We have had so many gardens over the years.
We have moved six times during our marriage. It does put a lot of stress on a family to start over so many times.
We tried to grow at every home where we ever lived. Some gardens were tiny and some were spacious. Some struggled and some thrived.
I like to think of our gardens as symbolic of our family – when we struggled and when we thrived in our relationships with each other.
Like gardens, relationships need the right conditions. There were bad weather and seasons, rocky or sandy soil. When we spent time, effort, and money on the gardens and our lives, we all grew.
My first little house that I bought myself in Georgia, I had begun to grow roses and flowers and some herbs.
I had to go through boxes of photographs since this is before digital cameras. Ah, the memories!
I loved birds even then and had feeders at the window. I was sad to have to sell this house and if I could go back, I would keep it and rent it out.
Our first little herb garden at our first rental home as a small blended family, in San Antonio, after we PCSed the very first time. We later grew some veggies for the first time. It was fun for our first homeschool year.
When we PCSed to Hawaii for three years, we lived on base and were not allowed to have a garden or change the landscape. We still grew and discovered what and who we wanted to be. We were surrounded by lush green and flowers and we enjoyed it all.
Our largest garden at our rental house in Utah where we grew lots of veggies and had a grape vine along the fence.
The whole family really worked hard in Utah on our garden. We enjoyed having fresh food that we grew ourselves. The kids would be so excited to help and harvest. We preserved, canned, and dried since we produced so much. We lived there four years and were just getting comfortable when we had to move again.
We used containers to grow herbs and veggies with our teeny tiny back yard in Germany. Even with the gorgeous food surrounding us in Europe and a fun little market right at our doorstep, we still yearned to grow our own.
Our baby garden when we rented our current house, that we just bought a year ago. We just had peas and lettuces and green beans. The radishes and carrots didn’t quite take. And I always have herbs.
We just celebrated our house-iversary. We bought our home one year ago!
It’s not perfect, but in many ways, it’s the best we’ve ever had and could ever hope for. While I always wanted more than mediocre suburbia for my kids, we have settled here for reasons. Sometimes, we dream of a hobby farm, but it’s just not feasible and I don’t see it ever happening.
The first thing we did after we signed the mortgage papers, was to have all the walnut trees cut down. It opened up our backyard and we don’t have to wear hard hats on the deck or worry about being pummeled by baseball-sized walnuts anymore.
We conditioned the soil and planned a little victory garden. We just planted early veggies – peas, lettuces, onions, potatoes, carrots, radishes, asparagus. We have spots ready to plant tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, squash when it’s warmer. We also planted two raspberry bushes.
While most of these plants will be ready to harvest in a month or so, the asparagus won’t be ready for about three years. It takes patience and planning.
We’ve never been settled in a place long enough to plan that far ahead.
It’s so exciting to finally realize this is all ours and we can update or change anything. I have to take a deep breath and let it all sink in.
I love planning and planting flowers. My herb garden is thriving. I’m a member of a local online gardening group that is just lovely. I just started my rose garden and I can’t wait to see the blooms!
When we had unexpected snow the end of April, it was disappointing, but we came together to cover the tender young plants against freezing. We prayed and hoped they wouldn’t wither or wilt and will be hardier for their shock of the frost. Just as we hope to weather storms and survive to thrive the hard times in our lives and we sure have had our share of tough times.
I’m transplanting bushes that need more sun and pruning and shaping plants that may have never had that done to them before. We’re fertilizing and adding soil and mulch for nutrients and weed cover.
We make amends and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t – in our relationships and with our plants. We’re constantly learning and growing.
Linking up: Create with Joy, Mostly Blogging, April Harris, Anita Ojeda, Eclectic Red Barn, Jeanne Takenaka, InstaEncouragements, Ducks in a Row, OMHG, Grammy’s Grid, Ginger Snap, Fluster Buster, Girlish Whims, Ridge Haven, Soaring with Him, Anchored Abode, Suburbia, Penny’s Passion, Crystal Storms, Slices of Life, Imparting Grace, Debbie Kitterman, Katherine’s Corner, Grandma’s Ideas, LouLou Girls, Our Three Peas, Try it Like it, Wordsmith, Answer is Choco, Momfessionals, Simply Sweet Home, Embracing Unexpected, Lyli Dunbar, CWJ, Random Musings,
Jeanne Takenaka says
Ahhh Jennifer, I so enjoyed reading about the various gardens you’ve tended over the years. There is something about growing our own produce, herbs, and flowers that feeds us, isn’t there? A few years ago, a family friend created a 4×8 box garden, along with chicken-wire fencing (to keep out the bunnies). And I love it! Where I live, we can get snow till the end of May, so our growing season is short, but I love picking tomatoes, cheering on the zucchini and cucumbers, and I may try one new vegetable this year. I like what you said about gardening being a symbol for the family. We get to tend our childrens’ hearts and minds, don’t we?
I would like to invite you to link up at the Tell His Story link up on my site. I believe the readers there would be uplifted by your words.
Mariel Davenport says
loved the tour of your gardens over the years! I am a garden nut, but a very new green thumb. I grow a backyard salsa garden that I have loved for years but that is my limit! Haha! Although I have gained some well loved roses lately that have become a bit of their own garden too :) God always teaches me so much about hIs character in my little garden and for that I am so grateful and it makes gardening all that much sweeter for me.
Michele Morin says
I look forward to another year of tending our garden! And lately, I have been thinking about God in a tending role.
Karren Haller says
Hi Jennifer, you have a great start on your gardening, I to am trying to be a “farmer in my desert backyard” and that comes with challenges. For years we have been trying to get a even a little harvest of some fresh tomatoes, this year were going to keep them in my greenhouse. I can grow herbs easily but when it comes to other veggies its a challenge. And I have to grow in pots. I miss the Utah soil, there’s nothing better than a rich soil to grow any plant. Thank you for sharing on OMHGWW each week, I appreciate it. See you again soon!
I enjoyed reading about your house journey and garden journey. Moving is hard, as is starting over. Putting down roots just feels good.
I’m so glad that your family has had the opportunity to purchase your own home. There’s something freeing about knowing you can make the changes you want.
And I must say, you did have me at “I always have herbs!” A woman after my own heart for sure!
Thank you for sharing your journey at the Homestead Blog Hop. Your post is featured this week, so be sure to stop in!
Please keep sharing your experiences!
Ridge Haven Homestead