May I Have a Bit of Earth?

The first novel I remember reading is The Secret Garden, which follows a spoiled brat and the boy she tries to help.  In one of the pivotal scenes, Mary approaches her dour, frightening uncle and requests ‘a bit of earth’ so that she can have a garden of her own (having been inspired and entranced by the gardener and the uncle’s formal gardens).  It is this request that leads to her discovering the secret garden.

My mother gardened and I tried to have my own garden once, too.  However, I was too lazy to weed it and it was soon overrun, the scraggly weeds dampening the bright colors of the gladiolas.

Years later, when we purchased our new home, it came with roses.  At first, I ignored them.  Then, when I began to take antidepressants and my interest in the outside world was kindled, I took a second look at this poor rose bushes that had been suffering from neglect for three years.  I decided to see what I could do and have fallen in love with gardening.

I wouldn’t say that I am a gifted gardener.  I do what I can and I enjoy the results.  A growing interest in herbs and organic gardening is also leading me in a new direction.  I don’t ever plan to compete in a rose competition or sell my herbs.  I garden because it’s good exercise and I’ve found that getting outside and moving around helps me to be more creative.

Grape Hyacinth by the Front Walk
Grape Hyacinth by the Front Walk

I planted irises and grape hyacinths for this year.  I like bulbs because there’s no need to replant.  Above are some grape hyacinths I planted by the front walk.  I’ve read that they like to multiply, so perhaps one day I can get them to extend the whole length of the walkway.

Irises in the front plot, around my statue of St. Therese.
Irises in the front plot, around my statue of St. Therese.

Here are more irises in the front plot that are coming up.  I didn’t take a picture of it, but there is a pink tea rose behind the statue.  It’s a Queen Elizabeth and, I think, the hardiest, toughest rose that I have.  It’s in a place than can be a bit damp and it’s in shade for part of the day.  Yet, it blooms just as well as the ones in full sun.

Mint Plot
Mint Plot

My poor mint has not wintered well.  This was full of chocolate mint but now there are only a few plants clinging to life.  I may end up replacing the whole lot.  I do plan on expanding the plot and starting one in another spot.  (I love mint.)

At the moment, mint and a struggling lavender plant are the only herbs I have.  I hope to add some more herbs by planting them in window boxes.

Irises in Mary Garden
Irises in Mary Garden

Last photo I’m sharing.  This is in the plot along the north end of the house.  Again, you can’t see it, but there are six rose plants lined in a row.  Those are irises coming up.  Grape hyacinths should also be coming up but I guess the ground in that spot is still a little too cold for them.

If there’s no hard freeze (and I really hope not because I just pruned my roses), then I’ll have some really pretty flowers.  I also plan on planting a small border of marigolds.  Last year, I planted African marigolds but it rained that year and many of them rotted.  The plants also got very big.  I think I may plant some of the smaller marigold varieties.  Many people don’t like them for their smell, but that’s one of the things I love about them.  They are also good in keeping pests away, though that only works to an extent.

Hopefully, in a month or so, I’ll be able to post some pictures of my garden in bloom, as well as my new herbs.  Also, lets hope I don’t bankrupt us from pilfering Lowe’s and the local greenhouse.

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