I did get my vegetable beds back up to snuff, which involved replanting some tomatoes and pepper starts, planting some herbs from last Saturday's Farmers' Market, and doing a whole lot of weeding. The picture below shows our newest vegetable beds, the ones that needed the most work yesterday, and, yes, they still need a fair amount of work done to them. (If I would mulch them they'd take up much less of my time....)
This morning I followed up yesterday's work by planting a crapemyrtle and several perennials that have been languishing in pots on the breezeway, then doing some more weeding, followed by clearing out another small section of my newest bed-in-progress. It doesn't sound like much, but it ate up several hours.
It's that horrible time of summer when the beds that I didn't get mulched earlier this spring are sprouting all sorts of things they "shouldn't" be growing. Mother Nature is trying to provide that soil-holding cover that I haven't managed to get in place yet. The bad news is that this translates to hours on my hands and knees in the heat, plucking out baby crabgrass. (The sad news is that I could have avoided most of this chore by keeping things mulched appropriately.) The good news is that the crabgrass and most of the other summer weeds haven't started blooming yet, so I'm gaining lots of good green stuff for my compost pile.
My true confession is that I actually rather like weeding, especially if the temperatures are moderate and the wind is breezing just a bit. It's productive work - I look up from my task and see the clear surfaces I've completed, then look at my pail and notice all of the compost-friendly remains stacking up. It's mindless work - leaving my thoughts free to wander at will from topic to topic. It's relaxing work - I hear the wind rustling through the tree leaves, the birds singing, the frogs chorusing, the puppy yelping.... Well, maybe that last isn't so relaxing, but the other sounds are great for lowering my blood pressure and making me glad to be alive, especially when they're accompanied by a bright blue sky!
This morning while I was weeding, I kept hearing the drone of a cropduster that some clodhopper of a neighbor to my south had hired to spray garbage on his crops. Meanwhile as I worked, I was seeing a lot of spiders (several carrying egg sacs), but few leaf-eating insects at all. I'm sure the leaf eaters will come and take their share as the summer goes on, but for now I'm reveling in the natural balance that is being established on our little homestead.
The point of this post? I'm not sure it has one, but I wanted to share the slow, simple pace of gardening that I enjoy with anyone who might be interested. I find gardening to be one of those simple pleasures that makes life richer and more rewarding, and I feel immeasureably lucky to have realized that and to have space and time in which to do it.