Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Everything is a mess right now. My thoughts being first and foremost. The house is a close second. And the garden…. well, the garden is a work in progress. Last year the growing was confined to four well built boxes that were constructed and filled. I didn’t test the soil (fail), I didn’t watch for sunlight exposure before placing them (fail), I didn’t sheet mulch or weed barrier under them (fail), and I didn’t plan for any irrigation except hand watering (annoying, but not a proper fail). I wasn’t kidding when I said that my M.O. is plant first, ask questions later, and the questions usually come up when I have a withering or mildew covered plant, or exactly nothing has grown where I planted it. “Oh I need to have nutrients in the soil? Hm.” I have a masters degree. I have lived abroad. I have been in charge of hundreds of teenagers at a time and managed to keep them all alive. But this garden. It was enigmatic. And thank heavens, things grew despite my fumbling. They grew to teach me to pay attention. They grew and I was watching so closely that I did actually learn their lessons. And this time I’m going to at least make informed mistakes.Our house sits on a tiered plot. Probably some mid-century drainage situation to draw water to the pond that sits adjacent to our lot. So there’s the tier that the house sits on, then there is the lower tier, then there is the swamp. And under it all are a million Silver Maple and White Pine roots. Approximately one million. No exaggeration. I dug some of them up in the lower tier and planted a sunflower bed last year (can we discuss my unending hatred of squirrels for a second??) I dug a bunch more of them up to plant a small dogwood and a small mock orange tree. Digging that stuff up is miserable, and just a little bit pointless. And just last week, I went to town on a section so that I can get my danged sweet peas in the ground before I head out of the country for a couple of weeks. I decided no thank you to more of that and am switching to the no-dig method of building beds. Right on top of the rooty ground. Cardboard is down, compost will be delivered sometime in the next 2 weeks, my compostable row cover and irrigation system arrived yesterday and I can install them tomorrow for the one dug bed for the sweet peas who are climbing out of their plugs. Nothing is ready. Everything is a mess. But I am pinching my nose and jumping into the abyss.