Sunday, November 5, 2017

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.

Our first attempt at seeding - left to right, Rita Smith, Chris Donnelly, and Bud Neal

To date, our failure has been putting grass seed down.  I pressed for seed to be placed before the rain was due around October 23rd, so Bud and I quickly made sure we had all that we needed to seed the outside portion of the garden.  Everything was down on October 22nd, and the rain came October 23rd, and it didn't stop.  Most of what we did got washed away.  While evaluating the garden after the deluge, we found the erosion areas and was able to make a new plan on how to move forward with erosion control.  About a week later we came up with a new plan.  This time we're hoping the rain will be a little more gentle and the warm weather will stick around long enough to get the grass seed started.  We'll know in a week if the change worked.


Bud Neal looking over the seeded areas

Meanwhile, while the grass implementation was being planned again, I still needed to get the gardens dug out.  The poor soil was still in two of the gardens, the largest and the smallest, and it needed to be dug out.  Luckily for me, I have a husband who has five very close friends that were willing to take on the challenge of digging and moving dirt. So on November 3rd, they all showed up and dug out those gardens.  With a lot of work and some fun, it was accomplished.  I had gotten some more compost that was donated by a composter who makes what he calls Agrimix.  I love this compost.  He was nice enough to offer what ever I need for the garden, so I got another two plus yards to put down in the gardens after the soil was dug out.  Now the gardens are ready for winter.  Mother Nature will do what she does best on weather and I'm hoping by spring, that the compost will be perfect for blending with topsoil.  Once blended, I'll have the soil tested, make a few adjustments and then planting can start.

Digging out the Scented Garden. Left to right: Joe Casorio and Jack Scalia

Digging out the Rock Garden. Left to right, Steve Wysowski, Bill Ingellis, and Pat Parente

A big thank you to all the volunteers and the generous people that have donated and worked so far.  I absolutely love the spirit that this project brings.  I know the men inside the home are out checking on our progress.  Sometimes we see them outside; they'll stay for a little while and watch us work.  Other times we see wheelchair tracks in the soil, which tells us they were out there making their rounds.  This joint effort came from one idea from Bud Neal, but it has blossomed into a community effort bringing people together for our veterans.  I'm so proud to be part of this project.

Until next time:  may the spirit of nature bring you to a good place, a garden of hope, a community of togetherness, a place to heal.