Quite Contrary

How does your garden grow?

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Let’s just say what we’re all thinking and get it out of the way, moving sucks. I feel like I’ve been mid-move for the better part of the past year. Ok, I actually have been in a perpetual state of moving for the better part of the past year. This semi-nomadic lifestyle, bouncing between 2-3 houses at any given time, is exhausting, if not confusing.

Today is the final day of my gypsy ways (I hear your jokes, hush) and I could not be more excited. I’m so excited, in fact, that I have yet to put on pants or finish my coffee; there are lights in my soon-to-be-ex-house, I can clean in the dark.

My new home is back to my rural roots, and by that I mean it’s mildly dilapidated and the neighbors are far enough away that, while they would hear me if I screamed, they probably won’t be over for many barbecues. What I’m most excited about (other than all of the natural light streaming in the giant windows and the wonderful man I share it with) is once again having enough space to garden. YES!

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I spent today taking stock of what magnitude of work lies ahead of me come spring. While I’m overjoyed to have the space to grow and a sweetly fenced plot to keep our resident deer-friends out, it’s going to require a hefty amount of effort in order to get it up to snuff for the growing season.

I’ve already taken some primary steps to try and prepare the soil for my micro-scale crops. Earlier this week I hauled home a plethora of plain cardboard boxes that I painstakingly pulled from the giant recycling bin at work and laid them flat across the area I plan to experiment with come spring. I’m hopeful that, while I’m a little late on the uptake, that the cardboard will kill off most of the grass/weeds growing in the plot. The existing soil is pretty fertile so I’m not too worried about adding organic material at this point, thought I’ll probably do some additions when I till in the next couple of months.

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Evaluating a potential garden is difficult at best when everything is dormant. I’m anxiously anticipating spring and getting to take a better inventory of the plants already waiting to blossom in my yard. In fact, I already found a couple sweet surprises this morning.

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A blurry photo of catnip hiding along the perimeter of the fence
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Quite the raspberry patch along the far side of the garden

The majority of the property is covered with long neglected Vitis vinifera (i.e. grapes) and I have NO idea what to do about it, other than give up. It’s a rental, good grief, stop caring so much. I’m not kidding though, we have ACRES of grapes in desperate need of beaing eaten by a herd of goats a good pruning and new catch wires. I’m excited to try and figure out what variety is growing out there! I’ve got some likely contenders (Pinot, gris or noir, probably) but I won’t get to begin investigating until leaves come in and then far later in the summer when the berries ripen. 

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I’ll leave you with one more little gem I found growing amid the dreary “garden bed” next to the house. Spring may still be a ways off, but these little baby daffodils give me hope for beautiful things to come!

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Until next time,
Dretta

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