Garden Fresh Jen

Last year I came up with the brilliant idea to rip out the rose garden on the south side of my house and plant vegetables. I’m not a big fan of rose bushes. I tried to be, since they were already here when I moved in, but we didn’t get along so much. They are finicky, and aside from the flowers, they are ugly with black spots and bugs.

At least mine are.

And besides, as a fan of gardening it seemed an obvious goal for me to plant a vegetable garden, and the roses were hogging the only south facing spot of dirt in our yard.

Buh bye.

However, ‘a brilliant idea’ differs greatly from ‘getting it done,’ or even from ‘hatching a plan,’ for that matter. Last fall was really the best time to rip out the roses and lay down a weed-killing barrier, but I never got around to it. I can’t remember why, but there is always a reason.

As February approached, the season in which I usually cut back the roses, I knew it wasn’t too late to rip ’em all out and lay down a barrier. But I didn’t.

And so, as spring approached I loathed the idea of going through another growing season with those blasted rose bushes, and NO vegetable garden. I comforted myself in the idea that a full blown vegetable garden was probably too much to take on as a virgin grower, and why didn’t I give myself the year to research and plan?


On a random nice day a couple weeks ago I called the former owner of the house, and he came by to take two bushes he had given to his wife for mother’s day. A couple days later I took two to a friends house. Two others are waiting in pots to be picked up, and the third will be ripped out as time allows.

Over the last week I dug up a carpet of weeds from the hard dry earth, transplanted most of the ground cover to a new area, and laid down a path of stepping stones to keep the kids in line. And since I still believe a full blown garden is too much for me to handle this year, I started with green beans, tomatoes, and strawberries. Next week I will plant a few lettuce seeds in a shadier spot.

It still needs work – one rose bush and two ground covers still need to be moved, but I am now the proud owner of a reasonably sized produce patch with convenient drip hoses buried under the dirt (thanks dad!).


I have to admit that I enjoy hard labor, especially when it is to beautify my surroundings and bless other people. Gardening especially re-creates me. This morning Bryan asked if I felt any writer’s block coming on as I prepared for my afternoon of writing. Frankly, my body is so tired from the hard work that all I crave is to sit and relax without anything on my agenda to accomplish, and nobody’s nose to wipe. It doesn’t matter if I have inspiration today – I brought a book and a magazine just in case, because all I want to do is be still and relax.

Not blogging as much this week has been both helpful and agonizing. Helpful in that I was much less distracted, spent more time focused on the kids, planted a new garden, went to bed earlier than usual, and didn’t constantly feel like I needed to be somewhere else. Agonizing in that my visitor stats have dropped two thirds, and I often wish I could share something funny or witty or cute or thoughtful with you, but the timing has just not been right.

I truly do have a Truman Show mentality and believe you all hang on every word I write. While I know my writing is appreciated for reasons A, B, and C, life will go on even if you do not get to read about the sadness I felt when Thomas was moved into a Big Boy bed this weekend (as an example). I just have other priorities right now.

I am blessed, and I am fortunate, and I have often taken that for granted by not living in the moment. I have a trail of regrets behind me, and I have many shortcomings that I need to stay on top of. Summer is the perfect season for new beginnings, and I am feeling refreshed as I throw my head back for a breather from past introspectiveness. The sun feels good on my face. I am tan already, and it’s only May.

It’s going to be a good summer.

One thought on “Garden Fresh Jen”

  1. Sounds like you are continually progressing, and I am so happy for you. I can’t wait to see your garden in full growth. The bean teepee will look so “cool” I am sure.

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