Gardening in the Wilderness

I’m going to shift gears a bit today and write about my garden. This is partly due to separation anxiety. I love my garden and I’m going to leave it for three weeks. I’m leaving at a time when there will be many wonderful and appealing things happening! Well – I love my kids and my grandkids more.Image

Gardening in the wilderness presents lots of challenges among the many, many rewards. Clearing for garden space is labour intensive – the ground is uneven and filled with roots and stumps. We aren’t immune to visitors who can cause havoc.

Billy Bob the bear wandering the garden paths

Every garden space has to be regularly augmented with soil we either need to provide through composting or bring in by the truckload. Building garden structures to set off the limits between garden and wilderness takes time. Perennial plants are far more expensive now than they used to be and forget about buying flats and flats of annuals like the old days. Way too costly. We also don’t have the time we used to have to grow all our annuals for the vegetable garden and flower baskets from scratch.       

Ahh – but the rewards and how we go about addressing these issues is worth noting. We have become very tolerant of working around stumps – they provide a nice contrast to tended beds and when we consider how hard it is to remove a stump – we pat ourselves on the back and tell each other how really great that old stump looks! The visitors may cause havoc but they sure did lend themselves to great pics.

Looks like a guy in a bear suit but it’s Billy Bob going after the huckleberries

Composting is good for the soul so it’s good to be motivated to actually do it. We love every single garden structure to such a degree that we immediately forget the work involved. Not buying so many perennials really has its advantages. Sometimes we have ended up with a backlog of plants in pots and no cleared areas to put them in. Not the best way to go about clearing – though that has advantages too – we’ve ended up concentrating on gardening when we didn’t think we had the time and loving the results. Lately we have been dividing our own perennials and asking for bits of things from other people’s gardens. Ask and you shall receive is a pretty good bet with most people who love gardening – they also love sharing! We’ve really become adept at looking around for bargains – this time of year you can find perennial prices just slashed. Annuals may be showy and nice but they are a lot of work for the amount of time you get to enjoy them – we concentrate more on the perennials that give quite the pay back year after year as they mature.

A garden in the wilderness has to look a bit wild so the contrast between the borders of the true wilderness and the cultivated areas blend and blur. Though we sure don’t want to see deer wandering  through the garden – it can be picturesque.

My garden is the template for Izzy’s garden(check out my board – Izzy’s garden –  on Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/francisguenette/ )  in Disappearing in Plain Sight – though I was able to make her garden at least three times the size! Oh – the freedom of fiction. But fiction can cross the line into reality just as truly as reality can cross the line into fiction. After reading about Izzy’s garden we wanted garden art for our own garden.  

I’ll miss this garden over the next three weeks. At the same time one of the great things about gardening in the wilderness with a partner is that someone will keep an eye on things. I look forward to the changes I will see from the perspective of not looking for a while.

(Bloggers note: I use the word “we” pretty loosely in this blog – the hard labour work in the garden as well as the actual building falls, almost exclusively, to my husband Bruce – I am the partner who wanders the garden trails enjoying what I see and pointing out what needs to be done – not a bad gig – I don’t think I’ll trade spots with him! But I do want to thank him!)

A husband and a granddaughter – pretty cute

2 comments on “Gardening in the Wilderness

  1. What a lovely post. I’ll have to bookmark your blog for thorough perusal 🙂
    Best wishes to your & yours,
    Tiffany

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