If weather permits, most of my Memorial Day weekend will be spent in the garden. There’s nothing I like more than ending a busy day by relaxing around the fire pit here at Enchanted Acres. Enjoying a simple #SundaySupper of foil packets followed by s’mores just seems like a quintessential holiday celebration to me.
My goal for this weekend is to finish every project I start. That may not seem like much of a goal to you, but I find myself gardening like the Chocolate Chip Cookie Mouse eats a snack. (That was one of my kids’ all-time favorite books when they were young.) "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw. When he's finished, he'll ask you for…”
If you give me a garden hoe, I’m probably going wish I had a spade. I’ll walk into the barn to find the spade and see a ladder that never got put away. I’ll decide to hang the ladder where it belongs and then I’ll probably walk out of the barn without the spade. I’ll walk back empty-handed to the garden, only to retrace my steps in hopes of remembering what tool I went to grab in the first place!
This year I’ve decided that I’m going to tackle my gardens, one bed at a time. Each bed needs to be weeded, and plants that winter killed must be replaced. By tackling my to-do list one flower bed at a time, I should be able to feel a sense of accomplishment instead of feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work left to do. (In the past, I’ve “weeded” each bed. Then I replace all the dead plant material. I finish by applying Preen. It takes countless hours to get everything done this way! Sometimes I can’t get it all done in one weekend due to other obligations.)
It amazes me that I’ve been gardening for years and never thought twice about how I do it. It took an
Plan your garden around busy sports seasons and family vacations… Consider how much time you want to spend gardening and who can help you as you determine how large to make your garden. Kids are more likely to help if they enjoy eating what’s been planted, so plan accordingly. Also take into consideration how the product is consumed. Can it just be quickly washed, cut and enjoyed? Or, does it have to be made into something much more complex before it can be eaten? When planting something that can produce a lot, such as zucchini, make sure you are prepared with lots of different recipes so you can enjoy it many different ways.
For the first time in 20 years, I’m not going to make a vegetable garden. (Just writing this sentence gave me a slight panic attack, followed by a sense of relief.) I LOVE eating fresh vegetables, but in recent years, I haven’t been home when my produce is ripe. I’ve lacked the time to properly freeze or preserve what we don’t eat fresh. I’ve especially neglected to keep my garden from becoming overrun by weeds. Instead of providing a sense of pride and relaxation, my vegetable garden had become a source of angst and frustration. This summer I vow to follow my daughter on the horse show circuit and watch my son play ball without thinking about what I should be doing at home!
This summer I’m going to focus my creative energies on container gardening. Container gardens are quick and easy to make. They don’t take a lot of time to maintain, and they can add a pop of color to your front steps or patio. You can also “specialize” by planting a salsa garden or a lettuce bowl. There are so many ways to enjoy container gardens.
My Girl Scout troop members and I recently planted container gardens at the Sheffield Care Center. One is a “kitchen garden” that contains herbs including: oregano, parsley, basil and rosemary. We also are helping promote breast cancer awareness by joining the “plant it pink” campaign. Local organizations, like the Swaledale Federated Garden Club in North Iowa, are encouraging communities to make a statement this spring by planting pink flowers around the communities such as care centers and libraries.
To help promote a passion for pink, simply plant pink flowers and share photos via social media using the hashtag #plantitpink.