Thursday, July 9, 2009

Amazing Growth

Every year it amazes and surprises me how quickly the garden develops from a dirt patch to a productive green space.

This was my front yard exactly one month ago.

I had just finished seeding in the last week of May, so most of the seeds were just starting to germinate and all you can see are the tips of the potatoes and the things I started indoors over the winter. Those potatoes were almost as big in the sack when they were in the basement. It was like some alien things trying to escape the bag.

We went away last weekend and came back to rain. It was too dark to see the garden, although I was dying to walk around and examine it. In the morning, I woke up to this sight.

In the flower beds, those five days meant that I almost missed the peonies and did miss many of my pink poppies that I love. Against all rules about weeding in extremely wet ground, I wandered around yesterday doing just that. Because of the paths, I don't have to step in the ground near any plants, so I think that's okay.

Generally I mulch the paths with grass clippings. It serves two purposes for me. It helps to keep down the weeds and makes it clear to the girls where they are allowed to walk. This year we've decreased our grassy areas so much that I can't mulch as I'd like to. I'll have to catch my neighbour one day and get his clippings.

My process sometime in February is to start with a list of plants I want to put in the garden. Somehow that makes the possibility of spring seem closer just when I'm giving up. Pictures of crocuses and tulips on the west coast DO NOT HELP! On my clean kitchen table, I start to draw out a map of my garden.

I'm not terribly good at the spatial stuff and always have to adjust the plan to what actually fits while my hands are in the dirt. That results in this:
Invariably I lose this drawing before the next February and I have to start all over again.
Germination (or lack of) means a few more modifications but this what I've got today.

I've thrown some patches of flowers into the space because I was a bit worried about the front yard looking like a farm. The hope is that the row of snapdragons will take over the space that the peas and beans currently hold and that the zuchini will take over when the bok choi is done. I don't want gaps, but I'm also not good at succession planting.
I haven't focussed on the back garden at all, but it's actually more mature than the front. Next year I'll have to ammend the soil in the front some more. Even the weeds like the back better, but I haven't gotten to them yet this week.
I've forgotten to mark some of the carrots and the pole beans and sweet peas along the fence, but you get the general idea. Every year the garden grows in size and productivity, and gets less weedy too.
This is another area of growth that struck me this week. Look how cute the girls were four years ago.
This week we treated the girls to a surprise: the Lion King Broadway Show. Knowing only that we were going out, somewhere fancy and somewhere they've never gone before, they got all dolled up, even twisting their hair up into simple French knots. They looked so old suddenly.

And they loved the show, happily staying up until 10:30. I loved them when they were cute and little, but they are awesome company now that they are getting older. We had a great night together.


Rosa said...

What a great post!
Your garden looks great by the way. . .

Simon. said...

Your children certainly are growing up. I must admit the gardening does not really appeal as I am living with an expert gardener but the Dinosaurs will be great to show the children.