During our first years in Vermont, my garden was my church. In both of our homes, I spent the winter months planning the aisles and the rows; I spent the summer on my knees planting and weeding, harvesting and cooking.
Then life sped up. A fractured foot benched me for a year. Between two Little Leaguers, family travel, work and time creativity that was deemed even more sacred than the weeding, I became a non-gardening gardener.
I’ve never been big on flower beds. They’re pretty, and I like other people’s beds, but when it’s at home, it’s a lot of weeding and nothing to eat. Our border is the forest – we pick a line in the lawn, mow up to it and let mother nature pick out the flowers or the weeds.
A few weeks ago we added on a deck. It’s pretty basic – a step, no railings. I’ve tried dancing on it, generating a warning from Thing2 that people (via Google earth) could see me, so I know it’s a good deck. The main purpose was to replace the weed patch we used to call our patio so that the house looked less like the set of the Addams Family when we celebrated Thing1’s graduation.
But it’s had an unexpected effect.
Five minutes after the deck was finished, I started filling my mismatched collection of planters with green. Still a vegetable-tatiana, the planters now nurture tomatoes, cucumbers and salad greens. We may not get much actual food from our mini kitchen garden, but the cucumber tendrils wrapping around a trellis and the tiny ruffled row of lettuce is making a growing sculpture gallery. Thing1 helps himself to a few leaves of lettuce for his sandwiches each day, but for me, the garden is a feast for the soul.
For this lapsed worshipper, it is a rebirth.