It’s this grayish, wet time of the year in which we don’t know whether we might expect snow in the Lowlands of Western Washington or not. Personally, I find it a cozy time of year when you can appreciate your home and take care of it, and maybe even enjoy walks in the drizzle. What I’m definitely glad about is that it is not yet a time for gardening and getting your feet all wet and dirty while walking from bed to bed.
Not that we had so many garden beds. But they are far and apart from each other. The rest is a currently meadowlike-looking lawn and trees. Nine huge, tall oak trees that shed 500 pounds of leaves every year. Believe me, I’m always glad once we are done with the raking and unloading the stuff at a composting facility.
Our garden beds are another story. They were not all in existence when we moved in. One was a scraggly, rocky patch with a dying azalea in it. We worked on that patch, and today, there is a thriving rhododendron, a beautiful little lilac, lilies, sage, lavender, primroses, and junipers. I’m not sure that the fig tree my husband planted will survive being run over by nocturnal animals much longer, though. We will see this year.
Our front beds contain more pollinator-friendly flowers and bushes. It was a joy to see bees and bumblebees frequent these patches all summer and fall last year. It felt like they knew that they were welcome and that we planted all kinds of blooming things to keep them around.
But we also have a raised vegetable bed in our back yard. My husband built it quite a few years ago because we have always found it exciting to raise our own herbs and vegetables. We have failed to grow any sizeable corn, so far, but we don’t give up. And last year, for whatever reason, our entire harvest of tomatoes and bell peppers failed us. But we got some large zucchini from the raised bed, and the rosemary we planted in there was also a success.
These days we still harvest. Not from the raised bed, mind you. Nor from one of the other patches. We brought some “outside” inside. Two years ago, my husband had asked me for one of these amazing hydroponic systems to plant herbs. LED lights see to it that the plants get the ideal amount of light they need to grow. It’s simply stunning to watch the seeds pop and grow into voluminous bushes. Mind, we have only one of those planters, and it’s a small one. Right now, we are enjoying a salad mix that is growing there. But our freezer also holds home-grown thyme and rosemary, parsley, and dill. We have experimented and come to love “new” basil flavors. And I’m honestly pondering whether we shouldn’t invest into one of those big ones in which you can plant tomatoes and other larger food plants.
What I love about this indoor garden, too? Once it is set up, it pretty much takes care of itself. It lends our antique dining table an evergreen edible decoration. And the light is so bright, I use it as a reading light. But the most rewarding thing is, doubtless, to harvest from it and announce that there is something home-grow on a dinner plate. Literally, home-grown.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.