Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Growth of a Garden

I remember the first planting season on the farm.  We had actually moved into the house in April of that year.  Most of our time that Spring was consumed by the house - patching mouse holes, eliminating vinyl wall paper, and removing pink shag carpet - but after a few months we were itching to get outside.  One of our key goals was to garden on a larger scale - and compared to our small plot in our downtown Atlanta house's backyard, anything would have been on a larger scale. 

1996.  This was about year 3. 
The single rows had become a tilled square
patch surrounded by an electric fence to ward
off the herds of deers!
By the time we got the interior of the house settled it was really far to late in the summer to be planting, but the desire to play in the dirty won out.  My partner had bought a new tiller and had groomed a couple of rows in the middle of the field next to the house and the main road.   I vividly remember sitting on a freshly tilled row of rocky Georgia clay in the middle of the field.  It was a hot Saturday afternoon and I was planting carrots.  "What am I doing here?", I thought.  It just all seemed so overwhelming.  Looking around there was nothing but acres of grass to the north, south and east and west  nothing blocked my view of the road,  and the world's ablity to see me!  At one point I looked up and saw my partner padding across the field with a cold bottle of water for me.  I remember raising my hand and while hold a package of carrot seeds I shouted, "As God as my witness, I'll never go hungry again!"

Taken from the same spot about 10 years later.  The road is nowhere to be found!

summer 2009

Today when I stand in the same place the road is completely hidden by layers of hollies and Lombardy poplars hedges.  The garden is now surround by a tall fence covered with seasonal gourds, kiwi, grapes, and evergreen vines.  Its symmetrical layout is defined by white pea gravel paths with modern aluminium edging.  So whenever I get overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to maintain the garden, I think back on that day 17 years ago and realized that I'm not hungry indeed!

And, I don't remember, but I'm pretty certain that we did not get any carrots that year!

The electric fence with replaced with a 'stockade' fence about 8 years ago,
after we decided it was the only way to win the war against the deer.  Much of the fence is now a living green wall.
The apple trees (to the left) were planted in our early years on the farm and are always loaded with apples,
unfortunately the deer get most of them.

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