Friday, April 29, 2016

Garden Philososphy

Since I can't go to my garden today, I am at least thinking about it.  This is what the garden looks like from across the yard on a good day.

This is what I've got this morning.  Yeah, it's under water, and it will be for awhile since we have more rain on the way.  Discouraging but that's what weather is like sometimes here in the Gulf South, and this is what it's like to live in wetland.  The good news is that it seems that I've managed to site my new composting bin (it appears in this picture near the center of the clothes line) above the water line. 

Oh well, the back yard could be worse; here's the view of my side yard from the street.  Thank goodness the electric company got their clear-cutting done before the rain.  As it was, they still got stuck in the mud and left ruts (which you can't see because :::surprise!::: they are under water).  My driveway was impassable yesterday, and the street was water-covered, too.

The soil here is clay-ish and fairly anoxic--the carnivorous plants in my yard are proof of the latter.  It's useless to try to garden for food here unless you do so above ground.

I use whatever is available, whatever is free, whatever is given to me.  That means that I end up with an odd assortment.  No one can see easily into my garden, so the silly mess isn't offending anybody.

Two old bath tubs are set up on bricks to raise them above the water.  Bath tubs make great planters--built-in drainage!  I really wish I had more of them so I could plant carrots.  Despite advertising on FreeCycle and telling everyone I know, alas, no more bathtubs.  Maybe one day.  Something good always turns up when you really need it.

A neighbor has given me homemade planters made from plastic barrels.  They're lovely things--just the right height for planting a variety of veggies or herbs.  I've placed those on the benches I made from leftover cinder blocks and garden timbers that I rescued when they weren't wanted elsewhere anymore.   And the benches are backed with odd bits of old fencing so that vines have places to trail.

I've been preparing the big tub for the potatoes and am planning to buy some nice compost for them but I can't get that stuff out to the garden right now so it will have to wait.  No matter how much I want to do stuff, sometimes I just can't.  And that's okay.  (By the way, this old bathtub is really a delicious joke because it's what builders used to refer to as a "garden tub" and indeed that is what it has become!)

There's an old baker's rack with a couple of trashcans for growing climbing beans.   It's a simple solution that has worked really well.  Placing the trashcans on the bottom shelf of the rack keeps them out of the water, too.

Yes, I plant in plastic totes as well.  Is all that plastic really healthy when it comes to growing food?  Possibly not.  If there were children involved, I might do things differently.  But I'm by myself and I'm of an age where it becomes less of a concern.    My garden is practical for me, although it might not be for anyone else.  It's adapted to my abilities and to the conditions of my wetland environment.  It works just fine, it's a pleasure to play with, and it supplies me with food.  All good.

Perhaps my garden is the best example of how I have learned to live my life: 
either things will work or they won't;
say your prayers,
do you best and leave it be,
keep hopeful,
be grateful for everything,
wait to see what happens. 

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