The weekend before the long weekend, I spent in the garden preparing for planting day. There were weeds to pull. The soil needed to be turned and one of the three vegetable beds needed to be topped up with soil.
It felt good to be back in the garden with the familiar feeling of soil in my hands and dirt under my nails. If I was to be honest, of all the pleasures there are in my life, the garden is where I feel most at peace.
My feathered friends watching from the trees above were quite pleased with the turning of the soil. I quickly became popular with them as they came to each bed after it was cleaned. They seem to be aware that we won’t hurt them and they worked along digging the fresh-turned soil, picking up bugs and seeds.
I had tried to grow my vegetable plants in the house again like I did last year. But this year was not the success I had last year. School kept me very busy which resulted in me not giving them the attention they needed. The end results included many shopping trips to the garden center to buy plants and seeds.
Like many Canadians, I look forward to May 24th, our first long weekend to kick off Summer. It’s our official start to garden season and like the rest, I was in the garden.
When I headed up to the cottage the car was packed with the plants I had shopped for. I also brought up many seed packages.
My reading had brought to my attention that many of the seeds I was trying to get started at home actually did better by starting them in the garden. I also learned that most of the local farmers did their crops this way and if it worked for the farmers, it just might work for me.
Working in the gardens brought out the neighbors. It was interesting to learn who was planting what and who else was adding garden beds this year. We discussed the successes and failures of last year and the adventures of this year. After a couple hours of planting and visiting, I had a feeling of satisfaction that the garden was started.
The next morning, I came out to the garden to find one pepper plant dug up and laying on its side. There also was a hole where the watermelon seeds had been planted. The pepper plant was unharmed, but the watermelon seeds were gone.
That morning I replanted the pepper plant and added more watermelon seeds.
The next morning, I checked the garden again and the pepper plant was dug up, yes the same one, and the watermelon seeds were gone again. Only this time there had been a witness to the acts.
Our neighbor had been sitting on his deck and he watched Momma Dove and her little ones hanging out in the garden. She had no interest in the other seeds planted but they liked the watermelon seed. As for the pepper plant, it was a Mr. Squirrel. For some reason, he pulled up the same plant, only that one, not touching the other eleven planted with it.
Again I replanted the pepper planted and added the rest of the package of watermelon seeds.
The following morning the pepper plant was in its place. As for the watermelon seeds, the hole was bigger and not a seed was to be found. I’ve given in now and went back to the garden center and will be planting watermelon plants this year.
As for the other seeds, so far we have green and yellow beans and butternut squash coming up.
I decreased the amount of zucchini and tomatoes we planted this year and added more pepper plants. And I’m trying my luck again with cucumbers, which we lost last year. A week of really hot weather killed them off.
As for the non-edible gardens, it was lovely to see the front garden full of Daffodils when I pulled in. We had planted them two Summers ago along with our Rhododendrons which were also in bloom this past two weeks.
This past weekend I was also able to work on other small gardens. I moved the lilac trees we planted last year to make room for the Warriors Grapevines that will be going in and we dug a five-foot circle for the perennial garden going in this coming weekend.
When I wasn’t digging or planting, I spent a lot of time with my drawing boards designing a couple of other gardens and a mural that is going to get painted this year with the Warrior’s help.
My plan for this Summer, I guess you have figured it out, is to garden. School will be finished in a few weeks. After two long years of working full-time, Covid, and going to school, I plan to reward myself with more gardens.
I know that sounds like more work, which it is. But the garden is after all the place that gives me peace and pleasure. It is also the place where I enjoy spending time with my neighbors. It is something that gives beauty to all who view them and food to the bees, the butterflies, and the hummingbirds. With all that being said, how can I not plant more gardens?