Last month when I finished up my second garden addition of 2021, I was reminded of the first garden I ever built. Do you remember your first garden? I didn’t actually grow anything in that first garden, but it was my own design and my own little piece of land to take care of.
One summer when I was a kid, after watching my older brother inspecting rows of potatoes in our family’s garden, I remember deciding (and probably excitedly declaring to my mother,) “I’m going to go make my very own garden!” She didn’t ask questions, and most importantly, didn’t say no, so I was pumped. I grabbed some tools, tossed them in our little red wagon and off I went with my cats (they followed me everywhere on the farm).
My ideal gardening space was the edge of our gravel driveway. I had no idea about companion planting or sun mapping– all I knew was that I wanted to design a garden my way. I carved a rectangle into the driveway, then shoveled all of the rocks off to the side of my new garden. Once the space was clear, I found a stick in the yard and carefully sketched potential garden designs. If I didn’t like one layout, I used a broom to erase it from the gravel dust.
After I drew one on the ground that made the most sense, I used the hoe to make rows and placed my rock “plants” evenly. Then, of course, to avoid confusion, I labeled my rows by carving letters into the ground; a ‘B’ for beans, a ‘P’ for potatoes, etc. I was so deep into playing pretend, I even watered the rocks.
Thanks to my rock garden, I learned that designing gardens is fun. Now in adulthood, it’s a huge passion of mine. Besides the planning and caretaking of our vegetable gardens, I love researching new plants and making them a home in our yard. Every year since we’ve lived here, my husband and I have added more life to our landscaping. So far, we’re up to sixteen garden additions (and I have a few ideas for more.) 🙂
I’m so grateful for our little piece of land– it’s given me room to imagine, learn, and do.