the why behind the what

Before my husband and I started dating, I was already setting myself on the path to garden. I was quietly railing against the Great American Lawn™. Such wasted effort and time and resource. At the time, it was a slight murmer of an idea. I was renting and had little extra time to invest in someone else’s property.

Now, our wabi-sabi cottage and it’s multi-layered hobbled-together lots have provided the *perfect* framework for my efforts, for my goals.

this is the endgame. peonies and coreopsis spilling out of a tall wexford vase.

You see, I was previously a Big Gay Florist™, and while I miss it horribly, it is not an industry to which I would return. Likewise, the majority of cut flowers available for DIY have been reduced to weeks old wilted things at grocery stores. And I weep for it.

various sedum thrive along our driveway wall.

My goal was simple: establish a garden that produces enough for house flowers throughout the season.

battered and eaten by mid-summer, our rose bush gives a showy display in spring.

I am a discretionary spender, but I am a deep-discount, thrift-store, close-out kind of discretionary spender. I enjoy finding use and new-purpose in old used discarded things. I love second chances. I love helping three buck close-out perennials return from the brink to thrive ever onward in our garden.

walking onions meander down the slope, among our cilantro patch.

Kansas City has had such overwhelming rain recently, our garden is lush and thick and vibrant, even as things are only just rooting and starting to set blooms. Store-bought tomato plants had buds setting within a week.

spiderwort thrives is full massive clumps.

I looked out at the garden from the screen porch this afternoon, and nearly wept for the response I am getting from it. I get so much more out of the garden than flowers and food; it is saving my life from stress from my job and despair for the world.

I breathe it in.

coreopsis in full bloom, shining brilliantly across the south field.

For me, living has been hard, growing things in the dirt has been easy.

our first Asiatic lily of the year.

The “green-thumb” phrase has been flying around, as well as “gardening expert” and I wouldn’t think to use either to refer to myself, as they are not what I experience internally. I succeed at our gardens because I am not afraid of it. I am not afraid of a misstep, of being wrong. Also, I am not afraid of color, or putting something in the wrong place. It is all fluid, and it only cares if the choice leaves it without enough sunlight or water. Or too much of either.

even bees do it, apparently on a soft white bed of coriander blossoms.

It is incredibly freeing to just indulge whim. And that is what our gardens are for me. And food. And future gifts to friends and family. and the backdrop of future gatherings. And a growing haven for songbirds and bees and butterflies. And snakes and skinks and even freaking squirrels. The hungry bastards.

Mexican tarragon, new this year, echoes the yellow of the coreopsis.

I look forward to this garden of ours. To an overabundance to share, and plants to divide and trade. To the effort to nurture this plot of land into whatever it wants to be.

nap time in the onions.

I look forward to sharing our space, our food, our garden with those we love. I look forward to weaving this wonky, lop-sided garden into our wabi-sabi life.

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