With every year we spend in our house, Dan tries to focus on a new gardening project each Spring. One year it was the vegetable garden, then it was supposed to be flower beds. But it turned out the vegetable garden needed more tweaking. And it still does. Gardening is such a continual learning experience. Trial and error. Jump in. See what works. Try again.
But this year we're finally breaking ground on one project that has been continually shoved to the back burner.
We're finally putting in what we all refer to as "the four square garden". It is inspired by (though it will never be as wonderful as) "the four square garden" at my grandparents' farm, above. It is one of my favorite spots at my grandparents' home. A spot that was backdrop to many a family photograph (15 original children + their children + their children's children), a wedding photo session, my girls' favorite place to play when we lived on the farm, and it's the path everyone walks through on their way down to the swimming pool.
Our four square will never have quite the grandeur of my grandmother's but it is the inspiration for the one we are putting in.
And while this is a whole other train of thought…things are changing dramatically at my grandparents' place and I'm forced to let go of what was. I'm learning that I must bring those memories and experiences and plant them in my own life, and in my own home, and for my own children. No amount of change changes that.
For now, Dan has begun to rip out and level out an existing garden that is where the four square will go. A big mounded up thing that we found out (from our neighbor who grew up in our house) was a dumping ground for the ashes from their coal stove. The garden had some pretty elements, but mostly it was overrun by bind weed–(which I'm convinced comes straight from the hand of the devil) and thistle (a farmer's foe). We moved as many plants as we could and are using the remaining bush as a central point.
The fencing around is both because we love it, but also because we have serious chicken problems without it. Our free-range girls get around and love to pick and dig and nibble on flower heads and buds.
Eventually, there will be four plots in each corner. And hopefully a pea gravel path in between each.
I envision the pickets weathering to a nice grey finish. And viney things winding and wrapping their way around and through the boards. And herbs. And interesting plant varieties.
This weekend, we made a trek to a place I have been begging to go to since I heard about it over a year ago– Terrain.
People. Seriously. Terrain is my heaven on earth. One of those stores where you walk in and every. single. thing. fits perfectly with your style and esthetic and vision of what look you'd like in your home.
And your garden.
But Dan and I were both a bit overwhelmed by the experience.
So we came home empty-handed but with a better vision for what we want to do. I have notes scribbled down on a piece of paper and photos snapped on my phone.
This weekend, the fence was finished (except for a gate) and the tiller was repaired. (Thanks to Birdy, of course.)
We're making progress. Slowly. A labor of love and nostalgia.
I'll keep you updated with photos as we move along. But I'd love to hear what's going on in your gardens. Flowers? Vegetables? New plans? Container gardens? I'd love to hear from you.