Gardening, even on a small 20×20 scale, takes some work and as it turns out I am only sometimes okay with work of any kind.
Last year was a rebuilding year for my little garden and it allowed me to easily convince myself that it was time to let the soil rest. As things piled up, fencing, wood for beds, weeds, weeds, weeds, critters and weeds, it was too daunting to think about finishing. So the soil and I rested. I ate a lot and put on a few pounds. The soil partied like a rockstar who likes to party with weeds and detritus.
All year I would look at the garden and it would look back at me. Both of us judging. You’re gross! Get your shit together man!
I do this thing in my mind where I look at something and project the pain-in-the-ass quotient. As the year went on and more things cluttered the garden, I simply couldn’t imagine where to begin with getting into shape. I needed a movie montage with the garden finally deciding it had had enough. It would raise itself up, creaking and groaning, stretching roots and soil, arching and straining and slowly shake itself free of the accumulated evidence of my laziness before settling again to earth, older but still clearly a champion.
I couldn’t manage this montage myself. The garden would need to do it.
I have a friend who taught me the expression “how do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time.” I suppose most people have heard this, but it was new to me. So, it’s time to eat my elephant.
The cleanup has begun. Beds are being buried slightly. (I do not recommend doing the beds the way I’ve done them. I tried to sort of build them around my existing raised, but unsupported beds. This requires you to push the beds down like you are putting a shirt on a big-headed child. You then have to trench around the perimeter and tap the bed down. Then you have to kind of bury the bed frame a bit.) Detritus is being evicted. New topsoil and compost.
I made a lot of progress eating the elephant yesterday (especially with a great burst of help from a friend) and will be planting by next weekend. I picked one side and slowly crept my way to cleanliness, order and new soil/compost.
That’s garlic coming up in the bed closest to the camera. It’s been supernaturally-end-times warm here in Connecticut and most things are a few weeks ahead of normal.
Best of luck to everybody cleaning up your gardens. If you’ve been elephant-daunted into inactivity, slap a bib on and slice away!