Getting the Garden In

I’m absolutely thrilled to have a garden of my own, and to get to dig around in the dirt for as long as I want without anyone telling me to come inside. Some kids become adults and buy all the candy they wish they’d had growing up, but for me it’s all about getting to refine my house (as workshop instead of museum) and land.

I’m so passionate about this project, that I cut my New York visit a day short when I read the rain had stopped in Denver. I scrambled for a last minute flight change that had me racing to LaGuardia in rush hour traffic, and flew back at night to enjoy a completely unscheduled day when I would have been traveling. It was so worth it!

The soil of my raised beds was prepped in March with some hand tilling of bone meal and fertilizer to refresh the minerals, but it was still too hard and cold to work with. I came back worried I didn’t have the tools to deal with so much compacted soil to find the worms had been hard at work, and I was able to turn over the top 12 inches using a hand trowel and spade.

Tomatoes, jalapeños, sweet peppers, bell peppers and ancho chiles

These beautiful redwood planter boxes were built by friends of ours in 2019, shortly after we moved in. Across 9 boxes they offer about 80 cubic feet of growing space, and are bottomless for drainage. After a few years in the elements, they were looking dingy and warped where water had been standing, so I got an orbital sander (possibly the best thing I bought this year!) and cleaned them up and treated them with linseed oil.



In late February I started seedlings, but something went wrong (I think they were a bit too neglected) because they’re still quite small.

I’ve rolled them outside to harden, but in the meantime I decided that to avoid last year’s problems (too small a harvest for how much work it was) and dropped by Home Depot for some slightly more mature plants to get things started.

From front to back: 1) lemon thyme, Italian thyme, oregano 2) a whole bed of 12 cauliflower plants 3) two planters of cherry tomatoes

I’m thrilled to see my garlic ramps appear for the 3 varieties I put in before the first frost, and they’ll be ready to harvest in the fall:

Garlic, along with rhubarb that comes back every year no matter how brutal the winter

My strawberries are also coming back, and I’ve loosened up the dirt so their creepers can take hold. I’ve also added 2 cucumber plants to the mix, so this doesn’t look like much but it’s going to be a total mess of vines come August.

The dogs like to dig in this one, they love to eat strawberries before I can harvest!

I still have a punch list of tasks left, like setting up dripper hoses and laying down mulch to protect the soil from the hottest baking sun of summer. I have more pots to fill with the seedlings, marigolds to line the beds and protect against pests, and of course the endless cleanup, weeding, pruning and confessions of my deepest secrets (plants are great listeners) and greatest desires (and they don’t judge). But things are underway!

I’m deliciously sore, sunburned, stinky, with dirt under my nails. I feel so alive.

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