Creating a Garden From Scratch

I’ve started a new garden. I forgot how rough the beginning stages of a garden are. My hands hurt from pulling thorny weeds and moving rock. I am in a perpetual state of sore muscles, dehydration and sunburned shoulders. …and yet, I am still out there.

Every. Single. Day.

Digging. Digging. Digging………..

If you are a gardener, you know exactly what I am talking about. It truly feels like it will never end. I find the beginning stages of a garden are the hardest parts of gardening. It is the “all work and no play” syndrome, with very little gratification. Creating a new garden from scratch can be a challenge. Here are a few very simple things that I do to keep motivated.

First, I set a goal for the amount of weeds I will pull each day. That sounds easy eough, right? Weed-pulling is a job that never ends. It is like brushing your teeth or washing dishes. You can have a perfectly manicured garden one moment, while the next moment the garden has been engulfed with your neighbor’s overgrown weeds. Weeding is truly an exercise in futility and discipline….and yet, it is SO important. I try to pick atleast a big tub of weeds every day.

Every single day.

Remember, new gardens need a lot of love. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just pull a little every day. New gardens need to break the weed cycle. Once the old seeds stop germinating, life will be much easier. One day soon, you will look around and begin to see the changes you’ve created.

Another thing I do when creating a new garden is find some flowering plants that can handle the less-than-ideal conditions, and get them in the ground. That way,  there is something beautiful to focus on while working the hard stuff. I’m not one to stare at a blank slate of blah. I need some beauty around to nurture, which in return, motivates me to keep digging.

If you can manage the delicate balance between hard, tedious work and nurturing beauty, you will have a lucious garden in no time. They say it takes 13 years for a garden to become it’s own living self-sustaining ecosystem…..we might as well enjoy the mundane beginning process as well as the end result.

As for me, I am somewhere between two extremes.. I have gorgeous, young gardens at the Agape Haus Music Studio that engulf three lots. It took over a year of daily digging to remove and salvage the heirloom bulbs and perennials from the flooded house. During the year, very little nurturing was done in the garden, so I spend most of my time “paying the piper” and pulling weeds. On the other garden extreme, my new home is built on an enormous granite rock. Talk about challenging garden conditions!!! Apparantly, the only plants that grow on the rock are thorns and stickers.  Not my idea of a good time!!!!

Happy Gardening, my friends!!!