My first summer here I spent “ungardening”; that is, removing two great garden fulls of dead trees and weeds and dying bushes and nothingness from the front of our home. In complete disrepair, we clearly had the most uninviting yard and walkway leading to our front door. DO NOT VISIT! it absolutely screamed.
We then went from overkill to bareness to three years later gardens full of mainly native flowers and grasses, adding every year a wonderful combination of blooms from the local nursery, cuttings from our old house now maturing, a variety of seeds and split offs from friends and neighbors. Each magenta, orange, sunshine yellow, cardinal red, a plethora of purple, and snow white petal has a story to tell, nectar to share with a variety of bees, and welcomes the hummingbirds and toads and birds that frolic in the birdbath.
We added small vegetable beds on the side of the house, now exploding with tomatoes and herbs and jalapenos and grape vines and sunflowers stretching for the sun. My dad and I share time in the garden, my son hunting for worms as we dig, my daughters choosing the herbs and the picking the perfect bouquet. There is always a task to be done–as the deaded vines choke out tender wild flowers and the hated Japanese beetles turn grape leaves to lace–but sometimes we simply sit on the front porch: quiet, admiring, enjoying, and planning. The sweat we have poured into the soil rewarding us with beauty and delicious accompaniments to our meal.
Our pathway now sings WELCOME! as the flowers sway in the gentle breeze, grasses waving hello as you approach. Just the way we want it. C
Note: I posted garden photos the day after I wrote this, on July 31.