Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Cluttered Gardener

 I've wanted to write a post about my garden for a while, but I have been waiting until it is complete and ready to grow. So, a month later, I came in here into my office to write. And I noticed something that is a thread through everything I do. Clutter. I don't hoard, I don't by any sense mean you can't walk through my house or are going to be grossed out at the sight of it all, it's just cluttered. I have clothes and puzzles to give away, a bass amp, pictures, statues, papers, school bags not in use right now, books, you name it, just in my office.

If you were to walk in my library today, you would also notice it's cluttered. The classroom and circulating part are not, but the office, oh my. Books to catalog, fix or get rid of. Those three or four paper plates and cups left over from the countless events I've had. Art supplies, paper, binders of binders, teacher guides, an old Sears Heading List book from whenever. (I'm going to take it to Antiques Roadshow, lol), posters, batteries  a cabinet full of small electronics, glue. I have two tubs of glue.I have a bean bag couch and seat cushions and pictures and posters my students have made over the years hanging in the window.

What, you may say, does this have to do with a garden? I'm going to tell you the story of my garden, mostly in pictures, then I'm going to tell you why it related to my clutter.

I always want a big project over Spring Break. I guess I like that sense of starting something else and not being able to finish it. (sarcasm button). So I bought a book called Gardening for Dummies, yes I did. Then  consulted with a Facebook friend/soccer team Mom, the lunchroom ladies, and Pinterest. We were ready.

Step One:
Buy a hand tiller and a kid shovel at Lowe's

Step Two:
Layout the plot. I though a 10x10 plot would be perfect for what we wanted to grow.  We measured, set up our stakes, and started removing sod.
Step Three, make friends with the underground creatures. Sunshine named this little guy Wormy. He's very creative.

Step Four, pick out seeds and plant them. This seemed like a great idea. The investment, with starting soil, trays and seeds was probably less than $50.00 and enough to plant an acre.It was really great fun planitng them and watching them grow. The seeds germinated and took off very nicely.

Step Five, add dirt and mulch to the red, rocky soil underneath the sod.
We bougt 20 bags of manure, and 20 bags of topsoil. So far, the most expensive part of the garden. This cost about $120.00. The I realized I was going to have to use that hand tiller to sow all that dirt and manure into that beautiful red soil, then add  more stuff to the soil to make anything grow. Well, I'm by nature lazy. And my Facebook friend had just posted a picture of her beautiful raised beds that were ready to receive plants. Hmmm, I thought maybe I could build a raised bed. I went to my favotire do it yourself website, Pinterst, and found all kinds of plans to build a raised bed. I had a list with my materials and I headed back to Lowes.

It turns out, Lowe's had these beautiful cedar kits, 4x4, that cost $40.00 each. I said give me two.

Step Six: assemble and fill the new boxes. This only took us two afternoons They look greatt, though.

Step seven: Build a scarecrow. Sunshine and I made a trip to the thrift store and picked out a suit of clothes and hat for the scarecrow. You can't see it, but Sunshine drew a great picture of mad eyebrows and spelled out go away crows on the face. This cost another $15.00, but it was better than a new toy.

Step eight: mulch the extra area abound the boxes to make them look neat to  keep the Husband from mowing too close.

Step nine: Add the seedlings.

Step ten: This is where I had to completely re-think the garden. See, all those little seedings died. I didn't follow the proper procedures for hardening, it rained and stormed, and then got cold. I think it was a combination of those things that killed them. So today we went to a most delightful little garden store in Mt. Olive called Roo's Place. (again on the advice of a friend.) There, I found a wonderful assortment of bedding plants, grown in Alabama at a really good price. I decided one bed would be a salsa garden and we would try out some canteloupe and watermelon in the other bed. I put all of thes things in this evening, alone, because Sunshine's allergies are in full gear and now we are ready for veggies! A little bit more money, $34.00, but these girls were awesome, go see them!

Now, back to the clutter nonsense. See,I couldn't plant in this nice little scheme and vegetables only. In the back you can see a pot, and the scarecrow. I also put a tomato plant in that pot. In one corner is a lantana, and throughout the bed are marigold seeds. Along the back of the boxes, I planred sunflower seeds, and in the front right corner there is a garden stone shaped like the United States. (Sunshine's choice.) So in June and July, when this garden is in full swing, I hope it will be beautiful, bountiful and cluttered!