Its late Spring here at my house. The garden is well and truly off and running and brings me great joy and back pain.
Yet it also brings me a pinch of guilt as well. Why? Well, when a raised bed is first built, it must be filled with a grwoing medium of some kind. In my case its been plastic (YUCK) bags loads of cheap black earth, perlite (last year) and compost. Also, a couple truck loads of "soil" and compost for the front gardens and raised beds in the last year. The running of the hose for new plants and the vegetable beds when the rain barrel runs dry or is not a viable option (there are issues with rain collection and its use on vegetable thanks to the leachates in the water from roofing materials..)Thats a lot of money, water, trash (bags), and exhaust(trucks) usedto create our wee oasis in suburbia.
But then I think of the benefits...the flowers that feed the soul and senses and a few insects as well (damn you sawfly and lily beetles). The fruits and vegetables that will hopefully feed our family (come on little seeds...grow). As time passes the costs will diminish..each harvest will bring us closer to balance between costs and benefits. As time passes the two composters (more money) will help turn garbage to black gold for the gardens. The new plants of last year have settled into their places and don't need the extra water from last year so much and the rain barrel will keep up with them in theory.
Today although the weather is not lovely I walked my garden path to see what was up out front: The FRAGRANT white irises that came with our back yard and have been divided and moved around are coming into bloom. The lilacs of the neighborhood are spreading their aroma as well, the baptisia that I moved last year is starting to bloom and its so gloriously BLUE! The soapwort groundcover is covered in teensy pink blossoms, the catmint with glorious violet little spires, the creeping speedwell has true blue wee flowers that I adore. Columbines of all the shade I planted are blooming and showing off and the rhododendrons and Magnolia are at the end of their show. I wander the path admiring the flowers, thanking those who have finished and anticipating who is next and wondering if I need still a few to fill in any blank spaces of time....
Another source of garden joy today: My alpine strawberry plants literally just arrived by post. What a great showery day project this will be, planting them into their awaiting bed and letting the rain showers do most of the watering in. I'm off to grab the organic fruit and veggies fertiliser, compost, and my box of beauties to get them into their new home, may they live long and prosper.