Bennett Garden Started

So, it’s 2020 and I have a new project. It’s in a park along a river. It’s a back field of a beautiful piece of land that the town owns. It’s overseen by the Conservation Commission, which I am currently a commissioner on. My term will be ending soon, so I will be working the property as a volunteer. Invasive plants have taken over the edge of the river and my goal is to clean it out, find the native plants that have been trying to survive there, and nurture the native plants so they flourish. I can add more native plants and trees a little at a time so the area is more of a natural garden than an invasive mess.

Here are some of the before photos. I started working on it in December. Cutting back the invasive plants and uncovering some native Rhus glabra, Smooth Sumac. Because it’s next to the river, I want to save as many of these as possible. From what I understand, they’re difficult to transplant and get started, so I’m fortunate to have a head start on these. My goal is to have a …

Christmas 2019

I’ve scaled down in my holiday decorating. I chose a few things to decorate and did them up nice. I used to make dozens of wreaths. Not all for me of course but for customers and family. This year I made two, one for me and one for a dear friend. After making many wreaths for years, this year seemed so easy. I didn’t need a lot of greens. I walked my yard and collected some nice twigs and greens, and a friend offered me some greens from a black pine that he needed to cut down.

I decided to use ribbon as the contrasting color. I’ve used berries and variegated plants before, but this year I didn’t have many choices. I made the wreaths extra full with greenery and used more ribbon than usual.

Merry Christmas 2019. May the season be peaceful and the new year be a healthy, happy, and a prosperous one.

Thanksgiving at the Shore

We decided this year to get a rental through VRBO for Thanksgiving. I was in need of a new atmosphere for the holiday. It was becoming so predictable it was making me depressed. Not that I don’t like the holidays, I just needed something different that we could all enjoy. We live in the northeast, so I had many choices. I chose the beach; I hadn’t been to the shore yet this year, so I could fill my need to see the ocean while celebrating gratitude, how perfect.

We arrived on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Thanksgiving, we woke up to sunshine, cool air and wind. I had to get out to see the water and feel the weather on my face as soon as possible, so I bundled up and out I went.

It was a wonderful day. I was able to walk a few times each day while there and fill my soul with gratitude the way I imagined. It was special being able to spend time with my one son and husband in a new place and perhaps a new beginning.

This is a wetlands area that was restored after eradication of phragmites. …

Season's End 2019

I closed up the Healing Garden last week. I emptied pots, pulled annuals, and did some final weeding. I planted more bulbs, grape hyacinths, and a few more blue flowering bulbs. The garden did so well this year. The soil was perfect, the weather couldn’t have cooperated better, and everything took root and did exactly what it was supposed to do. Even the grass looked good. I worked the gardens every week as promised, and I met some great veterans that always managed to say thank you.  It’s wonderful to do something for someone that appreciates what you do, isn’t it? So until Spring arrives next year, I will be hibernating and educating myself on what to do for next year. Here are some photos from throughout the season.

Winter is Coming

November 12, 2017:  We worked at the Healing Garden for a little while today.  We've had a little dry spell, so we, Bud and I, thought we would get some grading done on the hill.  Bud picked up a few more donated bales of hay from Nate O'Neil in Woodbury.  We've been using hay as a barrier for erosion control, it works pretty well. 

Some topsoil was moved to the center of the garden and grading was done on the hill, but not in it's entirety.  It was still pretty muddy in sections, so those areas need to dry out more before grading can be completed.

The garden doesn't look as good as it did in past weeks.  The leaves are falling from the oaks and making a mess everywhere.  This bothers me a little.  I know it's a construction site, but I really want it to look nice for people that come to see the progress.  I keep imagining what it's going to look like when it's done; I see green grass, the flowers blooming and the trees planted.  I see the new fence in…

Let's Keep Moving

November 4, 2017:  We had another volunteer today, his name is Paul Fortier from Woodbury.  He was a hard worker!  We needed to reseed a lot of the area that we seeded due to some washout from the rain.  This time we came with bigger guns, so to speak.  We had some straw that comes in rolls that you put down on top of the grass seed.  We held it down with staples that we put in the ground and small rocks to keep it from blowing away on a windy day.  This seems to be a good solution, so let's hope for the best.

Special thanks to Paul for his time and work. It was a pleasure getting to know you.

Until next time:  Persistence: continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action in spite of difficulty of opposition. source  I have learned that sometimes persistence is the only way you can be successful.  I hope your day is forward, not sideways, not backwards, but forward.  We can all use a second chance sometimes.  With a little persistence, we might just get that second chance.

Progress on the Healing Garden

Well, it's November and the garden is in continual movement.  We've had some wonderful moves forward and few tiny steps backwards, but for the most part, I'm please with the progress.  I love how Mother Nature works with you when your planning something like a garden.  Sometimes, I feel like my work can be for nothing, but I found from past experiences, that if I slow down and stop trying to control everything, mother nature will show me how to move forward.  One thing that's always in the back of my mind is that I am only a worker, like an ant or a bee, on this wonderful planet.  What I do is temporary.  Nature will always be my supervisor, there's no union or employee protection, and there is no certainty in my results.  I need to watch and listen to what the environment that I plan to alter is doing, or what I do, will be for nothing.

To date, our failure has been putting grass seed down.  I pressed for seed to be placed before the rain was due around October 23…