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Small Beginnings

[At this time of year, while waiting more or less patiently for the first signs of spring, I'm thinking back to my early years of gardening, and decide to pull this post from my early-years-of-blogging archives. . . ]

In the early years, I planted only vegetables.

Back then, we lived in a mobile home with a plywood skirting, so foundation plantings were out of the question. The lawn was spacious, but a good third of it was under water each spring. Besides, that was where the kids played ball in the summer and drove their skidoo in the winter; and I couldn't go filling it up with flower beds, now, could I?

The only viable option was to plant around the edge of the lawn, up against the spruce wood; but I had decided that it would require too much watering (the large evergreens would take what they liked) and too much work (fighting the underbrush back from a tilled and well-watered bed would prove no small feat!).

So, where could I plant flowers... besides amongst the veggies?

And so I did, with abandon!

The patch was large, with plenty of room to spare; thus, the rows of flowers and plots for the kids to plant their own. My boy favoured Sunflowers and pumpkins, while his sister was of a more artistic and colourful nature—hers was complete with a pond that needed refilling every other day!

Those were good times :)

Then came the Summer of '98—the longest summer on record, as I recall.

I had finally tired of poring over garden magazines and waiting for 'some day'; the urge to dig and plant and create was ferocious, and no help for it.

I started with some garden art, in the form of scarecrows....

Back in the day, this guy guarded the veggie patch

while Mr. Withers held vigil over the barn yard

Eventually, this gardening mania pushed me to the edge. The edge of the lawn, that is.

Hubby tilled up a strip of ground between the lawn and the spruce wood, and I planted everything from fruit trees to roses. And, yes, it did prove to be a lot of work!

But with the tiller tines still warm and the vision gaining momentum, before long we had transformed a simple fire pit area into a picnic garden, which truly became our outdoor living space, year round.

Rain or shine.

We were known to suspend a super-sized tarpaulin over the entire space in wet weather, and to shovel the snow off the fire pit in January!

Oh yeah, those were good times, good beginnings.

Never despise the small beginnings!


You can go back and have what you like,

if you remember it well enough.

--Richard Llewellyn


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