Chickens | Dogs | Home Sweet Home | Woman on a Journey

Everything I Know I Learned From Plants (and dogs)

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,

pond

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.

 

dog

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4 Comments

    1. Thanks Donna. I wish I’d figured this out before I over committed. But only a few things to finish up next week and I should have more room to focus on the important stuff that keeps getting crowded out.

  1. Maery, you have such a nice garden, I like the feel of it… I also like the red paving in front of your house. We still need to finish the paving in front of our house and this is something I was thinking about.
    The train of your thoughts has made me think about what gardening has taught me and there is plenty, patience above all. Everything has its time… I like that metaphor of too many plants in one pot!

    1. Thanks Petra. It’s becoming the backyard I’ve always dreamed of having. My pond has attracted some frogs, which makes me so happy! I’ve missed the sound of frogs since I moved. Yes, gardens are the best teachers. It should be a required class at school.

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