I was almost home from my morning walk with the dog before I realized what today is: my last day of summer vacation. I love my work at the library, but it's awfully hard to leave the homefront each year, where I've gotten into the rhythm of gardening, homemaking, and cooking -- really cooking. I know that most Americans work year-round, with only a couple of weeks of vacation plus holidays, and that I am really fortunate to have the 6 weeks I have each summer, but is doesn't make it any easier when the end of July rolls around. And I always wonder: can I sustain the gardens this year?
Frankly, the answer is usually "no." It's just not possible to keep up the same level of gardening when I spend 9 hours of my day off The Realm. And lots of things hit this time of year: back to school stuff (for both me as a teacher and Skye as a student), Skye's birthday, then soccer season, then Halloween (which I love!). Before I can turn around twice, it's November.
I've been trying to make my gardens more sustainable: piling on more mulch, adding landscape fabric under the paths, promising Love "no new gardens," laying out soaker hoses early in the season. And the Berry Patch is a success story -- this summer I've pulled only a weed here and there and hooked on the garden hose to the soaker hose once each week that we haven't gotten an inch of rain. Easy peasy. The Kitchen Garden (which is getting topsoil hauled in as I write this -- more on that later!) is planned for minimum maintenance. Now if I can just get the Cottage Garden in hand!