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Weeding the Garden

I’m emptying my basement of everything in it.  I figured it was getting to be a fairly expensive storage space, given what rents go for today.  I hate that there is so much I’m throwing away but I also recognize that to repurpose, reuse, sell, or even donate all the items I no longer need would require additional time that I’d really rather spend doing other things – like gardening.

Although I may freecycle a few items (I’ve used it before for other things I let go of, and was fairly happy with its usability).  I clutterbust somewhat regularly though.  It’s a healthy purging, I find.  Inevitably good things (note, not “stuff”) come from it.  So usually I just set as much out in front of my house as I can, without using any space on the sidewalk.  This can get tricky because there’s not a lot of excess real estate in Brooklyn, even down to front gate space.  That’s why I love things I can hang on the fence, like hangers!  At about midnight, I put a small store’s supply of various plastic and wooden hangers, no wire ones (yes, mommy dearest), and within minutes a neighbor appeared out of nowhere.  As we started talking, she collected up the plastic hangers, stringing them across her arm.  As it turns out, she is married to a gentleman down the street who has been very encouraging about my little garden plot, stopping by every so often to ask and admire.  I’ve loaned him a wonderful little crazy rake I have that tills the ground in no time.  Once again, I found myself talking with someone who I have lived near for more than ten years and had never met before.  I hate to say this but I honestly don’t even remember seeing her before — I feel like I’ve been wearing blinders for a very long time now.  Gardening is showing me that good things happen when you just put a little effort into it.

There is no question in my mind, as I sit here sweaty and spent, that gardening and all that goes with it is absolutely like raking through the things in life – concrete and otherwise – that bog you down.  This has been a difficult process because my mind was trained to think I “need” more than I do.  It is helpful though, too, as I’m thinking about what more I want to do (and, more importantly, not do) with my garden for the remainder of the summer, and am also feeling grateful that once this is done it will be one less thing to pull me away from my gardening.

QUESTION: Do you have to give something else up to make space for something new?  Will you be adding or subtracting anything from your garden this season?

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One response to “Weeding the Garden

  1. Ralph ⋅

    Yikes, cleaning my basement? Thinking about it, that’s where active hobbies past go to wait for an awakened interest. Tools, books, misc paint, wood, and my seed collection reside there. Some things are not meant to reside in your living space. I just haven’t had the ambition to put that wood to use and make some flower boxes. I have a good idea to make a box that would fit on my window sill and give me a lot more space than the handful of small containers that usually reside there. So far it’s just a good idea. I haven’t had to get rid of things to make space for new arrivals in a while. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been buying smaller stuff.

    My in the ground garden is not doing very well this year. Thank goodness for containers. I just came in from collecting some seeds and watering the yard. I have a new found and deep unbelieving of anything the weather forecast says when it comes to rain. I know forecasting isn’t the most precise thing, but really. They are trying to tell me the temperature and sea levels in 100 years but they can’t tell me the weather for tomorrow.

    This year I think the biggest change in the garden will be planting things for a fall harvest. I got a new winter seed catalog, ‘Summer planting means winter harvest’ from Territorial. Maybe I’ll have better luck in the cooler weather. A lot of the ‘leafy stuff’ grows well into the cold- I will put that to the test. This year I left pumpkins out. My vines got really big but nothing came out of them. Eventually they died, I guess from bugs. If my zucchini doesn’t grow again this year I think I’ll leave it out next year. I am thinking maybe less variety next year but more of what I do plant.

    One thing I’ve heard of a few times but haven’t done yet is start a garden journal. I would use a paper notebook, although an electronic one would work. To me some things are better on paper. Is anyone using a garden journal or thinking about it?

    PS- why not put a nice plant in a pot and hand it to your hanger/ garden positive neighbor- or your snooping one? It should be a great ice breaker, may start a new garden enthusiast, and give you something to do with those plants that are ‘in the way’.

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