I’m really a terrible gardener. I’m impulsive, impractical, and a little erratic. Some days I’m super motivated while on others I am struck by apathy. I love starting seeds, but often start them at the wrong time. So far this year, I started kale and peas a little too late and zucchinis, basil, and gourds too early. Mostly, I planted flowers. I never get apathetic where flowers are concerned.
Putting in a proper garden has been our focus over the past month. I guess this is our quarantine project. Some of you might remember my garden at our previous home. We used a system of raised beds mainly because they allowed me to break the garden into obvious parts which kept me from getting too overwhelmed. At the new house, they also make sense because we’ve had to bring in good soil and I still like having the garden divided into defined beds. We plan to have two garden spaces, one of them in the front yard. My children find this very odd, but I love it. I like having a nice little working space right outside the door. It makes me very happy.
Jonny and I have never bought a new car. (Somehow, this relates to my garden story.) Generally speaking, we do not drive good looking vehicles. Our old Taurus, “The Beauty,” has blue painter’s tape holding up the ceiling fabric and it is somewhat loud. Kids know when we arrive to pick them up by ear alone. We especially love The Beauty because we didn’t pay for it. Jonny worked for a friend in exchange for it many years ago. It’s been a good car and I’m actually a little attached to it. Sadly, we’re going to have to replace it soon because it needs more work than it’s worth now. Our budget for the next vehicle is about 2.5K. You can actually get a pretty decent vehicle for that price, one with ceiling fabric intact. That’s somewhat exciting, but right now I’m not convinced that I’ll ever love another car like I’ve loved The Beauty. Anyway, while we won’t pay much for a car, Jonny did buy a somewhat expensive (for us) portable sawmill years ago. I can’t remember how that happened, but it must have been a good tax return year. The mill quickly paid for itself in lumber (Jonny picks up free downed trees) and through milling jobs. (I tell you these things just to give you an idea of how we operate.)
When I decided that this was the year for a garden, we didn’t have to spend much beyond a load of compost. Jonny milled a couple of large white oak logs that he was given to make raised beds. We will supplement those beds with rustic beds made from cedar logs that he also picked up for free. He’s always watching the free section on Craigslist (a blessing and a curse). Now he is taking down dead cedars from the forest around our house to mill into 2 by 2s to make frames to grow sugar snaps, tomatoes, and cucumbers on. If I actually manage to successfully grow these things, we may come out on top with this new garden. My track record for growing a useful amount of food is patchy, but I’m going to try. I’ll definitely have plenty of flowers this year and that is a good thing for sure.
Shortly after I planted out my little kale and lettuce plants, a swarm of bees moved into a stack of supers that we left sitting right next to our front door. Thankfully, Jonny was able to successfully move them to a better spot and now we have bees again! Free bees are the best! Having a garden again is very good too. I’m so thankful. The kids just shouted that a FedEx truck is coming down the driveway. That will be my strawberry plants…
As we move into the Easter Triduum I’m trying hard to focus on the good and the beautiful and what a blessing that we have the technology to watch our parish priests say Mass via the internet. I never told you about a little argument that Jonny and I had a few months ago. He said that one day people would be watching Mass online. I told him that that was a ridiculous thing to say…that it would never happen. I don’t think Jonny expected to be proven right so quickly and under these circumstances. But here we are at home, praying for our world and each other and wondering when we will sit in our churches again. We can be patient, we can wait. We can do this!
p.s. Yes, Francis the cat did squeeze himself on top of my plants under the grow lights multiple times.