I plant my garden in mid-Spring, usually right around Mother’s Day. For the next few weeks I weed and check on my young plants and seeds, thinning as needed and setting out tomato cages. When school meetings end in early June, I take a deep breathe and then weed the garden one last time and then I choose a day to devote myself to mulching the garden. First I lay down a heavy layer of newspaper and then I spread mulch over the newspapers. I’ve been mulching my garden this way for nearly 20 years and the method is foolproof. Weeds are stifled, the garden is drought resistant, and everything looks lovely and organized.
This year we left town two days after school meetings ended. Because we would be away for two weeks, mulching needed to happen before we left, lest the garden be overgrown with weeds. Laying down mulch is an enjoyable chore but is a bit tiring, especially in the whirlwind that is the end of the school year. But the idea of leaving the garden to suffer through June without its customary safety net was unthinkable so JT loaded in the mulch bags and I did the work in a piecemeal fashion.
The first go round protected the squash, cucumbers, cantaloupe and the zinnia seeds.
Round two took care of the tomatoes, peppers, dahlias, and herbs.
Round three was completed on the morning before we left for Copenhagen and was really just spreading out the last bag of mulch and then mowing the backyard.
By design, the edges of the garden remain a bit messy. When I return from the big trip, I will swing by my favorite garden shops and buy some of the rose and hydrangea bushes that are on the clearance rack. I’ll have to wait a year to see them in their full glory but gardening is always a lesson in patience for me, so that’s okay. Soon enough I’ll have fresh dahlia and zinnia bouquets to brighten my days.
I love the way the garden looks when the mulch has been freshly laid down. These pictures will remind me of the garden happiness that awaits when I return from my adventure. That’s happy!