The Garden in Spring—Time to Make a Plan

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Taking Time to Plan in a Busy Season

Making a Garden Plan- Spring 2015

I am the first to admit that organization does not come naturally to me. Over the years, I have learned the value of this life-skill though, and have cultivated the trait. I do my best to incorporate tactics that will ease the organization of my home and work, simplifying and hopefully saving me some time and effort in the long run. While I am pretty good in my home, and always improving my workflow, I have relegated the yard and garden, even as much as I love both, to a piecemeal and often rather offhand approach. When time allows… get around to it… get the chores done that have to be done… hurry, because so many other tasks are clamoring for my Time.

Cabbage Rose

So that’s the root of it all. Something I truly love to do and enjoy thoroughly gets the leftovers of my time and effort. After all, the returns I get on these chores and tasks are mostly (though not all) intangibles. The beauty and serenity which so often fill my senses to overflowing doing the simplest outdoor job— the feelings of well-being that arise from doing a good day’s labor— these are the rewards I get in the garden. And we, as well as visitors, get to enjoy the flowers, the trimmed yard, and when I can manage to keep the deer and insects at bay, some lovely vegetables and more recently fruit, from our outdoor endeavors.

Frost Damage after our one and only freeze in winter 2014/15
Frost Damage after our one and only freeze in winter 2014/15
Winter damage to outdoor plants- bird of paradise in front of barn
Winter damage to outdoor plants- bird of paradise in front of barn

I hate (it’s really not too strong of a word) cold weather. Even Florida’s chill winds and damp coolness is enough to keep me hunkering down indoors. Certainly, I recognize the necessity and even the beauty of the season and cycles of nature, and even wish we had cold enough weather this just past winter to kill off some of the burgeoning insect population. However, if it is going to be cold, I want to be inside where it is warm. In the past, we have had winters where there were plenty of pleasant days that just beckoned one outside, but this year was damp and chill, and I shirked chores that should have been done during the winter months.

Cutting Birds of Paradise
Cutting Back Birds of Paradise

Winter avoidance has meant that when time and weather do permit, Gaia and I have been very busy. The final insult of an extended season of damp and cool, was a late frost, just enough of a freeze to damage the lush and tender greenery that was convinced that winter had no power over it and spring would soon arrive. We have had to haul off cart-loads of cuttings and yard trash from these ravaged plants and shrubs. In the midst of these and other chores, Gaia and I have begun to take a long look at our little corner of outdoor paradise, and we are currently beginning work on an extensive Garden Plan. That sounds official…right.

Photo collage of Garden and Garden House Area
Photo collage of Garden and Garden House Area

We got out our tape measure, a pen and some paper, and we toured the garden, taking stock and taking notes. I took photos as we walked and discussed, so we could refer to all of our gathered information while we plotted and planned. We have actually made further progress even in the short time since these photos were taken. However, we would like to approach our work and play in the garden from a more prepared standpoint, and we would love it if you would come along with us over the next weeks and months. We (Well—Gaia did the hard part) have drawn up a diagram of the garden area, and begun to make some notes.

Making a plan for spring chores in garden 2015

It is our intent to expand this plan, and then see how much of it can be accomplished—both economically and in an aesthetically pleasing manner— in the season to come. We hope to not only achieve a lot, but to educate ourselves and any who follow along with us on this little adventure. Look for our next follow-up, and a more comprehensive plan and list, very soon.