Working on My Yard

I had a lovely surprise today. It’s not just me who is working on my yard, but a couple of men were sent by my contractor to work on the paths in the back yard.

The metal strips in the photo define one edge of the path, and they surround the area I’ve been digging up for my mini wildflower meadow. As you can see, I still have a lot of digging to go, but with the area defined as it now is, it seems doable.

I’m always amazed by how even a little progress can be so attractive. Although the metal edging is about the pathways and the rock, the dirt area turns out to be special in its own right, with those lovely curving lines. I can imagine how beautiful it will be when the wildflowers bloom, though there is no guarantee that they will. I’m still such a neophyte, that many plants don’t make it. But I’ll keep working on it. If the seeds I plant this fall don’t sprout, I plant more in the spring.

From the photo, it seems to be a sun-dappled area, shaded by a neighbor’s tree, but in the summer, when the sun is high, it’s sunny enough for most flowers, with a bit of shade in the hottest part of the afternoon to keep the poor things from desiccating.

My gardens and the yard — my micro estate — are still mostly a fantasy created out of gardening dreams, but if I keep learning, keep trying, keep doing, eventually, I will end up with a beautiful place.

Oddly, I never intended any of this. I just wanted some sort of ground cover I could throw out there that would take care of itself and look pretty. It was the contractor who thought the paths would help make the place safe for me since he knew I wanted to elder-proof my yard, and I went along with it because it sounded like a good idea. It never occurred to me that the finished product (in the areas where there is a finished product) would be so charming.


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

7 Responses to “Working on My Yard”

  1. Treve Brown Says:

    It looks great Pat! Glad that your garden is slowly coming together!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s amazing where this journey has taken us. BTW, I was thinking about you today, and how you, too, seemed to find some sort of haven. I hope that’s still true.

      • Treve Brown Says:

        Hi Pat, yes I adore it where I am (although my garden consists of 2 potted bamboo and one potted shrub!). I think it’s the stability it represents, not the house itself, which is just a fairly new box. It’s my little cocoon from the world, a safe haven. I’ve been here nearly five years now and every day I end up being aware of how happy I am here. It’s really very strange isn’t it? Glad you feel the same way, we both deserve a little peace I thing! My very warmest regards, Treve

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    Absolutely sure with time and with your hard work you are going to have a beautiful and wonderful garden.

  3. Joe Says:

    I may be speaking without knowing your situation, but aside from pulling weeds prior to seeding, you need not till or dig the space where the wildflower seeds/future seedlings/plants will go. Tilling and digging just pulls weed seeds (which can live for-practically-ever) to the surface to sprout. You only need to rake the surface no deeper than an inch, as late in the season as you can, and broadcast your seeds and walk all over the seeded ground to ensure seeds contact with the soil, and you’re done and the rest is up to them. And if you get all the weeds now, you will not need to worry about distinguishing those from seedlings in the spring! 🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      That’s good to know. I’ll do that in other areas where I plan to plant the wildflower seed. This particular area was covered with Bermuda grass, which would have prevented the wildflower seeds from coming in contact with the soil, and Bermuda grass grows quite deep, though as you say, what I’m probably doing is just making the soil ready for weeds. I’m hoping the seeds I plant will outnumber the weed and grass seed.

      I truly appreciate your input. I’ve been learning a lot from you.

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