getting our garden back in shape after several years of total neglect.
    So far, it's all going to be flowers flowers flowers but I have plans for Mr Moog to build me some raised veg planters so maybe next year I can grow edibles too.
    It's suddenly become a bit of a passion again and I love being out there planting, watering and tending.

    1. I hope you'll post some pictures of flowers flowers flowers on your blog! :)

  7. Hi Quinn, It's fun to watch your goats grow! My cucumber seeds are just starting to poke up, blossoms on pepper plants, one tiny green tomato so far!

    1. Always a thrill to see the seedlings just breaking through the soil! :)

  8. My garden is much like your home garden, except that those rocks are boulders just below the ground. So, I have raised beds. And the growing season is VERY short. I tried planting lettuce early this year (5/1), and it only just sprouted. I'm heading out to plant some more right after this comment!

    I think that the community garden is a fabulous experiment. If one of my neighbors with a nice south-facing meadow invited me to garden on their land, I'd do it in an instant. So, I love your new experiment. Keep us posted!

    1. Raised beds would be ideal here, and I am trying to add more by means of cleaning the goat barns...plenty of material to work with, but getting it to a garden area is quite an endeavor. Little by little!

  9. I'm so happy for you to have an easier place to garden!! I can understand how difficult the gardening on your own plot of land must be with all those big rocks! I have a friend who lives in a rocky area too. She needed a fence for her horses, but when contacting fence diggers they all turned her down when they heard where she lived. They didn't want to ruin their equipment on all the rocks they knew they would encounter. Good luck with all the planting ... good girl Piper for helping out ;)


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