Stony Dirt Hopes

When I'm an old lady, if I reach old ladyhood, I'll putter about with pens and paints and fabric and flowers and books and candy all day long.  Of necessity, because we have to eat, vegetable gardens take precedence these days and consume so much time that I find myself squeezing blooms into the tail end of the season, usually right before a storm.  (The rest happens in fits and spurts, except for the candy, which I always manage to miraculously squeeze in, in the same manner I miraculously squeeze my new leg girth into jeans.)

This year we planted the gardens at the beginning of June, but then cold rains came and stayed, and nearly all the seeds we'd planted rotted in night-springing, uncharted lakes.  When the sun returned a few weeks later, we had to replant everything-- corn, winter and summer squashes, melons, pumpkins, beans, peas, cucumbers-- you name it. And the chickens dug up my herb bed!  I sob for cilantro.

This was after the first planting.  The rocks in both upper and lower gardens have now been decorated with weeds.  Not to fear!   It's hard to believe in late June, but God always surprises us with a bounty from these patches of stony dirt.   I always try to take a picture to remind myself in late August of what things looked like at the beginning.  It's a visual lesson in trust, a reminder to not be gloomy and ungrateful when the surface has such lack of promise.

The frustration of vegetable planting this year, however, was offset by the gift of blooms!  Mrs. Purdy gave us a whole mess of growing things she thinned from her beds, and then my sister Becky picked up six-packs of annuals for us at a dollar apiece to plump up the bare spots.   To top it off, last week, Becky also gave me a slew of flowers and herbs in need of TLC that she found for free outside of a farmstand.  We were also given several rose bushes, a baby oak, a lilac bush, and a peach tree!  I can't wait to see it all blossom and grow.

We dug a new bed for blossoms and tried to fortify it against chicken attack, but they've been sneaking in anyway. I have a love-hate relationship with our chickens.  When I am an old lady, I'll have to spend summer money on chicken feed, but chickens will be fenced and flowers will roam free.  For now, though, it's maximum security fencing...or not.


sarah said...

I have been told that guinea fowl don't tear up gardens- your garden is magnificent- I can imagine the amount of work you put in to get such bounty out of it- I've been a little relieved that we don't have the right place for a garden here...I need an excuse.

Rebecca said...

Beautiful! I love before and afters of gardens for the same reason. I see the brown earth as so hopeful. Less so when seeds rot and chickens destroy. Planting twice is such a pain and so disheartening. argh.

You must get a tremendous amount of food from those large plots! And I know the tremendous amount of work they require. Can't wait to see the pictures of abundance they'll provide. That God provides.

And- A PEACH TREE!!! yay!

Abigail said...

We almost accepted some free guinea fowl, but I passed on them after reading about how loud they are and that they bully chickens. When we saw them in person, I was glad I'd decided not to take them. They ARE loud, and the chickens were huddled in a corner of the coop with Crazy Eyes. Guinea fowl are gorgeous, though. And they eat ticks, which is what most attracted me to them (says the girl who's pulled off going on three dozen off her children so far this summer-- ugh).
I don't look forward to all the children being gone from the house, but I won't be sad to drastically reduce the size of our gardens! I would grab onto that excuse and hold tight. :)

I've now planted some things four times and am giving up. Stupid beetles and chickens. Stupid curse on the earth and fall of mankind. ;)
Even with the bare spots where things failed, the green is already exploding at such a quick rate that it astonishes me, as it always does. God is so good to bring life from what seems barren!