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dog on patio

dog on patio

I am gardening on a tight budget this year. Everything planted in the pots and raised beds came from home grown seedlings, except for a few hard to grow herbs. There aren’t too many actual “flowers” in the mix. I do hope to add some alyssum later for a little bit of frill.

container gardening

I can’t take credit for creating a garden plan, growing the seedlings, or getting much of the garden in — that was mainly Steve’s effort. I swooped in on Sunday to fill some pots and find homes for orphan plants that looked like they might get tossed otherwise. I have a thing about finding homes for the unwanted.

(and for overexposing photos on cloudy days)

container gardening container gardening


Since putting in a backyard pond last year,


Steve had to move the raised beds over to the far left on the lot and work on putting up new fencing to keep the dogs away from the plants. We used some leftover chainlink and are still deciding what can be scrounged up to finish up the ends and make cuter gates. Chicken wire will have to do for now.

raised beds

Thank goodness the perennials are thriving. In fact, I think they are evolving into some kind of jungle.

chicken coop and shed chicken coop and shed

Sunday’s garden plunge was a much needed break from the things I’ve been busy with — much of which feels like misdirection and deadends.

“It’s all part of the process.”

“It takes time.”

True, but what it feels like is a whole lot of work with nothing to show for it.

Which leads me back to gardening. Digging your hands repeatedly into dirt and doing transplants as delicate as any surgeon (actually, I’m a bit rough with my plants, it toughens them up) does seem to put things back into perspective.

My father told me once that he liked to do things like weed or put up a book shelf because you can so plainly see the results. What I’ve been doing lately doesn’t seem to have visible, clear-cut evidence that I can point at and say, “Yup, that’s what I did today.”

dog by pond

Gardening is different, although the young, small plants we put into pots barely break up the blackness of the dirt they are planted in. It’s tempting to fill the pot, so it looks good right now, rather than being patient and giving the plants a chance to grow and fill out. But if you give into that temptation and over plant, the pot will become too crowded. The plants will compete for space, and some won’t get enough light or room to thrive.

container gardening

And so it is with building a dream. I realized that some of the things I think are opportunities that are going to draw me closer to my goal are actually too many plants in my pot.

Once I’m done with a couple things I already committed to, I’m cutting back. I pledge to fight the urge to run after the next pretty shiny thing that catches my eye.

Unless it’s a flower or a dog.



biking on East River Parkway


bike ride dead end

I haven’t blogged for about a month now. I’ve been busy with my son visiting from New York, then I visited Arizona a couple days later, and soon after that Steve and I went camping at the North Shore.

herb garden needing weedingI’ve been home for awhile but I’ve been trying to catch up with my completely out of control garden and yard.

And I’ve been rethinking a lot of things. Out of that rethinking, I’ve created a new website. It’s very much under construction right now as you can see. I haven’t quite figured out how to make the page do what I want it to do yet but I’m dropping my need for perfection before moving on with something so it is what it is for now.

I’m on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram very minimally right now as I continue to work on my writing and take breaks here and there to do something else — like write this post.

standing on cobblestone street

When my son was here, I wanted to show him how hip we now are in the Twin Cities – how we have trains and street cars, new housing along the bike and public transportation trails, and decent places to eat. Not that I expect Minnesota is anywhere near as exciting as New York but I was hoping he’d find it less of a place to avoid.

However, I don’t think my son’s and my idea of fun exactly match up. Surprise, surprise…

taking shelter from the rain

He didn’t seem too thrilled with my bike riding tour. Especially when it kept raining. And we ran into construction that dead ended the bike path and sent us back up a steep hill. Even I did not consider that fun.

I think we had some good moments, though. Eating out was good. Getting his broken phone replaced was good.

Seeing my son again was good.

photo of my son

“In the garden one can see the time coming for both fruition and for dying back. In the garden one is moving with rather than against the inhalations and the exhalations of greater wild Nature.
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. “Women Who Run With the Wolves”

This has been a tough year for gardening. Wait, I think I said that last year, and the year before that, and the year before that…

This year, it’s been hard to get things done between rainstorms, and the temperatures were slow to warm up.  I can’t blame the weather entirely though. I had issues with heating up myself. Too much muchness again — things that had to come first — and I was slow getting out of the gate.

In the vein of simplifying my life this year, I didn’t go as hog wild with buying a bazillion flowers for containers. And I haven’t started up my outdoor salad table either, not in the name of simplification as you don’t get much simpler than the salad table and the fresh lettuce and kale and basil it provides, but because it needs to be moved off the deck until some work is done there, although I do kind of like the rustic look…

So everything is less ambitious than last year, and yet crop failure opportunities abound.

My 2014 Garden
Going green,
pink, purple, and red
In my beautious garden beds. 
Despite the cool start
Heat and humidity are here
So now it’s time to have me a beer!
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