“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”Alfred Austin
This morning, the entire household (minus the baby) rose with the sun. Our oldest went off to practice while the rest of us got to work.
We love our garden. It is only our second year of having one and we are constantly learning new things. It is a labor of love that is both very hands-on and reading intensive. Over two summers, we have educated ourselves so much and yet, there still seems to be so much that we do not know. One of my favorite gardeners, the person I go through for so much advice, is Kevin over at Epic Gardening on YouTube. Most of what I know, I learned from him and his buddies, Chris and Jacques. Jacques also has a really amazing channel called Jacques in the Garden.
Yesterday afternoon, I sat down in my home and worked on starting seeds for Autumn while watching the two of them do the same. While they worked away at starting tomatoes, cauliflower, leeks, cucumbers, and other goodies, I was busy starting cucumbers, a second round of herbs, peas and green beans (which can be started now through the second week of September in zone 6B), various greens, and more squash and zucchini (they also do well through November in zone 6B).
While I did that, my husband spend his time outside building an arched trellis over each of my two garden beds. I knew he was building a trellis, but I didn’t know he was arching them for me. What a truly fantastic surprise! It was exactly what I had been wanting. Now the vining plants (like my sugar pie pumpkins) will have a sturdy structure to climb as they grow.
After pruning back my rather wild tomato plants this morning, I set myself to filling several grow bags and two large planters that I found on clearance at Walmart yesterday. The bags will have peppermint in them that will later be used to make essential oil. I like growing peppermint. It keeps flies at bay. The large planters will have nasturtiums and will be placed near my cucumber and squash plants. Squash bugs and aphids, from everything I’ve read, do not care for nasturtiums, making them a good choice in the garden.
I really try my best to find natural solutions to any pest problem. Part of the motivation to start a garden was the desire to control what is and is not used on my food.
My herbs have done so well this summer, despite the intense heat that we frequently experience in northwestern Oklahoma. Perhaps it is the placement that I chose for them, providing them equal amounts of shade and direct sun throughout the day, but they are healthy and vibrant. When you stand near the herb garden, you smell the delicious fragrance of fresh sage and oregano.
On the direct opposite side of the walkway from the herbs is what should have been a flower bed. I say “should have been” because I planted a lot of different things and the morning glories took over. I love morning glory vines. They climb the trellises around the porch providing shade that we would not otherwise have throughout the day and naturally reduce the amount of heat at the backdoor. They are beautiful, but they also tend to overwhelm literally everything else. This year, it was a battle between them and the sunflowers that the birds planted from their feeder.
Beneath the morning glories, though it cannot be seen here, is peppermint that has been growing for a couple of years now. The downside to peppermint is that the wasps love it, so they’re everywhere once it gets hot outside. I am not a fan of wasps. At all. But, I would rather have wasps than have every fly between here and Texas trying to come into my home.
By the front door, I grow lavender. Have you every inhaled fresh lavender? It is delicate and sweet yet woody and smoky. I don’t know if there is anything I like quite as much as lavender.
The fresh air felt great this morning and the hard work that went into prepping the garden for Autumn was exceptionally therapeutic. If you’ve never tried your hand at gardening, it is something that I very highly recommend.
With that said, I bid you a lovely and prosperous Thursday.