A friend came over recently and was astounded by my front garden. “You must water like crazy!!” That I do NOT, but there are a few elements that help this garden abound in the spring time.
First I credit the Plants; Edible, Medicinal and Beautiful…This garden is mainly self-sown (plants that like it here, drop their seed every season, spread and thrive) like Catnip, Clary Sage, Columbine, Lamb’s Quarters, and planted ones like Tarragon, Horse Radish, Yarrow, Mint, Jupiter’s Beard, Loveage, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Valerian, Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Day lily, Comfrey, Iris, Bleeding hearts, Hummingbird Sage, Bee Balm, Garlic Chives, Chervil, Ground Geranium and Tulips, Daffodils, Snapdragons, Clover, Poppies, & Rue, to name a few. The annuals are put in other spots around the yard.
The Sunlight….The garden is in full sun in the spring, until about May 1st, when the trees above it leaf out and create a very shady garden, cooling it in the summer months.
The Time….garden is old, about 10 years of adding compost & mulch makes a big difference in getting it established, enriching the soil and covering up any bare ground, and of course keeping that moisture in!!
And of course the Dishwater. Yep– year round, every day, sometimes twice a day this garden gets oh, maybe 4 gallons of dishwater dumped here and there. I let the days dishes gather, neatly by the sink, organize from cleanest to dirtiest. When the time comes, either in the quiet of evening or along with morning coffee, but strictly ONCE a day, (who wants to do dishes more than once a day?) I fill up my bins, squirt a little sodium free soap in and wash. When complete, I dump the bins out the front door and begin the dish gather again.
The garden soaks it up like sponge and come spring just booms with delight. I do water it with the hose too, but not very much. In the hottest days of summer maybe once a week, and from November to April, not at all. I won’t claim to be a radical water saver myself, but let’s face it, the stuff is sacred, the bearer and giver of all life on the planet, it is not to be wasted, and we each must do more to honor the water we have.
A friend of mine, Amanda, is in fact totally radical water keeper, using and reusing only rainwater for herself and her family to drink, bathe, cook, wash, live in the high dry desert. Totally an inspiration when it comes to, well everything, but we do what we can, as we can…….so little by little I am trying to reuse, conserve, respect and honor our sacred water by dumping it in the garden and watching it grow, and who knows, maybe someday it will turn into, more water!!