Mission control

Star magnolia - my favorite rescue plantI almost succumbed to the everybody’s-doin’-it peer pressure of making room for a dedicated vegetable bed in my garden this year. Instead, I’m probably the only person on the planet who is not planting arugula. And I’m totally ok with that because now I have a plan.

At work we have a mission statement (preserve, educate, inspire, yada-yada) and a master plan in the works. At home it was the debacle of the nicotine patch/grave site bed that made me realize I needed to develop a mission and a master plan for here too. (Only I’m not going to seek grants to pay professionals many thousands of dollars to draw something up.)

It was when I started thinking about my garden’s mission that I remembered that vegetables are not really my thing. They’re too much work. My garden’s mission is much lazier than that. I want it to be beautiful – there should be a place for every orphaned plant that comes my way – including whatever pretty vegetables – and anything that causes me to bust out the wallet because I can’t possibly live without it. There should be very little lawn because I don’t enjoy mowing. It should not cost much because I don’t have much to spend. I want to sit in it with a book or a bevvie in my paw and feel like the weeding can wait. I want it to be visible from the road and welcoming. I want it to be a habitat, not a yard. Yesterday a kid passing on a bike called to me – “Nice garden!”, he said. That’s what I’m talking about – that’s my mission.

As for a plan…  No matter how much I want it to be a gorgeous tour worthy grown-up garden now, the seedling trees that will provide shade and a feeling of enclosure have years to grow and we don’t have the money for every major project so we’ll pick one at a time – a vine arbor for the deck, first – and save the others for later. Lawn eradication will be a process of years too but I’ve made some strides in determining what stays for the dog’s sake and what’s slated to go. I know it’s important to live in a place for a while before making major changes but indecision was making me crazy. With a mission in mind, I can see the garden more clearly now. – And I have a better idea of what I want to see.

truck full of foundation plants

new bedsThis weekend I took out the last of the horrid foundation shrubbery on my hit list; Z and I filled up the truck and came home again from the dump with an enormous load of town compost (free). With that, I made two new beds with the lazygirl lasagna method and enlarged and amended others – I have plenty of room now for a growing collection. I had my soil tested this spring and am low-lead-level free to graze so I’ll be sure to tuck in a few good looking veg in the established beds and ride on the bumper of that bandwagon too. (Everybody’s doin’ it.)

Does your garden have a mission?  Do you have a master plan? (-Does it keep changing?)

7 thoughts on “Mission control

  1. Kris it looks GREAT. Usually the cobbler’s kids go without shoes so I am happy to see that you will actually have a garden given that you work in one all day long. So, what perennials do you need? If I have them, I will gladly share them with you. Make a wish list and send it over! Nice garden!

    Layanee, Thank you! And ohmygarsh – I have no list! I’ll take anything you’ve got too much of! I did tell Gail not to let me bring home any of the monarda that wants to eat Blithewold – but really, I secretly want that too! -kris

  2. It does look great! I hear you about the vegetable garden…I admit I succumbed to some pressure! I added Rainbow Swiss Chard to the back garden…It is too pretty not to use! Then there is the bronze fennel, dill, rosemary and parsley that I plant for cooking and the caterpillars! My goal…to enjoy the garden sometime! Gail

    Gail, I’ve got Swiss chard coming back from last year – it’s a lazygirl’s dream come true! I haven’t gone for fennel or dill yet but I’ve got some parsley coming back too – some veg are easy to love. -kris

  3. My plan is a bit like yours: I want a beautiful oasis that provides a sensory overload of sights and scents. (And herbs and heirloom cherry tomatoes for taste). http:www.CityDiggity.com

    Welcome, Avis! “Sensory overload” is the perfect description for what I’m shooting for too. -kris

  4. veggies are important here as is giving folk walking down our sidewalk something to gaze at. master plan, not really.

    Wayne, do the folks walking down the sidewalk get to gaze upon your veggies? -kris

  5. I am only planting a few veggies. I do not feeled compelled with the space I have to dedicate great gobs of land to a veggie garden. At this point in my life, no matter how much I wish it was my thing, it is not. Maybe later. Read this blog:

    http://exemptfrompublichaunt.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/the-shame-of-a-unrepentant-floriculturist/

    and

    http://onthewaytomyshoes.blogspot.com/2009/03/true-confessions-garden-shame.html

    Do what makes you happy! At least you garden!

    Reno, Thanks for the links – it’s always reassuring to be in good company! -kris

  6. Kris…We are planning a visit to Providence…during the July 4 weekend, to see our son~~are you going to be at the garden any of those days? gail

    Gail, Even if I’m not in the garden, I won’t be far away and maybe I could pop over when you’re there! Let me know if you’re coming to Bristol for the parade because I might – just might – be able to save you a couple of seats. -kris

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