It is an especially blustery January day. The wind is blowing the rain sideways, and at times the rain is coming down so hard the gutters can’t keep up, and water is cascading from them. I had some errands to run in town today, but bad weather and general fatigue has kept me inside. Inside and dreaming. I’m dreaming of gardens, specifically transforming my small upper yard into an area filled with plants. Plants ornamental and plants functional. As I sit here sipping Earl Grey, I’m dreaming of building a tea garden.
We have a small separate yard that sits behind our house. It is a blank canvas, and I’ve been pondering what I want to do with it. Right now it houses my clothes line, our patio chairs, my rusty metal fire pit, my compost pile, and one haphazardly built raised bed. Our living room looks out onto this yard, so I want it to be heart-stirring.
This winter I will build more raised beds in preparation for spring. I want different areas, garden paths that wind peacefully through the thriving plants. I want a little fence to keep the deer out; and an archway with a gate to serve as an entrancing into my own nirvana. In my daydreams there are fairy gardens placed sporadically. My children will work at making an inviting habitat for the fairies as honey bees bumble from fuchsia to honeysuckle.
Each area will have its own purpose: tea garden, culinary herb garden, hop garden, vegetable garden, bee garden, and flowers everywhere. My desire is that they will fuse together into something lush and tranquil. I can see the plants spilling into the paths, and climbing trellises and fence posts. Herbs, fruit, hops, vegetables, and bee friendly flowers comingling together to bring me supreme happiness.
My first task is the tea garden. I buy, and consume, copious amounts of tea. I find it so comforting to think I could grow my own herbs, and combine them into different and unique teas. Jars of dried herbs in my pantry waiting for me to pour hot water over them.
Over the next few months I will collect seeds and start building raised beds. Dimensions will be figured out, and doodles will appear on graph paper. There will be paper cut outs that will move around on the plot, until just the perfect placement is found.
And when it comes time to plant, I will be ready. Or maybe I won’t, because sometimes winging creation produces something better than planning every detail. If nothing else, my plans will be an outline, a guideline so my creativity can soar.