I’m going to be getting my hands dirty, and I’m excited about it.
Larry and I are planning to build raised beds in our backyard for a vegetable garden next year. We’ve walked the yard and decided where to put it. We’ve talked about size and design. We’ve discussed dirt. We’ve considered how to keep the wildlife from eating everything in it.
We’re making plans for a garden.
|Site for our raised beds. Larry's shop and a tool shed are in the background.|
At one time, I never could have written those words and been happy about them. I was so consumed by fears of contamination that I engaged in compulsive hand washing that left my hands and wrists red and raw. I avoided anything that might get my hands dirty, including garden dirt.
My fear of contamination was rampant when I was a teenager and young adult. Over the years, with treatment for OCD, my fears have greatly subsided.
I’ve even had flower gardens and potted plants. I enjoyed working in the dirt and watching plants grow.
So why haven’t I taken the next step and put in a garden before now? I grew up on a farm, after all. My parents put in a garden every year, usually a huge one. They always planted extra in case neighbors or family didn’t have a good year.
|My parents' garden on their farm in rural Virginia in 1985.|
|Another view of my parents' garden, circa 1985.|
|My parents' garden in 1988.|
Larry and I have talked about putting in a garden. One year we even grew tomato plants. Unfortunately, the deer and groundhogs ate all but a few of them.
What has really kept us from moving forward has been my reluctance to commit to it. One way depression affects me is to drain every bit of motivation out of me. I become married to just a few activities that don’t take a lot of energy and don’t ask too much of me.
Even when depression is treated with medication and therapy, old habits of procrastination and complacency die hard.
But this year of contemplating “letting go” has led me to want to do more, to not waste time.
So along with getting good treatment for my depression, I’ve been making more of an effort to do things.
Unbeknownst to me, Larry started researching raised beds. He began thinking how he could build the frame, how he could build a fence around it. A couple of weeks ago, he broached the subject to me and since then, the ideas have been percolating.
We’ll build it this summer or early fall, then nurture the soil to get it ready for next spring. I’ll have to do some research to figure out what to plant and when to plant things.
Having a garden to care for will be a challenge for me. I will have to work in it whether or not I feel like it.
But I know it will also give me a sense of accomplishment. It will give me a much-needed connection to nature. And it will give Larry and me fresh produce to eat and share with others.
Do you have a garden? If so, do you grow flowers, vegetables or both? What do you enjoy the most about having one?