Gardening is more than just a few raised bed garden boxes and fresh veggies........To me it's a way of life, a place to get my hands dirty, a place with very little distraction and a constant reminder of my childhood. As I grew up, my mama's garden was huge and bountiful, with perfectly spaced seeds, a system to when and where she planted each plant and as we helped her weed and water we all dreaded yet enjoyed the day when it was canning time:) canning time looked like this: An old sheet laid out on the floor of our family room, gallons and gallons of beans and an empty metal bowl for all the ends we would snap off. We looked forward to the movies we would watch and our favorite shows like Anne of Green Gables and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. We'd snap and snap and snap and then stuff ball jars for what felt like days. Then it was Tomatoes we would blanch, peel and quarter.
As a young girl I'm not sure I felt the same sense of accomplishment my mama did.......what felt like a chore to us was thoroughly enjoyed over a family meal and repeated year after year. For every time I huffed and puffed over picking and canning my Mama saw a beautiful harvest, hard work paying off and savings in their wallets.
I'll never forget the first year I was married.........We had a smallish yard but room for a garden and I was thrilled to begin!! The first thing I did was call Mama.......I asked her to share all her secrets, where to begin and as she always did and still does.....she stopped what she was doing and came right over with her gloves, shovel and wisdom.
We had a beautiful garden and When we sold our first home a year and a half ago one of the hardest things to leave was my garden. So many hours were spent there, meals were made for our growing family from the veggies and berries that grew. It was my space, a place I'd sometimes just sit and watch on my cobalt blue bench, sometimes with a cup of coffee, or evenings with a glass of wine. It had a white picket fence, bird houses and mulched walkways . . My mama taught me the importance and ease of raised beds, compost, manure, straw and starting seeds.
When we Began building our new home one of the first things I did was walk our property to scout out where my new garden would go:) Then I began planning, drawing and dreaming........
Just like our home plans began so did my garden......with paper, pencil, a ruler, a cup of coffee and Pandora playing......This time around I included a few things that I most likely wouldn't get to THIS year but we left plenty of space to add later such as tilled rows for cutting flowers and berries.
We began with raised bed boxes. After watching my mama for years garden in an open space that she tilled every year, and had a difficult time keeping weeds away she began gardening in raised bed boxes and I knew that's what I would do always. Here's what we did!
We used UNTREATED 2x10's. Cut 3 feet by 11 feet. A few nails in each end and we were good to go! You can get technical and detailed with raised boxes......but we wanted simple, quick and easy!
We positioned our old chicken coop in the center to use as a garden shed and remind us of our old home......some things are just hard to let go of:) I also built these tiered teepees for my tomatoes and green beans.
Here's what I have learned in my gardening journey. It takes time.....what I dream up now may not become reality for a few more years but my goal this year was a garden I could pick from for a few meals, share with friends and have a place to be when building was taking over. I also love that I learned more about my children this gardening season! Our oldest would rather clean the RV and do dishes while our 3rd born and only son has really shown a love for gardening, planting seeds, watering them and watching them grow. This became a time where we spent quality time together.....I can't even describe the look on his face as he picked carrots that he grew himself!!
If you are dreaming of a garden.....just start! you wont regret it, and take your time, start small and enjoy the process! As we are halfway through the summer time you may be thinking "well its to late to plant" join me as I start planning my fall crop! Think Pumpkins, kale, broccoli, and more!! Happy Gardening!!