Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gardening at the Speed of Bunny Berries!

Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration. ~Lou Erickson

Okay, it probably will not take off as one of those catchy phrases (unless you have a rabbitry) but "gardening at the speed of bunny berries" has true meaning for me. Averaging ten kits per kindle rotating with two does is a lot of poop! Mixed in with that is some hay that falls down while they are eating it and we have the most excellent mixture for enriching Georgia clay. I mean, it turns compacted red clay to a rich brown workable soil with a bit of tilling and plants thrive like I never have had plants thrive before. It almost looks as if I have the green thumb. Some gardeners keep a few rabbits just for their berries that can be used right away, no aging required!

Now the problem with our property is that we had four years of drought and towards the end of that, the entire Atlanta area was in serious trouble with the amount of available drinking water. We were advised to not just conserve but to not use any water for outdoor use. People conserved water so well in my county that we almost did not have enough water used to properly treat the sewage. Apparently, it takes a certain amount of water to treat used water.

You knew who was conserving the most because their lawns looked terrible and ours was in that category. My gardens just died away. Some of the drought resistant and hardier plants made it through, but my gardens looked like something you would expect to see in the dessert. When the drought broke in the fall of 2009, it really broke and we had the worst flooding in the area. Since then rain levels have been normal. I supposed I should have tried to do something last year with the lawn and gardens because, unfortunately, grass and garden plants do not recuperate without some help as fast as weeds, poison ivy, and opportunistic herbs that jumped their confinement can seed and grow. The other factors were funds, time, and energy. It takes far more of my energy to deal with weeds because I try not to use chemicals.

This year I decided that I may not have pretty flowers where I would prefer, but I do have garden beds that were worked up well over the years right next to the house, so why not use them for food gardens instead of trying to start food gardens somewhere in the back yard and still have these beds looking pitiful. Hmmm! I keep hearing from the Lord that I should make do with what we have. And instead of trying to look at all the garden beds at once or even a whole garden bed, both which overwhelm me, why not work with one small patch at a time and even do something like square foot gardening since we have this unlimited supply of natural ready-to-go fertilizer.

And I have been spending most of my weekends and the cool mornings and evenings outside taming nature's wild greens. This is now how the front right side looks.



We just tilled and mixed in our secret soil enrichment formula so this bed is ready to plant, which I will be doing part of today and probably tomorrow mostly likely.



This is lettuce off the ground.



Here is one area that looks luscious now but looked horrible last year. I was about to give up on it because it was the one garden bed where the grass was growing more than the lovely variegated vinca. The purple clematis was not doing that well either. Is it not odd that the grass will not grow where it should, but becomes an aggressive weed where you do not want it! I gives me a sense of pride that all that weeding I did last year helped the vinca win out this year. I suppose I should think about painting that mailbox, eh? You can see in the background that my daughter has created her own little garden box and to the right (outside of the picture) is her "playhouse" which made up of a few branches and lots of imagination under a tree she climbs.



We have four rain barrels catching the rain from our roof via the gutters but two need some repair as the overflow hosing has slipped and they are only holding half of what they should. Thursday there is a possibility of rain and I am so hoping it does because lugging water cans is getting to be much with my expanding gardens and I also want to catch this precious resource that falls freely from the heavens (I have told my daughter rain is angel's tears of joy, which is why it makes things grow so well) so I plan to fix those barrels by then, hopefully.

~ My Lord, please bless our little gardens.~

2 comments:

  1. Those garden plots are just lovely! Nothing tastes better than a home grown vegetable or fruit!

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  2. This comment came from Ganieda, who had difficulty posting it so she emailed it to me:

    You made me laugh with your *bunny berries* ~ & I shouldn't. We used to have a 44 gallon drum which had a few cow pats in the bottom. We then filled the rest with water & oh! My! The bestest fertilizer ever!!!! I always feel so close to God in my garden ~ & he can teach me so much. Enjoy.

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