It’s been a very strange year for the garden! We had record lows all through June, no rain, then two weeks of non-stop rain, then Really REALLY hot. I know it’s been more or less like this everywhere so I thought I would check in and see how everyone was doing with their garden.
There’s definitely been some challenges with the garden this year, but there’s also been some opportunities. I was really thinking that this was going to be the year where I did a better job of cataloging everything for the blog, but it’s been very hard to find time to take pictures during the brief moments that it has not been raining. I have very hard Virginia clay soil, so I’m also not going out there to weed while it’s still wet. So needless to say, it’s been a challenge keeping everything looking nice.
That all being said, this has been the absolute best year yet for growing greens. I also recently harvested my best ever crop of garlic, and I’m also thinking that this is probably going to be my best ever harvest of potatoes and leeks. Now to mention that I haven’t had to water the garden at all in what seems like forever, so that’s an added plus!
People have different motivations for having a big garden like mine. Obviously there’s a lot of crossover with the prepper community, and although I have no issue with people who want to do that, I’m not personally doing this for any kind of survivalist reasons. My garden is very much a part of my spiritual practice. I’ve learned a lot about life by learning how to flow with nature.
Things are going to happen in life that are outside of your control. You can shout into the void but that’s not going to make the weather more favorable for your garden. All you can do is decide how you’re going to respond in the moment and what changes you’re going to make to your strategy for the next year.
Another thing I want to add for any beginner gardeners or homesteaders reading this is that it really does take 5 years to get a garden looking and acting the way you want it to. Instagram and Youtube are full of amazing gardens that claim to only be two years old. I truly believe that a lot of that is smoke and mirrors. I know for a fact that you can’t grow a mature perennial in just two years. Although these gardens are beautiful and inspiring to look at, these must also be people that hired landscapers and paid a premium for mature plants. So please please please don’t look at these and think that you must be failure. It really does take time.
I’m on my third season since moving here and I’m pleased with my progress even though it’s not Pinterest-worthy. Each year it gets a little bit better and that’s all that matters. If there’s one thing that the garden has taught me, it’s patience and discipline.