My wife keeps expanding and adding variety to the gardens at our house. For her, they’re a labor of love, rewarding and fulfilling for the work they require. But growing hundreds of different plants calls for constant attention.
The basics demand hard labor. There are the piles of plant remains to be turned and sifted. The compost they yield has to be mixed with top soil, sand and nutrients – to produce a good humus. There are beds to be weeded and mulched, manure to spread. That’s the sort of thing I help with – lots to lift and shovel, wheel barrow loads to fill, push and dump, holes for new fruit trees to dig out.
There are hundreds of plant varieties, each requiring just the right amounts of sun, shade, water, soil supplements and natural pest control. Weather is a constant concern. There is new planting during much of the year, designing gardens to flow with the seasons so there’s always something thriving.
This past year she started a home nursery, adding the intense work of finding and potting hundreds of plants and fruit trees to sell. At her Saturday sales this spring, she’s been meeting lots of other plant people as well as newbies who love her detailed gardening advice.
And I get to thrive by getting a good workout and, more often, writing and reading for my blogs in one of the outdoor rooms she has created. Or I de-stress simply by being in the gardens.
All of this takes minimal money but maximum energy, creative drive, hard work and constant attention to a thousand details.
Oh – and it’s also daily therapy of the finest sort.
Images by permission of Cathy Folk-Williams. All rights reserved by Wild Rubies at Flickr.