Eleven years ago, one less child, and two less moves, I made and kept my last flower bed. After moving to the big homestead, I may have done a few potted flowers in the first years, but another kid, an ever expanding to do list, much larger vegetable gardens, and let’s be honest here, free ranging chickens, put an end to any desire to garden simply for the sake of making things pretty. By nature I am a very practical person. With limited resources, time and space in this example, I will always choose the practical over the pretty. Really in my eyes, asparagus fronds are just as pretty as ornamental grasses, and pea blooms and squash blossoms outshine impatiens and marigolds.
I mentioned in New Homestead Challenges that we are starting from scratch here. There are no gardens. The only beds are the landscaping right around the house, and most of it is a mess.
Ultimately I would like to use a lot of raised beds for my gardening. Though a bit more up front work and money, I think these will be much more manageable for me in the long run. In my planning stages for this homestead I’ve struggled with what to tackle first; building raised beds or dealing with the overgrown spaces. I knew they needed dealt with, but my heart was in those soon to be practical and productive raised beds. Then it occurred to me like the switch of a light. Why not make those overgrown places productive places? Edible landscaping is where I am headed. A little at a time, we’ve been clearing things out.
I have planted some herbs, and cranberries should be arriving soon. I am excited to make these spaces useful and pretty. My little helper, however, has different ideas.
My youngest, Vivian, requested her own little space. She does not care about the practical and useful. She wants it pretty. It is hard to say no to a child who wants to share in your hobby, even if she wants to do it a bit differently.
We went to a nearby garden store, and I paid good money (cringing all the way) for flowers that will not produce anything edible and will last one season. She planted them and has watered them regularly ever since.
Now we have flowers in a flower bed for the first time since before this child was even born. I have allowed this small concession for this season. We will have to reevaluate in the spring.