I am so honored to have a lovely group of friends house-sitting the blog while I am away. Each of them has chosen something summer-ish to share here with you. Do take a moment to say hello to them~
Today I welcome Meg of Four WIld Blueberries…….
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My garden will never be featured in a magazine, and as much as I dream of being included in our city’s annual Garden Walk, I know that’s not likely to happen, either. Such things are for gardens that are well-planned and well-kept and beautiful, not for a ramshackle garden like mine.
In the spring, friends share pictures of tiny seedlings in neat, straight rows peeking out from rich, bare soil with not a weed in sight. I never have photos like those to share: I don’t plant in neat, straight rows, and there are always weeds. (I read once that a weed is just a plant growing somewhere you don’t want it to be; by midsummer I am so weary of pulling them that my favorite method of dealing with them becomes simply pretending I intended them to grow there in the first place.)
I plant together things that don’t belong together, staggered and closely spaced. I have so little space: just three beds in a tiny city backyard. Every inch counts if I want to grow as much as I can in this space. This makes the beds harder to tend, of course. Without regular spaces between straight rows, it’s hard to tell what is what. Sometimes I let everything grow until I am sure I can tell lettuce and carrot and broccoli from weeds, and then in a blink, it seems, the weeds have overtaken the whole works. Other times I try to stay ahead of the weeds, and then am left wondering, when only one of the three crops I sowed in the bed grows in, whether I accidentally weeded the other two away.
I find myself thinking aloud, often, about what I might have done differently with this garden, and what I will do differently next time. Next time, I’ll sheet mulch the whole yard and start with a blank canvas. (Like these folks.) Next time, I’ll plan my beds more carefully so they don’t turn out so oddly shaped and haphazardly placed. (And, recently: next time, I’ll buy a house with more land, so I’ll have the space to build a beautiful garden like Stephinie’s.)
But sometimes, when the light falls just so, perhaps after a late spring rain has left the leaves shining wet and looking so lush and green, I think this garden is perfect just as it is. Such a ramshackle garden suits me, after all: It’s messy, yes, a bit clumsy and inelegant, and more than a little overgrown. And yet, in spite of this (or perhaps because of it?), it always seems to provide just what we need to sustain us.