Tag Archives: Fence

A PLACE OF ORDER

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When my family returned from our spring break travels, the house became a place of catch-up and chaos. Hampers of dirty clothes lined up outside the laundry room like planes ready for take-off. The pots and pans we used to cook our Easter meal were stacked in the sink because someone needed to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher to replace them with the dirty ones. Piles of mail needed to be opened, and every room I entered contained small bursts of clutter none of us wanted to tackle.

While the kids retreated to finish their last-minute homework, I planned to visit the one spot that always feels in order — the community garden.

After running errands the next day, I scooted over to see the empty patch of tilled dirt prepared for us garden-renters, who will be moving into our spaces soon. A local farmer recently plowed the field. He volunteers to do this for us each year, which is greatly appreciated. In addition, while my family was out of town and celebrating spring break, several fellow gardeners turned the precise rectangle of dirt into a grid of garden plots, each marked by corner stakes and numbers. The perfect lines, measured equally with walking paths in between, radiated a sense of order and a peaceful place to grow vegetables, fruits and flowers.

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I found one gardener already putting up his fence. He also gave me a tour of some of the improvements recently made near the compost bin behind the plots. The area along a tree line, which in previous years was overgrown, has been mowed and carpeted with a layer of mulch. I used to dread walking my buckets of debris to the compost bin. I worried that snakes might be hiding in the tall grass. My kids made fun of me because I chanted, “Go away snakes,” with every step.

“Mom, that’s not going to do anything,” my oldest son once said as he helped me carry the garden trash to the back of the gardens. He was right, but saying the words made me feel better.

Now that the area has been cleaned up, which is another act of kindness much appreciated, any snakes lurking nearby now must look out for me. A patch of mint has a presence along one edge of the space. In addition, herbs have been planted on each side of the pathway leading to the compost bin. Gardeners can pass by fragrant patches of rosemary, oregano and other familiar useful plants as they clean up their space. The improved site adds more order and beauty to the gardens.

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I returned down the path and back through the dirt gardens to my car knowing that slowly, the grid of earth will be outlined with more fences over the next few weeks. The Green Thumbs plan to join the mapped-out grid with our green and orange fencing on the third weekend in April. As gardeners begin to plant their crops in rows and perhaps patches, more straight lines will be added to the grid, enhancing the space with more beauty.

And hopefully, with acts of kindness from my children, I’ll get my house in relaxing order, too.

— cawk

 

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ALMOST TIME TO TAKE DOWN THE FENCE

Each time I go to the garden, what’s missing stands out more than what remains.

The remnants of most of our summer plants decompose in the compost pile at the edge of the field, leaving behind pockets of empty space inside our fence at the garden.

This gives us Green Thumbs more room to maneuver as we gather up the last pints of cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, snow peas and eggplant. These plants are fading in contrast to the golden Marigolds that flourish along the fence as if they will bloom forever strong.

We occasionally talk of taking down our fence, but no one wants to admit that the days are getting shorter, the breeze is feeling colder and our harvest is coming to an end.

Our freezers are stocked with sliced strawberries and tasty blueberries, as well as healthy green beans and homemade tomato sauce to get us through the winter.

Despite our failure to produce celery and to keep squash bugs away from the pumpkins, we are happy with our yields.

So as frost advisories inch closer to our county, we, too, move closer to saying good-bye to the bounty of 2014.

–cawk

GARDEN STITCHES

Being a novice gardener, I expected the outdoor chores to include planting, weeding, watering and picking. But yesterday, I found myself sewing in the garden.

My son, friends and I were putting a fence around our 20- by 30-foot space to keep the critters out. We hate to be rude, but rabbits, deer and a resident hedgehog had already eaten most of the lettuce and all of the broccoli that we planted last week.

We purchased a plastic mesh fence that came in rolls, and we needed to connect the ends of each roll to create a fence all the way around the garden.

So there I stood, rather squatted in the dirt underneath the clear blue sky with the wind at my back sewing the ends of our fence together with sturdy strands of string. My son and friends were doing the same thing to secure the other edges of the fence that needed to connect.

“The rabbits will eat through that plastic mesh,” I heard one of the more experienced growers in the community garden say. “You are going to do a lot of mending.”

The mesh is flimsy. I initially ripped a small hole in one part as I attached it with too strong a hand onto one of the supporting poles.

“What’s that saying,” I said to my son, “about reaping what you sow?”

“That’s it,” he said.

“Well, we’re going to sew what we  rip,” I said.

And we’ll be sewing whatever the deer, rabbits and that resident hedgehog rip, too.

–c