Creating gardens has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I learned it from my mother. We moved often when I was growing up, usually into a house owned by someone else. One of the first things mom did when we got to a new place was start a garden. Not the big family vegetable garden, that would come in time, and was where we spent lots of gardening time. The first garden was always a flower garden. Usually small, close to the house, planted with simple hardy flowers that would give a bright, cheery welcome every time we stepped out of the house. I find that the need to create a little pocket of beauty stuck with me. Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve had to make some small garden, filled with color and happiness.
When we moved to this farm there were no visible flowers, shrubs, trees, or gardens of any type, just acres of mowed grass and a variety of buildings in various stages of disrepair. Within the first month we had planted some trees, poked some marigolds and zinnias in the ground near the porch, and started planning. Fixing everything has taken most of the time and money available these past four years, so gardens for beauty’s sake where mostly limited to a few flowers poked in the corners. This year we has an unwanted blessing. A pipe broke, and the insurance company paid us to have all the damage fixed. I did the work and we saved a bit of money from the insurance payment. We briefly considered a big vacation, but decided it would be better spent on something that would last. There is, of course, an infinite list of practical things we could do with the money, but they will all get done eventually. So, we decided to build the front garden we have been dreaming of for a long time. It’s modeled on Queen’s Park in Invercargill, NZ and some of the potager gardens from around the world.