Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Divine Intervention

I had originally planned to write about my dreams for a garden. A garden of my very own. I'd planned to sketch it out, plant by plant, posting pictures I'd found of gardens on-line, using other's genius as a stand in for my own dreams. I had planned to write this up as a fantasy. Most of you know, I currently reside in a garage apartment six feet south of my in-law's home. We live in a backwater, southern town on five acres with no trees save for those that line the property line in the back. It's hot, dry and thirsty during the summer. So hot in fact that it's hard just to walk out the door! I grew container plants last year but lost most of them due to heat and, in the case of my eggplants, to some strange little worm that wanted to feast on my eggplants innards. I'm used to dreaming. It's what I do best. However, I've just been handed the most wonderful surprise!

After a bout with locational depression, with a side of Vitamin D deficiency, I told my awesome photographer husband that I needed to get outside and work in the yard. I was born to parents who worked outside. Since I was old enough to walk, I have helped out in my parent's gardens. Anytime my mom calls now to ask if I can spend a Saturday helping her fix a chicken coop or pick an over abundance of basil I get so excited I can hardly sit still until Saturday. But these random jaunts that happen, at best, once every other month or so aren't enough. My heart, my soul, my fingers belong in the dirt. My husband, dear man that he is, announced to me yesterday that he's going to help me plant a garden. Not just any garden, but a Secret Garden. Oooh, this had my radar up. A Secret Garden? For me? But where? The dirt is hard, dry, Georgia clay. All attempts to sow have been wrought with defeat, the winner being old man sunshine. His idea: a shade garden, along the back property line, hidden amongst the pines.

Needless to say, I'm excited!

I've been spending all morning at work searching out shade plants and fall veggies I can plant. I've found a good starting point for my plantings. Now I just have to build a raised bed, fill it with good soil and organic matter, and get to planting! I also have to figure out how to keep the deer away. But I don't mind. I'm looking forward to this little venture. And I'm looking forward to sharing it's progress.

Have any of you ever planted a garden where there was more shade than sun? What about some fall veggies? I know the place we have picked gets some sun. When I say hidden among the pines, I mean that it's hidden away from those who won't know it's there. Sneaky, yes, but very, very necessary!

Here's to a Secret Garden of my very own!


  1. Jen! How wonderful! Good Hubby! To keep Deer away you can grate Irish Spring soap in the bed but it has to be done after every rain. Also human hair, ask your hair dresser for a sack!Can't wait to watch it progress. Nothing feels better than dirt under your nails!

  2. Carol, thank you for the deer deterants! I've heard of the Irish Spring soap suggestion before. Thanks for the reminder. Human hair is a new one. I'll pass that one along to my in laws who are convinced they can't grow anything out there because of the deer. They have 5 acres! Grow something!!!

  3. I've got mostly a sun garden, so I don't have many suggestions. But that's half the fun--peruse the local garden stores to see what grows best in your area. The quest is just as much fun as the garden itself!

  4. Gardening is fabulous. This is my first year growing veggies and I'm having so much fun. I don't think I could live without trees. Here, in the fall, everything is dying from frost so I can't help you much but there is a fellow Georgia blogger who might interest you. Her name is Pam of Life on a Southern Farm and her link is:
    You might get ideas from her.
    I can't wait to see the pictures.

  5. Lin: I found the spot yesterday and it does get some sun, but it's mostly in the shade. I went to Home Depot last night and wandered through the plants, taking notes on those that said shade or partial sun. Who knows what I'll discover!

    Mountain Woman: I can't wait to grow veggies! I think I'm going to have to stick with flowers and foliage this year, but next year...I can't wait! I miss having trees around me. The trees where we are only around the backs of people's properties. It's strange to me. I grew up surrounded by trees and green. My mom's yard is so green and lush compared to what I'm living with now. I can't wait to find my own little Eden. Thanks for the link! I'll definitely check her blog out!

  6. i hope you get your secret garden started! you seem to have the soul for the outdoors! will wait for your post of it!

  7. Hi Cherie! Thanks for stopping by. I have the soul for the outdoors...I love that! Thanks for bringing a smile to my face :) I'm hopeing to post on it soon!

  8. GOOD FOR YOU! Not only is gardening productive -in the knife and fork sense,smile- it's good for the body to physically work and it's good for the mind to work away depression. Releasing all those endorphins is a great thing. I do know something of depression, having suffered...and I do mean Suffered...for more than twenty years undiagnosed! Work is my panacea for all ills and truly believe if more people would W-O-R-K in the labor sense, there would be far less mischief in the world.

    Re your garden...hostas for beauty and they love shade, come in various colors and designs. For food - lettuces of all sorts and colors, broccoli and cauliflower which comes in white, yellow and purple! What about root crops, wouldn't beets do well in your soil? I LOVE beats and they come in colors! YEAH! What about a grape trellis? Grapes love hot weather.

    If possible, buy a soaker hose as it's the best way to keep the plants watered. Put the soaker hose on a timer so the garden receives water in night hours when it's most beneficial to the plants. Do NOT water plants when sun is up...water beads on leaves and will burn the plants and, sometimes, kill them.
    Mulch, mulch and mulch Heavily! If you can find someone with fleece skirtings to give away, mulch with fleece skirtings. Already has 'fertilizer', takes five years to decompose and holds, holds, holds water.
    Go to library and check out garden books.
    Work like it all depends upon you and pray like it all depends upon God.
    You'll do fine -smile-.

  9. Best of luck on your garden. I'm sure you have almost as much fun planning it as planting it.

  10. NCmountain woman: thank you so much! I'm looking forward to seeing how this will progress.

    Thistle Cove Farm: you are a wealth of knowledge! Thank you, thank you!! I'm probably only going to do flowers (and some lemon verbena I found!) this season. I have just a little space and we're hoping to get a place of our own soon. NEXT year, I'm going to plant a whole slew of veggies and herbs :) I'm SOOOO looking forward to that. But until then, I shall enjoy my little 4x4 plot (and post some pictures as soon as I can!)


  11. my aunt's got this amazing green thumb. Like her backyard alwasy makes me think of the secret garden.


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