An Actual Garden

We, being country dwellers, are constantly asked about our ‘garden,’ as if it’s a given: live in the country, grow vegetables. For fifteen years I have rolled my eyes at this question and tartly replied, “We don’t have time to garden.” Not only that, but I hate to weed, and lack the necessary green thumbs. Melissa’s a plant freak, but lacks the time.

I don’t know what happened this year, but we have a garden, an actual garden. Our neighbor Jaycee is mostly responsible. All we did was casually mention we were thinking of planting one this year, and she was over like a flash, helping Melissa set up the lumber, tilling the soil, and planting….all in one afternoon. It was a good thing I was gone, or I’d have fainted from the idea alone. I suspect Jaycee has been waiting 15 years to help us plant a garden.

Here it is!

Plants are actually growing. I have actually weeded a bit. The snow peas and regular peas and beans and potatoes and spinach and squash are all doing well. We thought the line of basil looked nice until our neighbor Karen took Melissa in hand and pointed out there was only one basil plant in that row…the rest were lovely, basil-like weeds. Basically if you get down on your knees and put your face into the soil, you can see this basil plant. My plans for mass-producing our own pesto might be in jeopardy.


Another spring project—I realized early May that our retired friend Joe faced a long, boring summer of doing nothing but golfing. Can you imagine the strain of that? Concerned, I offered to let him build us a small deck to avoid the tedium of hitting a little ball around all day. He gratefully accepted my offer, and by the end of May we had this lovely deck.

Now I must stain it, then plant stuff around it, and track down some real patio furniture. I’m just so grateful to finally have a flat place on which to sit. I intend to spend the summer sitting here, drinking wine and watching my vegetable garden grow.

And finally, there’s our rock garden, which over the last few years had been taken over by weeds. Our friend Mary stayed with us for a few days to help with lambing, and ended up redoing most of the rock garden. Isn’t it lovely?


We have a growing garden, a great deck, and a lovely rock garden…not because we’re skilled at these things…. but because we’re brilliant when it comes to choosing friends….

8 thoughts on “

  1. Wow! Does your place ever look nice. The pictures just posted will make you feel so good to look back on them in, say, January!

    Congrats on jumping (being pushed?) into gardening. I think you’ll find it addictive.

    P.S. I personally think pesto is way over-rated anyway.

  2. Bravo/Brava for all your weeding, hammering, tilling, planting friends!!!

    We’ve been savouring the kind assistance of others this past month ourselves. After the farm/house year from hell, a fellow from church offered to come over and play with his tractor at our place. Everything looks sooo much better! And this week we have two young women who are having their “quarter-life crises” and each decided our farm would be the best place to sort things out…while weeding and helping with the chores! I wish they’d stay longer than a week!

  3. It looks so lovely! You also have some very good friends.

    Weeding is not my favorite, either, but I do find that having a glass of wine nearby makes the task much more pleasant. Mulching with straw around your veggies would save water and reduce the need to weed.

    Also, if you’re so inclined, you could buy some additional basil starts and get them in–it’s not too late.

    Good luck with it all!

  4. Oh you do pick good friends!

    My garden is a disaster-between cutworms and the occasional raccoon I’m about to throw in the towel.

    The human garden is going well, though. That little reader of mine who was so inspired by Eddie (and then Ruby) so many months ago reads anything and everything in her path. Thank you again for your encouragement!

  5. Mama Pea, didn’t you hear? Minnesota voted to skip January and February next year! You must not have gotten your ballot….

    MaineCelt…I think people have more energy to help others than I ever imagined.

    Judybusy…Wine and weeding? Why didn’t I think of that. Thanks for the tip about buying more basil. Might just do that. Had my first spinach salad this afternoon. REALLY good!

    SWE…cutworm? Acck! I’m going to lose sleep over them. Sounds awful. Since our chickens eat lots of bugs, hopefully they’ll head off the cutworms before they make it to the garden.

    Heather, yes, sheep are lovely. I just stood in the pasture this morning and all the lambs whirled in alarm to face me, and it amazed me their faces were almost identical… all very sweet.

    Must go out to pick more spinach before the storm hits…

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