Friday, June 28, 2013

Her Herbal Garden

        This summer finds our younger farm girl preparing for a new journey. With much of her time devoted to work and higher education, it is time to evaluate her part of the homestead chores. Several years ago she built an herbal garden in the front of our house; a place all her own.
         The garden reflects her personality; calm and soothing with bits of random chaos dotted with color and full of life. Basil makes its home between the strawberry runners; hibiscus and roses bring color and contrast. Dwarf fruit trees lend their fragrance in season beside berry canes that offer a striking presence. It takes careful planning to keep a garden running, and it took careful consideration to build it.
        Before building she considered:
   Time: Gardens don't grow themselves, they require time and work. At the time of her plans she was a home school student with time to work the garden. Currently she is a college student and swim instructor..this change in availability had to be considered when the garden was amended this spring.
   Size:  Dependent upon availability of space in the yard, the time to be invested...our tea garden is quite large..spanning the front of our house in a cottage style lay out that takes you from our front door to our first pasture fence.
Function: Is this culinary, medicinal, it meant for beauty? What beneficial insects/animals will be attracted or deterred? Her garden desire was to incorporate all aspects of the garden in a natural, yet welcoming fashion similar to the master gardener version. Bees and butterflies were wanted and were the many varieties of herbs available to grow here in our climate.
Future: Knowing she was a high school student, the future had to be considered. Did we want to take over care of the garden when she was no longer here to do it? In undertaking such a large garden plot, the future tenders needed to be considered.
   Our farm girl's herbal plot has been up and functional for several years now; a thing of beauty and refreshment providing fragrance and function. With her time between the rows becoming less and less, we are taking the time this weekend to lay some irrigation and a hearty coat of mulch to sustain and maintain it. She may not be seen strolling through the blossoms, yet, we are all grateful she took the initiative when she had the availability to design it and put it in place.

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